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UConn men’s hockey falls to Boston College, 5-3

The Huskies led at the second intermission but gave up three unanswered goals in the third period.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s hockey gave up three third period goals en route to a 5-3 road defeat to the Boston College Eagles on Friday night.

The Huskies led 3-2 entering the third period but didn’t find the back of the net the rest of the night. Jake Veilleux, Ryan Tverberg and Samu Salminen all scored in the loss. Logan Terness started in net and had a mixed performance. He came up with big saves at big moments, but also allowed a few soft goals as well.

UConn dominated the special teams battle, converting on both its full-length power plays while killing BC’s three advantages — including an extended 5-on-3 in the third period. The Huskies did shoot themselves in the foot, ending their third power play just seconds in with a penalty of their own.

Both offenses struggled out of the gate. It took UConn almost four minutes to put its first shot on goal while Boston College didn’t record its first shot on target until after the initial media timeout. Yet even with the slow start, the Eagles struck first.

On an odd-man rush up ice, Eamon Powell sent a cross-ice pass to Oskar Jellvik, who put it past a flailing Terness to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. That scoreline held into the first intermission.

UConn started the second period by killing off the remainder of a major penalty against Jake Percival but then tied the game soon after. Tristan Fraser found Veilleux on the back post and the sophomore tapped it in to even the score at 1-1.

The goal also came on a delayed penalty, so the Huskies immediately went on the power play. The first unit put plenty of shots on net but couldn’t capitalize and switched after a clearance. After the second unit came on, the puck found Tverberg in the slot and sniped a shot off the far post and in to give UConn its first lead of the day.

It took less than two minutes for the Huskies to flip the 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 advantage.

The Eagles evened it when Aidan Hreschuk fired a shot through traffic into the top shelf, but UConn answered 1:22 later. On the team’s second power play of the day, Hudson Schandor got the puck to Salminen on the goal line and the freshman tucked it inside the post to re-take the lead.

Early in the third period, UConn went back on the power play but the advantage came to an end after 40 seconds when Nick Capone went to the box for roughing. 34 seconds later, Harrison Rees joined him for slashing, which eventually gave the Eagles a long 5-on-3 power play.

Although the Huskies killed the penalties, BC seized the momentum and continued to carry play even after the game returned to even strength. Eventually, the hosts broke through. First, Mike Posma re-directed a shot in front of the net to tie the game and less than two minutes later, Charlie Leddy gave the Eagles the lead by scoring on the back after Terness failed to catch the initial shot.

UConn pulled Terness for the extra skater with 1:53 left but struggled to control the puck. Matthew Wood had the best chance to tie the game when he uncorked a shot from the top of the circle, but Andre Gasseau blocked it just in front of goal.

Moment later, Gasseau finished it off with an empty-netter to secure the win for BC.

Despite the loss, UConn clinched a first round bye in the Hockey East Playoffs on Friday night after both Providence and Maine fell. However, UMass Lowell won in regulation, which means the Huskies enter the regular season finale one point back from the River Hawks in fifth place.

If UConn wins in any fashion on Saturday (meaning it takes two or more points) and UMass Lowell drops any points, it’ll secure home ice in the quarterfinals. That’s the simplest scenario, at least.

The Huskies will wrap up the regular season against BC at 4:05 p.m. ET from Toscano Family Ice Forum.