No. 10 men’s hockey takes 3-2 loss to No. 5 Boston College

Biagio+Lerario%2C+one+of+NU%27s+goal+scorers+from+tonight%2C+shows+off+some+edge-work+during+NU%27s+home+game+against+UMass+Lowell+last+week.+

Sarah Olender

Biagio Lerario, one of NU’s goal scorers from tonight, shows off some edge-work during NU’s home game against UMass Lowell last week.

Leah Cussen, news staff

No. 10 men’s hockey fought hard against the victorious No. 5 Boston College, with a final score of 3-2 in the first game of their home-and-home series. There was a lot on the line for the two rivals, with BC tied for first place and Northeastern holding sixth place in the Hockey East standings.

“Boston College was a better team than us here tonight. You know that they’re a real good club, they skate well, they’re very good in transition,” said NU head coach Jim Madigan. “We gotta have a better effort and I didn’t see the conviction enough in their eyes going into tonight’s game.”

Northeastern offense stepped up with more aggressive play than usual, which was especially necessary playing against BC freshman goaltender Spencer Knight. Knight, a first round pick in the most recent NHL Draft, holds the third-most wins and eighth-best winning percentage in the nation, with a record of 19-8-1 after tonight’s game. He would finish tonight’s contest with 27 saves on 29 shots.

The Huskies (17-9-3, 10-8-1 HEAM) started strong, with senior forward Matt Filipe returning from injury and scoring a wrap-around goal at just 2:08 in the first period, with assists by freshman forward Riley Hughes and sophomore defenseman Julian Kislin.

While fifth-year senior goaltender Craig Pantano demonstrated a strong effort, ending the night with a .912 save percentage and an impressive 31 saves, an 18:42 goal by BC senior forward Julius Mattila tied the game at one goal.

Heading into the second period, BC (20-8-1, 13-6-0 HEAM) ramped up their offense. At 10:45, Pantano let in a shot by BC freshman defenseman Marshall Warren.

With BC maintaining their one-goal lead, NU tried to stay inside of the Eagles’ zone. However, NU offense waned and what they demonstrated in physicality, they lacked in number of shots. The second period saw only 6 Husky shots, as compared to 18 by BC.

“We need to be at the net,” Madigan said. “We weren’t at the net enough, though. I mean, we didn’t play big boy hockey here. We weren’t after them enough.”

A lack of Husky energy allowed Mattila to score another goal at 16:38.

In the final period, a 6:47 goal by senior forward Biagio Lerario and assists by freshman defenseman Jeremie Bucheler and sophomore defenseman Jordan Harris moved the Huskies back within one score of BC.

“Northeastern was going to come back at some point,” said BC head coach Jerry York. “It’s a one goal game and we had to make some plays at the end of the game. We lost both late faceoffs, but we were able to survive that.”

Throughout the rest of the third, NU struggled to score the goal that could have sent the game to overtime.

“Our goals are measured by what we’re going to do at the end of the season,” Madigan said. “We’re still in a playoff hunt where we don’t have a playoff spot solidified. It’s time to wake up and it’s time to come and compete for sixty minutes.”

The Huskies will look to step up their competition against Boston College again tomorrow at 7 p.m. They also look to face off against Vermont’s Catamounts Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, Feb 29, with puck drop at 7 p.m. for both games.