HARTFORD, Conn. – The No. 4 Boston College Eagles got a hat-trick from sophomore JD Dudek on the way to a 5-2 win over the UConn Huskies Tuesday night in Hockey East action in front of 5,127 at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies got goals from sophomores Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.) and Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.) in the loss and fall to 4-5-5 overall and 2-3-1 in Hockey East with the loss.
The Eagles improved to 11-3-1 overall and 6-0-1 in the league. In addition to Dudek’s first career hat-trick, BC got goals from senior Ryan Fitzgerald and freshman Julius Mattila in the win. Fitzgerald finished the night with three points, adding a pair of assists to his totals while Mattila had an assist to go with his goal. Senior Austin Cangelosi picked-up a pair of assists in the win.
For the Huskies, Kalter scored his first of the season with just 24 seconds left in the first period to give UConn a 1-0 lead going into the locker room. Trailing 4-1 midway through the third period, Gendron pulled the Huskies to within 4-2 scoring his second on the season. Dudek would put the game out of reach by finishing off the hat-trick at 17:52 to produce the 5-2 final.
In goal, UConn’s Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) made 24 saves to take his first Hockey East loss of the season. BC freshman Joe Woll stopped 18 shots to earn the win. The Eagles finished with a 29-20 edge on shots and were 1-of-5 on the power play. The Huskies finished 0-for-4 with the extra skater.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh – “A certainly disappointing game from our standpoint. I thought we came off of a great weekend against Boston University where we played 120 minutes of hockey, and tonight I’m not sure we played ten. The story of the game to me is when I look at face-offs, and they won 44 and we won 25. And when that’s the case, you’re chasing the puck all night long and you’re not playing on your toes and initiating the play. You’re back on your heels. And, hey, credit to Boston College; they made us play that way. I’d like to sit here and say we didn’t play very well tonight, but they didn’t make us play well. I’ve got to give them credit, they were on their game and they took the game to us. We had a little bit of life in the third period, but it just wasn’t enough tonight.”
Kalter became the 16th different Husky to score a goal this season when he collected his first at 18:36 in the first period. He also ended a 32-game drought without a goal, dating back to a loss a home to Quinnipiac last November.
Kalter finished with a goal and an assist, tying his career-high for points in a game. It was his second career multi-point game, the last coming on a two-assist effort last season at New Hampshire.
BC extended their lead in the all-time series to 3-1-1. The Huskies are now 1-2-0 against BC at home in the XL Center.
It was Huska’s seventh appearance this season but his first at home in front of the XL Center crowd.
Tuesday night marked the fifth-straight game against a ranked opponent for the Huskies and third-straight against a team ranked in the top-five. UConn is 1-3-1 over that stretch.
Junior Kasperi Ojantakanen (Helsinki, Finland) picked-up an assist on Kalter’s goal to give him a point in three-straight games. Over his last five, Ojantakanen has collected five points (1-4-5).
The Huskies struck for the game’s first goal with just 24 seconds left in the first. The puck got dumped in deep where Ojantakanen picked-up and fed a streaking Kalter in the slot who ripped home a wrist shot for his first of the season and a 1-0 lead.
BC held a 12-7 edge on shots in the first while neither team was able to convert on the power play, both going 0-for-2.
The Eagles put two on the board in the second period off the sticks of Fitzgerald and Dudek.
BC knotted the game at 1-1 4:34 into the second period. Chris Brown stopped at the top of the right circle and fed Fitzgerald crashing to the net, who shoveled it past Huska for his fifth on the season.
Fitzgerald had a hand in the Eagles second goal of the night, threading a pass up ice to get Dudek free for a break-away. The sophomore buried his chance past Huska, top-shelf, glove side for his fourth on the season and a 2-1 lead at 11:51.
BC made it 3-1 at 10:28 in the third, scoring on the power play. Connor Moore loaded up a big slap shot from just inside the blue line and Dudek got a tip and redirect in front of Huska for his second of the game.
The Eagles made it 4-1 at 11:20 as Mattila picked-up a loose puck and ripped a wrist shot past Huska glove side. It was the freshman’s second goal of the season.
UConn cut the BC lead in half at 15:38 on Gendron’s second of the season. Corey Ronan (Franklin, Mass.) broke down the right wing and shot a quick pass across the crease to Gendron who tapped it home to pull the Huskies within 4-2.
Dudek completed the hat trick at 17:52. Fitzgerald sent Dudek up the right wing and he notched his third of the night beating Huska, five hole. It was the first career hat-trick for Dudek.
The Huskies will welcome instate rival Sacred Heart to the XL Center on Saturday for a 2:05 pm matinee match-up.
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