The UConn men’s hockey team could have—nay, should have beaten Boston College on Friday if not for the egregious amount of penalties they committed.
The Huskies committed six penalties throughout the entire game, which on the surface does not seem terrible. However, they committed all six penalties in the first two periods which effectively dug them a 4-1 hole to climb out of heading into the third.
UConn did a good job of killing both of the penalties in the first period, however everything unraveled in the second.
Just over a minute into the second period, UConn freshman forward Carter Turnbull was called for checking from behind, which is a major penalty. As a result, Turnbull was disqualified from the rest of the game as well as the next one and the Eagles were given a five-minute-long power play that doesn’t even end if they score.
The Huskies did a good job of killing the penalty for almost four minutes until a costly turnover finally led to a Boston College goal.
“There was definitely miscommunication between the goaltender and our defensemen,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “We gave the puck back to them when I thought we could have got an icing there.”
However, the Huskies weren’t done shooting themselves in the foot, as in the final minutes of the period Jordan Timmons and Roman Kinal were each sent to the box within a minute of each other, leading to a 5 on 3 in BC’s favor. Unsurprisingly, the Eagles capitalized on the opportunity and extended their lead to 4-1.
What happened in the third period was perhaps even more crushing. UConn’s Ruslan Iskhakov scored his second of the night just over a minute into the period, cutting the Eagles’ lead to two. Then the Eagles got sloppy, giving the Huskies their very own 5 on 3 just over five minutes later, and UConn’s Wyatt Newpower capitalized on it with just seconds remaining.
Despite outshooting the Eagles 14-6 in the third period and getting another power play with just a few minutes left in the game, UConn was unable to even the score and BC put the game away with an empty net goal in the final minute.
If the Huskies didn’t give the Eagles a five-minute major and a 5 on 3, the Huskies could very well have pulled off a huge upset win in front of the largest home crowd of the season.
“It was a pretty even game 5-on-5,” Cavanaugh said. “And then I thought we tilted it a bit in the third period, but if you look at the whole game, I thought 5 on 5 we were pretty good.”
If you disregard the empty net goal, the 2-2 score while in a 5 on 5 situation reflects that sentiment.
This loss extends the Huskies’ winless streak to six and have been outscored 25-10 in that span. Of the 25 goals they have given up, about one-third of them have been with at least one man down.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.