ANN ARBOR, Mich. —
Michigan forward Luke Moffatt scored two power-play goals and Boston College was outshot, 32-21, en route to a 3-1 loss in the 2013-14 season opener.
“I thought they played a little hungrier than we did,” said Boston College coach Jerry York. “We’ll grow from the experience — that’s a big part of our early season, playing some good opponents and finding out what we need to improve on. You can’t do that against teams you can easily beat. There was a lot from us to gain coming over here to play.”
The Eagles finished with six penalties and spent almost a quarter of the game a man down. Two of Michigan’s three goals came when Boston College was on the penalty kill, but more importantly, the time spent on the penalty kill meant time spent away from the Michigan net.
Boston College, which played seven freshmen and is the youngest team in college hockey, was called for three penalties in the first period alone, but none was more costly than the first whistle of the game.
Junior forward Quinn Smith was inches from tapping a cross-ice pass in seven minutes into the first period, but the puck hit off the left post. Smith was then called for hooking after Michigan goaltender Steve Racine corralled the rebound.
Sixty-one seconds later, Michigan forward JT Compher flicked a pass from behind the red line straight to the tape of Moffatt’s stick, who nudged it in for the first goal of No. 11 Michigan’s season.
Boston College controlled the first few minutes of the second period and eventually scored its first goal of the season, but not before Michigan struck again.
Five minutes into the period, Michigan forward Andrew Copp poked the puck to the front of the crease, and before freshman defenseman Ian McCoshen had seen where it had gone, the puck had hit off his shin and trickled into the back of the net for a 2-0 Michigan lead.
Still, a two-goal deficit wasn’t unfamiliar — even in a young season — for the Eagles.
In their exhibition win over St. Francis Xavier last Sunday, they allowed two early goals before storming back for eight unanswered goals. McCoshen didn’t waste any time making up for the self-inflicted goal.
Ten minutes into the second period, McCoshen sniped a shot in that deflected off a defenseman’s skate. Racine didn’t see the misdirected puck until it was behind him. The shot was assisted by the reigning Hockey East Player of the Year, junior forward Johnny Gaudreau. But that was the extent of the scoring for the Eagles, who were held to just five shots in the final period, and for Gaudreau, who finished with only one shot on goal.
“I can’t tell you we did anything special, but Gaudreau will show up towards the end of the year,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “He’s a great player, but if you’re going to win games, you can’t let the opposing team get good games from their best player.”
Michigan sealed the victory with a goal that looked like a carbon copy of its first, with another Moffatt tap-in off a beautiful cross-crease pass from Copp.
Saturday was the 18th meeting between Michigan and Boston College, two of the most storied college hockey programs. Still, things have remained pretty similar since the programs first met in the 1947 NCAA Tournament in Colorado.
Records, rankings, and youth aside — 66 years later, the home team has still never lost.