Despite holding a lead after the first period, UConn Men’s Hockey struggled throughout its matchup with No. 4 Boston College, losing 5-2.
“It was just one of those games where we didn’t have enough,” coach Mike Cavanaugh said postgame.
The Huskies did not perform well in the face-off circle, as Kasperi Ojantakanen (4-for-7) was the only UConn player to win more than he lost.
“The story of the game is when I look at face-offs and they won 44 and we won 25,” Cavanaugh explained. “When that’s the case, you’re chasing the puck all night and you’re not playing on your toes and initiating the play.”
Boston College was the better team for large stretches of the first period, but regardless, the Huskies were up 1-0 after 20 minutes.
“I don’t think we played very well in the first period, but we were able to come out of it one-nothing, so that was a positive,” Cavanaugh said. Huska made 12 saves in the opening period as BC out-shot UConn 12-7.
Max Kalter got the goal for UConn 19:37 into the first period off of a great pass from Kasperi Ojantakanen. He centered it from the corner and Kalter sent it behind Joe Woll stick side to give the Huskies the lead.
“It was a really good play by Kasperi,” Kalter said of the setup.
Unfortunately, the middle 20 minutes did not go nearly as well for UConn. The Huskies gave up two goals in the period to lose the lead. The Eagles practically established residency in the UConn zone, preventing UConn from getting any offense going in five-on five situations—three of the Huskies’ shots came on the power play.
The first Eagle goal came 4:34 into the period when Ryan Fitzgerald tied it up on a shot from the blue line that was well-screened. Christopher Brown and Austin Cangelosi were credited with assists on the play.
After seven-and-a-half minutes, Fitzgerald made a line two-line pass for JD Dudek, who got in behind the UConn defense and scored on a breakaway 11:51 into the period.
“We had a really bad change on that second goal,” Cavanugh said. “It was a mental mistake.”
Boston College put it away in the third with three goals, including two from Dudek for the hat-trick.
UConn (4-5-5, 2-3-1) gets back in action on Saturday against Sacred Heart. Puck drop is at 2:05 p.m.