The show must go on, and quite a show it was. Boston College capped off its wild week with a last minute 4-3 victory over Denver in a game unfitting for late October. Matty Gaudreau pounced on a loose puck in front of Denver’s net and buried it with 36.6 seconds left to give his team the win that could have gone to either side. But after Jeremy Bracco took his talents to Kitchener, Ontario last Wednesday, BC needed it like few other early season games in head coach Jerry York’s tenure.
“[Colin White] got it and brought it to the front of the net and everyone went to one side,” Gaudreau explained. “I saw a lane and [the puck] was bouncing, I just came and whacked it in.”
“Big goal, huge goal,” York said. “We got a bounce at the end of the game, it’s not much difference between these two teams. But we feel very excited.”
After BC (5-1-0) barely fended off a Pioneer (3-2-0, 1-1-0 NCHC) flurry in the game’s waning seconds, York’s team poured off the bench and mobbed goalie Thatcher Demko in a celebration more fitting for an April victory. Kelley Rink’s crowd was full and raucous. But nothing was more telling than York himself. York never speaks fully extemporaneously, and he wanted to say something about Bracco’s departure following the game.
“We have certain non-negotiable items for our hockey team,” York said. “It’s not for everybody. There are certain standards that we’re not gonna waver from. Having said that, our players took everything like I said. It’s non-negotiable, we moved on, and played very well. But again, this is a tough sport, played at a very high level, and we demand an awful lot from our players. If you’re not ready for that, then it’s not a good environment for you.
“But I thought that our team, this was our best game of the year. We’ve had four of five wins already, so things are looking very promising for us. But that was the best game we’ve played, against the best opponent, and that’s important.”
He delivered his message like a stately diplomat per usual. This time it was like a diplomat in a time of crisis, and there isn’t usually much crisis for York’s Eagles. This week was as close as it gets to that, and BC responded with a win in their only game of the weekend.
York’s captain, Teddy Doherty, never breaks off the company line either. The company line was different this week, and so Friday night was more than a non-conference game on Halloween weekend.
“[At a captain’s meeting after Bracco left] we said, if you don’t want be here, then you don’t wanna be here,” Doherty said. “I thought our best two practices of the year were Wednesday and Thursday, we really focused on what Denver did and his we were gonna approach this game tonight, and I thought our team did such a great job blocking out all the distractions.”
“There are pivotal parts of of your season, like coming off back to back losses or some crazy situation, and you need good leadership,” York said.
In this pivotal part of BC’s season, Doherty provided that leadership and a power play goal early in the second period, giving the Eagles their first lead of the game. Denver tied it up at two later in the second on Danton Heinen’s power play snipe. The goal was Heinen’s second of the game, and he again showed that he wasn’t interested in being folly for the Bracco Revenge Tour’s opening act in the third period when he stripped Scott Savage of the puck in the corner, brought it back out and fed Will Butcher for to tie the score at three with under four minutes left.
Henien’s effort fell short. BC may have needed a bounce on Friday, they definitely didn’t need Jeremy Bracco to pick up their biggest win of the year.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor