Chestnut Hill, MA- Boston College began their hockey season with championship aspirations and the talent to reach them. Through three games, however, the results were not there. The Eagles lost twice in Madison to Wisconsin, 3-0 and 7-5. They then traveled to Quinnipiac where they lost 1-0 to the Bobcats. On Thursday night, BC opened their home schedule hosting the St. Cloud State Huskies, looking for their first win of the year and first non-conference win since November 13th, 2016. Instead, the worst possible night happened.
The teams started with even skating and shots off turnovers in both ends. Neither end got a clear advantage for the first stretch of the period. Then, St. Cloud capitalized on a fortunate bounce and claimed momentum. Brendan Bushy threw a puck into the BC defensive end. The puck bounced off the glass and into open ice. Sam Hentges found the loose puck and fired it through Joseph Woll to stake St. Cloud to a lead.
Later in the frame, St. Cloud struck again when Luke Jaycox threw a weak wrister on net that snuck through Woll. It was the first goal this year and second in 44 games for the Warroad, MN, native. St. Cloud took a 2-0 lead into intermission.
BC showed some skill in the second period, firing 14 shots on David Hrenak. Unfortunately, Hrenak stopped all of them and BC failed to capitalize on two St. Cloud power plays. Shortly before the second penalty, the Huskies posted one of college hockey’s best offensive stretches on the young season. At 11:43 into the frame, St. Cloud rushed Woll in the crease and Jack Poehling stuffed the puck home for a 3-0 lead.
Forty-two seconds later, Sam Hentges potted his second goal of the game with a backhander on the doorstep for a 4-0 lead. Eagle’s Head Coach Jerry York opted to pull Woll from the net. The junior from St. Louis, MO, allowed four goals on 15 shots faced. Ryan Edquist replaced him and did not fare better. The second shot he faced was cleaned up by Nolan Walker for his second goal this season. St. Cloud potted three goals in 1:19 of play and held a 5-0 lead at the break.
Boston College outshot the Huskies in the third period 9-7 but failed to beat David Hrenak. The sophomore from Povazksa Bystrica, Slovakia, recorded 9 of his 32 saves in the final period and notched his first shutout of the season. Meanwhile, the St. Cloud offense got two more goals. Sam Hentges earned his first collegiate hat trick off another backhanded shot on the doorstep. Eagles’ captain Casey Fitzgerald took a slashing call late and Nolan Walker scored his second of the game to end the scoring at 7-0.
Road W ✅ Shutout ✅ ? Trick ✅ #2 St. Cloud State moves to 5-0 after defeating Boston College 7-0. 4 different Huskies score and David Hrenak finishes with 32 saves on the night ?#SCSUatBC | #scsuhkypic.twitter.com/R8lyeAdYoM
St. Cloud runs their record to 5-0 and has only trailed twice; for short times in their road trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, to play the Nanooks on October 12th and 13th. Head Coach Brett Larson was happy with the outcome, particularly with his goaltender, but still laser-focused on improvement.
“David Hrenak was the difference for us tonight. I would say as far as Grade-A chances, they probably two to oned us. And his play kept us in the game. We were able to ride him the rest of the way.”
The Huskies travel to Northeastern to conclude their Boston weekend on Saturday night. Puck drops at 7 pm.
Boston College falls to 0-4 with their worst loss of the season and worst since falling 5-0 to Bowling Green in 2014. The Eagles have been shutout in three of their four games this season. Head Coach Jerry York responded to the loss with the admission of disappointment and optimism for the future.
“Not an easy night if you’re a BC guy. I thought St. Cloud was very good in all facets of the game tonight. They just broke fast and hard on us in the second period. Certainly, our goaltenders had defensive lapses in front of them. We all take our blame for what happened here. Coaches, players, we all need to get better. We’ve just gotta keep getting better on the offensive end. More initial rushes going down.”
BC opens Hockey East play next weekend with a home and home against the Merrimack College Warriors. Puck drops at 7 pm on both Friday night at Lawler Rink and Saturday night at Conte Forum.