Eagles Get Tied Up At Brown

The Boston College men’s hockey team played to a hard-fought draw against Brown on Saturday night. The visiting Eagles needed a late goal from junior Bill Arnold and some stellar goaltending from Thatcher Demko but managed to salvage a 3-3 tie and extend their unbeaten streak to seven games.

Playing fewer than 24 hours after defeating Providence in what head coach Jerry York described as the best game the team has played all season, the visiting Eagles came out of the gates slowly. Demko, making his first start in several weeks after spending time with the U.S. National Juniors team in Sweden, had to be sharp early on to keep the score level.  BC was outshot 10-7 in the opening period and gave up a number of high quality chances.  The Eagles managed a few chances for themselves, but Brown goalie Tyler Steel was up to task and the teams went into the break tied at zero.

The second period started much better for the Eagles, who quickly found themselves on the scoreboard.  Up a man because of a penalty that occurred late in the first period, Kevin Hayes took a feed from Bill Arnold and fired it into the net to put BC up 1-0 just 39 seconds into the second period.  It was Hayes’ 13th goal of the season, and it continued a recent trend of exceptional play from the top line of Hayes, Arnold and Gaudreau.

Brown continued to press the play after falling behind, however, and quickly got on the board when Mark Naclerio put in his ninth goal of the year about halfway through the period.  With just more than two minutes to play in the second, the Bears took the lead on a goal by Massimo Lamacchia. Lamacchia’s third goal of the season put the Eagles in an unexpected 2-1 deficit going into the final period in a game that was supposed to be the easier of two this weekend.

BC managed to draw even at the start of the third period thanks to some much-needed scoring from its fourth line.  Freshman Chris Calnan netted his second goal of the season and his first since Oct. 13 just under two minutes into the third period. There was little time for celebration, however, as Lamacchia put in his second goal of the day for Brown just 25 seconds later to regain the lead and put the pressure back on BC.

For the next 10 minutes, the Eagles tried desperately to get themselves back in the game, firing shots from all angles and forcing Steel to make a number of quality saves. With just under six minutes remaining, Gaudreau fed a pass to Arnold who fired a puck past Steel that popped his water bottle and tied the game at three.  The assist marked another milestone for Gaudreau, as it not only extended his point streak to 16 games, but also moved him past Jerry York in the BC record book for all-time point scoring.

The rest of the third period passed without any more scoring, and the teams went into overtime.  Both sides managed a few uninspired chances, but neither really threatened to score.  The Eagles were forced to settle for a disappointing 3-3 tie in a game that many expected them to win handily.

Demko made 29 saves in his return to action and looked ready to continue pushing Brian Billet for the starting job over the next few months.  BC’s penalty kill continued its incredible play of late, killing off all four chances for Brown and letting up three shots in that time. Arnold’s two points on the night extended his own point streak to seven games, during which he has 11 points total.