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DU Men's Hockey falls to Boston College 3-1 in Ice Breaker Consolation Final

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October 9, 2016

 

The Pioneers entered tonight’s game coming off of a disappointing loss to Ohio State last night. It was a game plagued by a lack of energy and focus for DU, something that was not the case tonight as the team faced rival Boston College. After two periods of even play, the Pioneers dominated the third period, putting nearly four times as many shots on net as the Eagles, but it was Boston College that came out on top at the final buzzer.

Despite the up-tempo play from DU, the team started off on the wrong foot with defenseman Adam Plant being called early for roughing. With thirty seconds left in that penalty, DU took another (Tariq Hammond, slashing), resulting in a five-on-three that saw Boston College moving the puck well and looking dangerous. Rather than deflating them, the double-kill infused some electricity into the Pioneers, a stark change from last night’s performance where the first goal against visibly deflated the team. Midway through the first, the Pioneers went on a power play that saw aggressive offense and sustained pressure; however, the Eagles held strong to keep them off the board.

Boston College opened the scoring at 11:23 in the first with a dirty goal down low. After a couple of scrambled saves by Pioneers goalie Evan Cowley, Austin Cangelosi tapped in a rebound from Luke McInnis, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Like last night, the goal took some of the cohesion out of the Pioneers game, leaving DU reeling a bit under the pressure of an energized and confident Eagles team. The first period came to a close with BC holding that 1-0 lead, though Denver had a 10-8 shot advantage.

The second period featured a lot of north-south play with the teams trading offensive rushes. A superb kill on an aggressive DU power play gave the Eagles the momentum for the middle minutes of the middle frame. What was certain to be the go ahead goal on a BC breakaway was thwarted by DU captain Will Butcher who used his body and stick positioning to not only separate the skater from the puck, but also draw a slashing penalty.

“I thought we won more battles (than last night) and that we played with more pace. We still have a long way to go because, halfway through the game, I thought we were still a little lackluster and a lot of moments where nothing was happening…but I love the third period because I started to see Denver hockey.” – Jim Montgomery, Pioneers coach

The resulting power play saw some great puck movement by the Pioneers, and this time they converted with a top shelf beauty from the point from the man who drew the penalty, Butcher. DU used the goal to inject some energy and offense into their game, but it was the Eagles that would get the next goal. David Cotton tipped a shot between his, Butcher’s and Cowley’s legs to restore the one-goal lead at 2-1. The second period ended with the Pioneers back on the power play, leaving a 33-second man advantage to start the third.

The teams again engaged in back-and-forth play until the Pioneers ended up with back-to-back power play opportunities. Despite some good looks, the team was unable to convert. As the second power play was winding down, Matt Marcinew of Denver was called for interference, giving Boston its first power play of the period just past the midway mark. DU was able to kill it, though the Eagles continued to apply the pressure. DU responded in kind, sending a flurry of shots at the BC net to the tune of 20 shots to the Eagle’s one in the first 15 minutes of the third. Bodies of Eagles players and some quick work by Woll kept the home team off the board, however.

Denver continued its onslaught for the remaining minutes in the period, closing out the game with a shot differential of 20 (41-21). Despite some impressive play and quality chances, it was the Eagles who got the next and final goal, an empty netter by Congelosi (his second of the night) to seal the win at 3-1.

The Pioneers are back at it at Magness Arena next week, taking on powerhouse Boston University Friday and Saturday nights.

 

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