BC leaves Huskies out in cold
Venti backstops victory at Fenway
Boston College, ranked No. 4 in the country, and Northeastern couldn’t afford to spend a lot of time reveling in the atmosphere at Frozen Fenway yesterday afternoon.
Although the crisp, cold temperatures and the festive crowd of 29,601 were ideal for an outdoor hockey game, the Eagles and Huskies were more concerned with rebounding from disappointing outcomes Friday night.
The Eagles (14-8-1, 10-5-1 Hockey East) were shut out by Massachusetts in Amherst, which coach Jerry York termed perhaps their worst outing of the season, and the Huskies had coughed up a two-goal lead to Boston University on the way to a loss at Matthews Arena.
Yesterday, York opted to go with senior Chris Venti in goal after Venti had stopped five of six shots in 30 minutes of action Friday night in relief of Brian Billett. It was Venti’s first game action this season.
“I just had a thought process right after the [Friday] game that we were going to roll the dice and come right back with Chris,’’ said York. “He really played well in his first start with Boston College.’’
It turned out to be a good decision. Venti stopped 14 shots on the way to his first career victory, 2-1, over the Huskies.
Venti, who grew up in Needham, said it was a dream come true.
“[Needham] is only 15 minutes away from here,’’ said Venti. “Coming to Red Sox games all the time with my family and just knowing the culture of the Sox, it’s a special building to play in. But honestly, even more special is getting my first start for Boston College and being a playing part of the game. It was a very special night for me that I will remember.’’
The Eagles, who outshot the Huskies, 13-3, in the scoreless opening period, struck first with a goal at 4:55 of the second.
NU goaltender Chris Rawlings (28 saves) made a miscue behind his own net, getting tangled up with BC left wing Steven Whitney. Rawlings tried to move the puck out of harm’s way but fanned on the attempt and Whitney grabbed the puck and fired a backhand pass out front for center Pat Mullane. Mullane buried his shot into the empty net for his third of the season.
The Huskies (8-9-3, 4-9-2) pulled even at 16:19. Freshman left wing Ludwig Karlsson had the initial shot on Venti, which was stopped. But junior center Garrett Vermeersch backhanded in the rebound from in front for his fourth of the season.
The third period was played a little differently, with the 20-minute frame divided into two 10-minute halves with the goalies switching ends midway through because of the difficult wind conditions.
Junior left wing Chris Kreider broke the deadlock on a shorthanded goal at 4:02 on a shot from the left side that eluded Rawlings.
“[Kreider] took the puck wide and then he was going to the net hard,’’ said Rawlings. “He just kind of put the puck on net and I think he took me out. The net came off a little bit but he got a lucky bounce. It went off my stick and he came into me and that’s the last thing I could really see.’’
Kreider said freshman right wing Danny Linell was the catalyst on the play.
“Danny gave me a great pass and kind of put the defenseman in limbo and made it a little harder for him,’’ said Kreider. “I tried to get to the net and to be honest, I don’t really know what happened after that. I guess I kind of ran into the goalie and the puck just kind of squirted in.’’
BC thought it had a third goal at the 2:30 mark of the second half of the third period on a shot from just outside the left post by freshman left wing Johnny Gaudreau. But officials disallowed it, ruling the net had been dislodged prior to the puck going in.
With one win in the last three games (1-1-1), Kreider said he knows the Eagles can play better.
“For us, it’s just Coach [York] says kind of dumbing down the game and playing simple,’’ he said. “Getting pucks to the net and getting bodies to the net rather than playing perimeter and trying to make pretty, highlight reel plays. I think if we can get back to that and do that on a consistent basis, we’ll get better results.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.