BC Bulletin Awards 2019-20: 10-1 Beatdown of Northeastern Is Our Game of the Year


Photo by BCEagles.com

Boston College was scuffling. Well, it’s hard to say a team is scuffling when they’ve won four straight, but that’s the way it felt coming into that late February Friday night. The weekend sweep and the hands of Maine, as well as the Beanpot heartbreaker against Boston University were still fresh memories.

A pair of wins against Merrimack were points in the standings, not confidence boosters. The Eagles needed a big weekend against Northeastern, and that’s exactly what they delivered.

Following a 3-2 win at Matthews Arena, BC carried over the momentum the following night at home, nearly doubling Northeastern in shots in the first period, but the Eagles only led 1-0 after 20.

An offensive explosion came in the second, when BC scored six-straight goals to pull ahead 7-0. Alex Newhook scored the first of the second period goals on a breakaway, after taking a pass from David Cotton in the neutral zone and speeding past the Huskies defenseman.

A few minutes later, Marc McLaughlin scored his first of two in the period from behind the goal. That’s right, he shot it off goaltender Craig Pantano’s back and in. It’s fitting, because just a couple minutes earlier, McLaughin stood in the same spot and crashed into the boards from a cross-check by Julian Kislin that still baffles me as to why it was not a major. McLaughlin got even with not one but two goals.

Following a Logan Hutsko goal, which made it 4-0, Pantano was pulled in favor of Connor Murphy. With Murphy in, the Eagles kept pressuring and scored five on him. Matt Boldy and Mike Hardman each scored before McLaughlin added his second. Matt Thompson scored late in the second to make it 7-1.

In the third, BC scored three more to reach a double-digit goal total on the night, the first such occurrence since an 11-0 win over Army in November of 2013.

Boldy became the second Eagles forward with a multi-goal night when he scored early in the third. A few hats rained from the stands, because Hardman’s goal was initially credited to Boldy, which led some fans to believe the freshman had just recorded his first collegiate hat trick.

Ben Finkelstein scored the Eagles ninth and became the first defenseman to get on the goal sheet in the process. He and Luke McInnis led a rush while the forwards changed out. Finkelstein twirled and sent the puck in front. It hit off a defenseman’s skate and deflected past Murphy.

During the media timeout following the goal, both teams made goaltending changes. Spencer Knight got the rest of the night off, as freshman Jack Moffatt came on in relief. Northeastern went with senior Curtis Frye. It was the first time either goalie had seen collegiate action.

Moffatt turned away the four shots he faced, while Frye made two saves and let in a goal. Aapeli Rasanen wristed one under his glove for a short-handed goal, just about the only way BC hadn’t scored up to that point. Rasanen’s goal also meant that all four lines scored a goal that night.

Northeastern spiraled to finish the season, following up the shellacking by handing Vermont its only two conference wins of the season. Still, the Huskies were a good team this season; they were still No. 12 in the nation at the end of February and were still in position for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. It wasn’t any old 10-1, it was a 10-1 win over a tournament-caliber conference opponent.

This was a statement game for BC, a team that hadn’t had a lot of them recently. It had been a while since Brian Gionta’s five-goal period or Parker Milner’s back-to-back shutouts in the NCAA Regionals. There’s no doubting the 2019-20 Eagles were an excellent team, one with championship aspirations, and this win validated those hopes.