Chestnut Hill, MA- Freshmen Trevor Kuntar and Nikita Nesterenko and sophomore Mike Hardman potted goals for the Eagles, while sophomore goalie Spencer Knight had 30 saves in Boston College’s 3-0 win over Hockey East rival Providence College on Friday night.
The visiting Friars were taking the ice for the first time in roughly nine months, but it didn’t show in their performance early on. The Friars had some pep in their legs as they pressured the Eagles in the opening period.
BC (2-0 coming into the game) had the games first two power plays as PC’s senior defenseman Davis Bunz was twice whistled for Holding. The first one came at 4:59 and the second came five minutes later at 10:02. The Friars penalty kill units were up to the task on both short-handed situations. On both kills, the Friars had solid scoring chances that Knight turned aside. The Eagles struggled to find a rhythm with the man advantage.
A Holding call on BC’s Marshall Warren gave the Friars a power play at 14:02. Providence was held in check by the Eagles penalty kill.
PC outshot BC 15-6 in the opening period.
Eagles forward Logan Hutsko hit the post with a shot roughly five minutes into the second period.
BC freshman Colby Ambrosio carried the puck into the Friars zone and feathered a pass to Matt Boldy along the boards just over the blue line. Boldy fired a pass down low to a streaking Kuntar at the side of the Friars net. Friars net minder Gabe Mollot-Hill (24 saves) made the initial stop on Kuntar, but the Boston Bruins 3rd round draft pick was able to poke his own rebound in for the 1-0 Eaglers lead with just :21 seconds left in the middle period. The goal was Kuntar’s first collegiate goal. Boldy and Ambrosio were credited with the assists.
After two periods, the Friars trailed on the scoreboard but were outshooting the Eagles 26-18.
Hutsko rushed the into the Friars zone and made a drop pass to Jack McBain at the right face-off dot. McBain sent the puck across the top of the goal crease where Nesterenko deposited his second career goal past Mollot-Hill making it 2-0 Eagles.
The Friars had a late face-off in the Eagles zone with an extra attacker but Hardman’s wrist-shot into the empty Friars net sealed the win for the home team at 19:49.
“Providence had a little more jump than we did earlier,” said Eagles coach Jerry York. “Spencer made some terrific saves to keep us 0-0. That continued right through. Twenty-one seconds left in the second period, really a good goal by us. Kuntar, the freshman was in front of the net, Boldy gave it to him, he just stayed there and didn’t drift off (after his shot) and whacked it a few times. That was a big part of going into the third period with a 1-0 lead.”
“The game was still in doubt right til the end,” added the Hall of Fame coach. “Mike Karow blocked three shots there. That was a key part of our game.”
“I thought it was a good game,” said Providence coach Nate Leaman. “I’m a little disappointed. I thought we came out with a really good first period, had some good looks.”
“In the second period I thought we made some fundamental errors that, maybe you expect in the first game, but that burned us,” said Lehman.
The two teams meet again on Saturday night at Providence College’s Schneider Arena at 7:00 pm.