Northeastern 3, Boston College 1: Champs Lose Season Opener

Every hockey team will have bumps in the road. Perhaps Boston College is following their typical path and getting to them early.

On Saturday night at Northeastern, #1 Boston College was defeated by the Northeastern Huskies, 3-1. The defending national champions are now 0-1 and have had a 19-game winning streak snapped.

Northeastern came out of the gates hot and Boston College never seemed to get themselves into the momentum of the game. The Huskies struck a little over five minutes into the contest, getting a goal from Ryan Belonger (assists Darcy and Manno) at 5:03 to go ahead, 1-0. Belonger’s goal was complemented just minutes later, as Kevin Roy sent his second goal of the season past Eagles goalie Parker Milner to give Northeastern an early 2-0 lead at 8:06 (assists Ferriero and Pimm).

The Eagles attempted to make it a contest later in the first period, as Boston College’s first goal was scored by Steven Whitney. Dan Cornell of Northeastern went to the box for charging, and just nine seconds later, Whitney netted a power play goal. His first of the season came at 14:55 and made it a 2-1 game (assists Gaudreau and Mullane).

Both teams were quiet for much of the rest of the game, despite having their chances. It was not until the third period that one of the squads broke through, and it was Northeastern again. Colton Saucerman scored his first of the year at 3:42 to give the Huskies a two-goal lead (assisted by Darcy). No other scoring took place, but notably, the game ended with Eagles captain Pat Mullane getting rung up for a blow to the head, getting a major penalty and a game misconduct.

This was a shaky effort by Boston College, the type of which Eagles fans are not used to seeing. There were flashes of good play, but otherwise, BC seemed off-kilter for virtually the entire game and looked a little sloppy. Boston College took eight penalties, including Mullane’s game misconduct, but were fortunate to have gone 7-for-7 on the penalty kill.

Four of the BC freshmen got into the game — Colin Sullivan, Brendan Silk, Mike Matheson, and Teddy Doherty (started on defense) — but none made an impact. For a few of them, one could tell it was their first college hockey game.

BC outshot Northeastern 32 to 29, but Chris Rawlings outdueled Parker Milner for the win. Rawlings picked up 31 saves, while Milner had 26.

It was not a good game for the Eagles, but the national champions have little about which to worry at this stage. BC’s next game is on Friday night at UMass.

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