Boston, MA – Michael Kim’s shorthanded goal with 23 seconds remaining, his first collegiate goal, proved to be the difference in a tightly-contested game between the Huskies and Boston College. After delivering a hit at the blue line and then collecting a (terrible) Garret Cockerill turnover, Kim collected the puck, streaked up the left side on a two-on-one break, and fired a shot that beat goaltender Ryan Ruck over the left shoulder, going bar-down.
In a battle of the goaltenders, Ruck and BC netminder Joe Woll both turned in stellar outings, making multiple saves that should be on their highlight reels. It was easily Ruck’s best game since the Arizona State series- his positioning was good, his rebound control was better, and he swallowed pucks, controlling the pace of play. In all, he saved 27 of 29 shots. Unfortunately, Woll matched him save for save, saving 23 of 24 Northeastern shots.
After a scoreless first period, Boston College struck first on a Colin White-JD Dudek give-and-go where White toasted Cockerill to the front of the net, tapping home a feed from Dudek. That goal was scored with under a minute to go in the second, and was deflating for the Huskies as came after a very good period by NU. NU tied the game early in the third on a powerplay goal attributed to Zach Aston-Reese, but the puck deflected off of him after a Cockerill one timer from the point.
The goal elevated Aston-Reese to a tie for 37th in scoring in program history, tied with four other players, among them Wayne “Beanpot” Turner. See the goal here:
— Northeastern MHKY (@GoNUmhockey) November 30, 2016
Northeastern was outshot overall 29-24, but that was buoyed by a 14-4 BC lead after the first period. Aston-Reese led the team with 4 SOG; his line had 8 of the 24 shots, and the second line had 5. Defensemen had 8 of the shots. Boston College won the faceoff battle 31-23, led by Austin Cangelosi going 13 of 18 on draws. Northeastern was 1 for 7 on the powerplay, and killed off both BC powerplays.
This is a disappointing loss. Northeastern had a very good chance at a point, possibly two, to be earned, and went to bed with zero. I thought the defense and goaltending had their best game in weeks, and the offense, after the first period, was buzzing and had multiple grade A chances in the following periods. Cockerill’s turnover, with under a minute to go, on the powerplay, is a decision that cannot be made by the supposed “leader” of the defense, the most experienced player in the defensive corps, and the quarterback of the powerplay. Comments since the game have been made regarding other teammates not picking up the loose puck or being aware it was loose, but if the turnover/pass attempt is not one that should have been made. I pin that both on the player trying to force something out of nothing, and on the coaching for not hammering in the discipline on the player ahead of time to not force the issue.
Boston College will now play North Dakota over the weekend, while Northeastern has the weekend off and will play the Eagles at Conte Forum next Tuesday, December 6th. As always, Go Huskies.