Chestnut Hill, MA – The Maine Black Bears fell behind by three goals in the opening ten minutes of play against the Boston College Eagles in front of 3,177 at Conte Forum on Thursday night. In the first two periods, senior center Jack McBain powered the Eagles to a 6-2 win by netting a hat-trick. The Minnesota Wild draft pick has 19 points in 12 games this season as the Eagles improved to 5-3 in Hockey East play (8-5-1 overall). The visiting Black Bears fell to 1-6 in conference action (1-9-1 overall) with the loss.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 1-0 on a Casey Carreau wrist shot from the right face-off dot at 1:47 of the first period. Mike Posma and Colby Ambrosio set up Carreau’s first goal of the year. The Eagles had a three-on-two rush and worked the puck across the ice to Carreau for the opening goal.
In the blink of an eye, BC made it 2-0 on McBain’s shot in front of the net. Brandon Kruse picked off a pass in the corner and dished to McBain, who deked on Matthew Thiessen for the backhander goal at 2:39.
Maine responded with a timeout, but it didn’t help as the Eagles added another goal at 10:25 when McBain again buried a Kruse pass past Theissen for his second game. McBain was unaccounted for in front of the Maine goal and easily beat Thiessen making it 3-0. Thiessen (4 saves in 10:25) was replaced by Victor Ostman in the Black Bears net after the third goal.
The Black Bears showed some life as junior forward Ben Poisson hit the post on a Maine two-on-one around the seven-minute mark.
The Black Bears had another two-on-one a few seconds later, and this time, Grant Hebert beat Eric Dop (23 saves) with a toe drag snipe to cut the lead to 3-1 at 13:43. The goal was Hebert’s fourth. David Breazeale assisted.
A Hooking penalty on Black Bears Adrien Bisson at 7:05 set the Eagles up with their first power play of the game. They wasted no time in capitalizing on Bisson’s misfortune. Marc McLaughlin caught a Drew Helleson pass in the slot, turned, and fired a wrist shot past the sophomore Ostman (18 saves in 49:35 of action). BC continues to rack-up points from their defensemen, as Helleson and Jack St. Ivany assisted on McLaughlin’s ninth goal of the year.
The Black Bears continued to claw their way back into the game as sophomore Donovan Villeneuve-Houle toe-dragged on junior defenseman Mitch Andres and fired off a snapshot through the legs of Andres to beat Dop far side to cut the Eagles lead in half to 4-2. Hebert assisted on Villeneuve-Houle’s third goal of the year.
With 32 seconds remaining in the second, Kruse again found McBain in front of the Maine net for a one-touch shot that beat Ostman high, blocker-side giving McBain a hat-trick. BC lead 5-2 going into the third period. It was the seventh game in a row with a point for Kruse, three assists on the night, a graduate transfer student from Bowling Green State University.
The Eagles picked up their sixth goal of the evening at 12:27 when Posma banged in the rebound of an Ambrosio drive to the net. Ostman was sent backward by the force of Ambrosio’s shot coupled with Posma crashing the net for the loose puck. Posma’s goal was his second of the year.
“We were down two or three to nothing before you could blink your eyes,” said first-year Maine Head Coach Ben Barr. “We’re making it tough on ourselves to be in games. We had some guys that played really hard down the stretch in the last two periods. We did some good things, but against a team like that (Boston College), you cannot not be ready from the drop of the puck or give them too much respect, or else they’re going to walk all over you. And I thought they did in the first five, ten minutes of the game.”
“I thought our initial start really influenced the outcome of the game,” said BC coach Jerry York. “The goals were tic, tac, toe type of plays. The offense started everything for us, in the right direction.”
“Jack McBain is on top of his game,” added York. “He’s got a lot of points during the course of the season. Tonight was an outstanding performance by him. Some of the goals were terrific goals.”
The two teams square off again on Friday night at Conte Forum, 7:00 pm puck drop.