Ed. Note: This story will also appear in Sunday’s edition of The Eagle Tribune
CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College entered Saturday’s matchup against Merrimack winless in five games to start the season. More eye-opening, the Eagles had scored just six goals, and they were all scored in a matter of two games. If you did the math, that means the high-powered BC offense was shutout three times in five games.
Well, the Eagles broke out of that slump in a big way Saturday, scoring four times in the game’s first 28 minutes en route to a 4-1 win over Merrimack at Conte Forum. The Eagles and Warriors split a weekend home-and-home series after Merrimack pulled away a 2-1 win on Friday night at Lawler Arena.
Merrimack actually out-attempted the Eagles 48-44, including a 24-12 edge in the first period.
“I thought we had the better of the play in the first period,” said Merrimack head coach Scott Borek. “We had the better of the play for long portions of the game. We made three really bad mistakes and they capitalized on all of them. From there they got out in front by four and we couldn’t catch up. But I was really happy with how we battled back after that. Our guys felt like we could get back in the game, which was good to see.”
BC forward David Cotton had four points on the night, scoring twice and adding two assists. Local product JD Dudek, who played at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., put the Eagles on the board with 4:30 left in the first period. Sophomore winger Logan Hutsko put a shot on Merrimack goalie Craig Pantano, who made the initial save, but Dudek was able to bury the rebound before Pantano could cover the puck. Merrimack head coach Scott Borek challenged the goal, but the officials ruled it a good goal following a somewhat lengthy review.
“I felt there was no question that their guy’s stick was in our goalie’s body,” Borek said. “That’s an automatic review. I was upset that they weren’t reviewing it right away. I felt the stick went into our goalie’s body, and then he couldn’t play the position. In the end, after watching it on video, I think the referees made the right call, but I wish I didn’t have to take a timeout for it. I just wish it was looked at right away.
“BC hasn’t scored a lot. I didn’t want to give them the momentum if there was a chance it wouldn’t count. But also, Craig is our guy. He was upset about it, so I thought it was important to check on it.”
Merrimack trailed 1-0 at the break but the Eagles opened the floodgates to start the second period. Cotton doubled the Eagle lead just 44 seconds into the period and then a turnover by the Warriors led to Julius Mattila tripling it. Cotton scored four minutes later to give BC a 4-0 lead at the 8:03 mark of the second period.
Merrimack freshman winger Logan Drevitch scored his first career goal with 4:38 remaining in the second period, taking a feed from Patrick Kramer who disrupted a BC defender and forced a turnover behind the net.
But that’s the closest Merrimack would get after a scoreless third period ended the game.
Merrimack returns to the ice on Friday night when it will play the first of two road games at Bemidji State in upstate Minnesota. The teams will close out the weekend set next Saturday.
Boston College 4, Merrimack 1 at Conte Forum Merrimack College (3-6-0): 0-1-0—1 Boston College (1-5-0): 1-3-0—4 First Period: 1. BC JD Dudek 1 (Logan Hutsko), ev, 15:30. Second Period: 2. BC David Cotton 4 (Logan Hutsko), ev, 0:44; 3. BC Julius Mattila 1 (David Cotton, Connor Moore), ev, 3:53; 4. BC David Cotton 5 (Julius Mattila, Casey Fitzgerald), pp, 8:03; 5. MC Logan Drevitch 1 (Patrick Kramer), ev, 15:22. Third Period: None. Shots: Merrimack 12-8 ; Boston College 9-9 Saves: MC Pantano (39:56) 14/18, Vogler (20:00) 13/13 ; BC Woll (60:00) 29/30 Power Play: Merrimack 0 for 7; Boston College 1 for 4 Penalties: Merrimack 4-8; Boston College 7-14