(CHESTNUTT HILL, MASS.) The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team battled hard but came out on the short end of a 6-4 loss to Boston College Saturday night at the Conte Forum. Freshman Alex Tuch, a 6'4" first-round pick of Minnesota in the 2014 NHL draft, led the Eagles' offence with two goals in the second period, including the game winner.
BC opened the scoring at 4:02 of the first period when defenceman Scott Savage snapped a shot from the left circle that handcuffed David Shantz in the UNB net. Just under three minutes later the Eagles extended their lead on an odd man rush that saw four white jerseys enter the V-Reds zone and Michael Sit pick the top corner.
Halfway through the period the V-Reds started to get their legs under them and began creating good scoring chances. On their second power play at 12:08 UNB d-man Matt Petgrave skated deep into the Eagle zone and finished off some fine passing by the two Cam Braes and Cameron Brace.
In the second period BC restored their two-goal lead at 4:40 on the power play. Alex Tuch picked the puck off Shantz's pads and used his long reach to poke the puck in the open side of the net. Five minutes later, and after some good pressure from UNB, the Eagles had another odd man rush and this time it was Danny Linell finding the net. The prettiest goal came at 13:34 when Tuch raced up through the slot, split the UNB defence and snapped the puck under the crossbar, sending the water bottle into the air. UNB's Phillipe Halley was denied on a breakaway chance a few minutes later, and then while killing a penalty, it was Cam Brace making good on a shorthanded breakaway at 18:36 to make the score 5-2.
The third period was a better period for the V-Reds. Facing BC's third goalie of the night, Brian Billett, defenceman Alex Wall finished some fine tic-tac-toe passing from Peter Trainer and Matt Pettgrave on the power play at the four minute mark. UNB was now down by only two goals and controlling much of the play. However they caught a bad break at 11:50 when a hard shot bounced off, up and over V-Reds goalie Chris Carrozzi (who came in to start the third period) and plopped down on the ice behind him to create an easy tap in for Chris Calnan. UNB kept pushing and it was another of their defenceman, Adrian Robertson, who jumped into the play and sniped a pass from Taylor MacDougall to make it 6-4 at 14:19.
Final shots were 24-23 for UNB. For Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall the loss wasn't all bad. "I thought we adjusted very well after the first ten minutes. There was a lot of positives. It's not often you come down to Hockey East, and certainly to Boston College, and have as many positive things as we did, even though we lost." He added, "I thought we had a lot of great opportunities. We hit three posts. We had two breakaways. Power play played well. The penalty kill adjusted. Our discipline was good. There was a lot more positives than the score indicates."
On the other side of the rink, Boston College coach Jerry York was as gracious as always. "I think it was a good hockey game for both of us. It's early in the season for the Reds and for ourselves. There was a good pace to the game. I was particularly pleased with some of our young players, how they played. Overall our team competed hard and well, so there was a lot of pluses. There was some breakdowns, but more really good plays from the Varsity Reds. I think UNB made some really good plays."
Coach York stated that they are working on a plan and would like to go back to Fredericton next season if they can fit it into their schedule.
The Varsity Reds play next in Maine when they take on the Black Bears at 5pm AT on October 5.