Northeastern men’s hockey crushed by BC two weeks after Beanpot semifinals victory


Kayla Shiao

Sam Colangelo takes the puck up the ice and away from the Northeastern goal.

Julia Yohe, news staff

Last Friday, No. 15 Northeastern University men’s ice hockey (19-10-1, 10-7-1 HE) faced a devastating 4-1 defeat by the unranked Boston College (11-15-4, 6-10-3 HE).

Just four days after a disheartening Beanpot finals game, the Huskies were looking to make a comeback against Boston College, a team that has struggled throughout this season. In the teams’ first matchup in October of this season, Northeastern’s defense faltered late in the game, resulting in a 5-3 loss to BC, but after the Huskies’ 3-1 defeat of BC in the Beanpot semifinals, a win Friday seemed likely. 

Northeastern was stumbling from the start. Caught off guard by the quick rush towards the net, freshman goaltender TJ Semptimphelter failed to stop BC’s first shot of the game when sophomore forward Colby Ambrosio fired the puck into the net just 16 seconds into the first period. BC’s second goal was scored by sophomore forward Trevor Kuntar three minutes later.

With Northeastern’s star sophomore goalie Devon Levi still in Beijing for the Olympics, Friday’s game was Semptimphelter’s sixth career start. At the Beanpot semifinals game Feb. 7, Semptimphelter made 41 saves against BC’s aggressive offense, which made 42 shots-on-goal. In Friday’s game, he only saved 24 shots, setting his record 3-3-0 for the season.

BC’s startling 2-0 start set Northeastern on edge, forcing them to ramp up both their offense and defense. Fourteen minutes into the first period, freshman forward Matt Choupani rocketed the puck past BC graduate student goalie Eric Dop into the net, scoring his sixth goal of the season and bringing BC’s lead down to just one goal. Choupani’s goal was assisted by junior defenseman Jeremie Bucheler in a flawless cross-ice pass and was Bucheler’s ninth assist of the season. 

Although BC’s next 11 attempts at scoring were blocked by Semptimphelter and other Northeastern players, Northeastern’s defense was cracked once again 16 minutes into the first period by senior forward Marc McLaughlin, bringing the score to 3-1.

The start of the second period saw the Eagles’ Kuntar receive a two-minute minor for hooking, giving the Huskies a chance to decrease the point gap. But their advantage was short-lived and unsuccessful, as one minute into NU’s power play, senior defenseman Jordan Harris left the ice on a two-minute minor for cross checking. 

BC was only able to make one shot on goal during this power play; however three minutes later, the team got the chance to try again. After a hooking penalty threw Northeastern sophomore forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine off the ice, BC was determined to turn three goals into four. BC’s junior defenseman Marshall Warren did just that with a coast-to-coast goal with four seconds left in the BC power play. 

One final Northeastern penalty came in the second period when junior defenseman Tyler Spott was sent to the penalty box for tripping, but the period ended quietly. 

Northeastern’s offense, which has been slow to the puck all season, was still lacking. With only six shots-on-goal in the second period, the team was left with a desire for more action and a sense of desperation.

Northeastern’s third period lineup was completely different from the first and second periods. In the first five minutes, seven different players fired off 10 shots on BC’s Dop, but their tenacity and grit was matched by the unwavering opposing goaltender. Even with 16 shots-on-goal throughout the period, the Huskies were unable to raise their score.

Northeastern’s defensive skill boosted in the third period, only allowing BC to get in three shots-on-goal, with Semptimphelter blocking every one. 

The game ended with the 4-1 score from the second period still in place. 

The Huskies went home defeated and looking for revenge, which they got in a Saturday evening rematch against BC that ended in a satisfying 4-1 Huskies victory. 

On Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., the Northeastern Huskies will take on University of Connecticut at Matthews Arena for the second time this season, where the team hopes to prove itself after a 5-3 loss last October.