Montreal Canadiens: Luke Tuch’s Freshman Season Ends In Wild NCAA Game

AMHERST, MA - JANUARY 17: Luke Tuch (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
AMHERST, MA - JANUARY 17: Luke Tuch (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospect Luke Tuch entered the NCAA tournament hoping to go on a deep run, but understanding his team had a difficult road in front of them.

The Boston University freshman had a solid first season with the Terriers, as they advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a 10-4-1 record. However, as a third seed in their regional grouping, they would need to go through St. Cloud State and then Boston College to advance to the Frozen Four in April.

It wasn’t in the cards for Boston University as they fell to the St. Cloud State Huskies today in a wild hockey game.

St. Cloud came out flying in the first period and poured on some early pressure but couldn’t convert. The onslaught continued throughout the first period as St. Cloud had a five minute power play. Though they were heavily outshooting Boston University, they couldn’t convert even with a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal.

Habs prospect Luke Tuch was playing on the top line with first round pick Jay O’Brien and second round pick Robert Mastrosimone. With the game still scoreless late in the first period, Tuch won a battle along the boards behind the net, something he does regularly, and slid a perfect backhand pass to O’Brien, who deked to the backhand but just missed the far post.

The game stayed tied at zero after the first, but then things got wild.

The second period opened with Boston University winning the faceoff, dumping the puck into the St Cloud zone, forcing a turnover and scoring just eight seconds into the period. However, a review would show that the goal scorer looked just the width of a skate lace offside as he entered the zone. Shockingly, the goal would stand, though there was a pretty clear picture of the puck on the blue line and the BU player inside the zone.

It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing to happen in the period.

St. Cloud tied the game on what looked like a scene from a Mighty Ducks movie. There were four players battling for the puck behind the BU net when the puck quickly shot way up in the air and landed in the slot. The odd thing is, none of the four players in the battle realized the puck was gone, neither did the BU defenceman in front of the net and most importantly, Drew Comesso, Boston University’s goaltender, was still looking behind the net.

Micah Miller took an extra second to make sure he had control of the puck, realized no one else even knew he had it and then wristed it into the wide open net.

Just over a minute later, Jack Perbix would hammer a slap shot from the woads that bounced off two different defenders before finding the net to give St Cloud the lead. Less than two minutes after that, Jake Wise scored to tie it and 32 seconds after that, Easton Brodzinski scored to restore the St Cloud lead. That’s four goals in 3:46 to change the score from 1-0 BU to 3-2 St Cloud.

Tuch set up the Wise goal with a long stretch pass on the power play. Wise stickhandled around the St Cloud zone for a while before firing a laser wrist shot over the shoulder of David Hrenak.

The third period was just as wacky as the second.

Down 3-2, Tuch’s team was handed a huge opportunity when Chase Brand was given a five minute major for head contact.

However, instead of closing the gap on the power play, St Cloud scored a shorthanded goal on a penalty shot to push their lead to 4-2.

Then there was a lengthy delay because Luke Tuch body checked a St Cloud player in the corner and it broke a pane of glass as well as cracked the boards right down the middle of the huge ESPN sign.

Then there was an ice issue that caused another long delay.

When the game wasn’t being delayed, St Cloud scored another pair of goals to take a 6-2 lead, including one that looked like it would be called back for being kicked in, or for pushing the goaltender’s pad out of the way, but somehow counted.

It was surely the most wild game of Luke Tuch’s college career, no matter how long that will be. He finished his freshman season with six goals and 11 points in 16 games, and will be back as a sophomore next season.

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After that? Well, he showed a lot during this season. Tuch put up better numbers than predicted and was a physical force as an 18 year old. It won’t be long before he is being enticed to turn pro, but he will be back at Boston University next season for sure.