It was cold and blustery outside Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on Saturday and for the UConn men’s hockey offense, it was the same inside as they took a 2-0 defeat to No. 14 Boston College.
“We certainly didn’t have the energy that we had before the break,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said.
The loss was UConn’s third shutout on the year. Adam Huska made 27 saves for the Huskies in the loss.
Neither team found their footing early, but the visitors were the first to find it and had a strong stretch for a few minutes in the first period.
A good forecheck led to a few dangerous chances down low, but once the Eagles were able to take control of the puck, they took ownership of the period, despite a UConn power play.
“The thing that you can’t let a power play do is lose momentum and I thought we lost a little momentum,” Cavanaugh said.
Zach Walker was called for tripping at 9:20 and after an early shorthanded chance for Boston College, UConn continued the momentum until David Cotton lit the lamp with a touch under eight minutes to go in the first period.
The Huskies were shorthanded, with Brian Rigali in the penalty box, and Johnny Austin was without a stick, allowing the forward to find a loose puck in the slot.
The Huskies came out strong again in the second and were down merely 10-9 in shots on goal, for a 20-15 differential in favor of the home squad during the first two periods, but they squandered their golden opportunity to knot the contest.
Graham McPhee and Casey Fitzgerald took penalties 1:09 apart in the middle stages of the period, giving UConn 51 seconds of five-on-three time. However, the Eagles won the face-off to the corner and were able to subsequently clear the puck the length of the rink, essentially killing the two-man advantage and stalling momentum on the remaining portion of the power play.
“We took too long to get into our set,” Cavanaugh said. “I thought we were too stationary for the start.”
UConn had a good beginning to the third period as well and had zone time to go along with chances below the circles, but once the Eagles pushed back, they were again able to seize control of the game, scoring their second goal in the process.
Ron Greco took a pass from below the goal line on the left side and buried it with 9:08 to go, sealing the home victory.
UConn (8-12-2, 5-8-1) resumes non-conference play against Quinnipiac on Tuesday at XL Center. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.