Story and Photo by Sarah Olender
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. – The last time the Northeastern men’s hockey team left Conte Forum with a win was in 2017. Friday night the team tried to change that, but failed to break the streak, falling to the Boston College Eagles 5-3.
In the first period, the hockey gods were not on Northeastern’s side.
Early in the first, Marshall Warren kicked off the scoring for BC after waiting unguarded at the post. He caught Levi out of position and deflected a pass from Sam Sternschein into the back of the net.
A little over six minutes into the game, captain Jordan Harris suffered a head injury after Boston College fourth-liner Casey Carreau slew-footed Harris into the ice, driving Harris’ upper body down in the process. Harris hit the ice head-first.
After Harris exited the ice, the Huskies were clearly shaken. After taking the hit, Harris wobbled on his skates and had difficulty standing. At first it was unclear whether his difficulty standing was from the blade of his skate breaking or if he was suffering from a head injury, and unfortunately it was the latter. Harris’ presence was sorely missed.
Carreau’s action resulted in a major and a game misconduct, giving the Huskies their first opportunity to score on the power play, an opportunity they squandered.
After killing off the major, the Eagles fought hard for another scoring opportunity, but Devon Levi shut them down. Northeastern didn’t get many scoring chances, and needed something to wake them from their slump.
It wasn’t until the second period that the Northeastern offense, or really any player on the ice, came alive.
Goal-scoring veteran Aidan McDonough let the booming BC fan section know he had arrived and was hungry for a win.
McDonough came into the second period fired up, and put the Huskies on the scoreboard and tied up the game. Less than two minutes in, Dylan Jackson fed McDonough a perfect drop pass, and McDonough sailed through the center of the o-zone, ripping a shot behind BC goaltender Eric Dop.
Soon after, McDonough caught another pass from Jackson, and found himself in a 2-on-1 situation. He took advantage, shooting one beyond the BC defender and finding the back of the net for the second time that period, and for the fifth time this season.
The Eagles ended the scoring run in the second on the power play after Jack McBain skated deep into the offensive zone, and passed captain Marc McLaughlin the puck from behind the net. McLaughlin ripped a one-timer from a few feet off the goal, leaving Levi little time to react or reposition himself.
The third period brought the Eagles three more unanswered goals, and the Huskies fell back into the slump they had been stuck in during the first period.
The next BC goal came with a lot of controversy. For a moment it seemed as if the Eagles starting wing, Colby Ambrosio, had kicked the puck in after being fed a pass, but after a review of the footage, Ambrosio tallied another goal, bringing the Eagles back into the lead.
This didn’t end the BC scoring spree. Minutes later, Patrick Giles took advantage of a loose puck, and ripped a shot from the right faceoff circle, finding the net between Levi and the post.
At this point, down 4-2, the Northeastern offense slowed down and, just like in the beginning of the game, the Huskies looked slow and hopeless. Their defense stayed stagnant, unable to execute any effective breakouts.
With a minute left in the game, BC took a penalty and Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe decided to pull Levi, giving the Huskies the six-on-four advantage. Northeastern quickly lost the puck, and Marc McLaughlin sent one from the blue line into the Huskies defenseless net for his second goal of the night.
“We were able to get that game 2-2 and we gave ourselves a chance to win the third period and win a game on the road,” Keefe said. “We weren’t able to get it done so that’s frustrating.”
With seven seconds to go, Northeastern freshman Matt Choupani weaved through a pack of BC defenders and launched one top shelf into the back of the net, but it wasn’t going to be enough, and Northeastern left Conte Forum with another loss.
“We’ve got to grow up a little bit, mature, learn from this, just keep moving forward and keep getting better,” Keefe said.
After losing over 60% of the faceoffs for tonight, giving up too many minutes in the penalty box, and leaving too many power play opportunities out on the ice, the Huskies have a few things they need to work on before playing again next week.
The Huskies won’t suit up for over a week when they will play the Colorado College Tigers on Oct. 23. Mike Puzzanghera, Khalin Kapoor, Andrew Fielding, and Callum Chertavian will have the call.