Jeke, Demko Step Up In Fight-Filled Affair Against UMass

Travis Jeke Steps Up for the Eagles

Senior defenseman-turned-forward Travis Jeke scored the fourth goal of his career tonight by virtue of a savvy play at the net in the beginning of the Eagles’ second period onslaught. Jeke waited patiently around the goal, where his patience was rewarded via a beautiful pass from teammate Chris Brown. As Jeke scored the goal, he screamed in exaltation—it was a well-deserved celebration. His teammates mobbed him and the fans at Kelley Rink went bananas.

Jeke is the consummate, selfless team player who has done everything his team has asked since he arrived on campus as a freshman in 2012.  He is currently providing the Eagles with depth at forward in the wake of Jeremy Bracco’s departure and Brendan Silks’ injury.

Head coach Jerry York spoke glowingly about Jeke’s production after the game.

“What a nice story,” York said. “Jeke has hung in there, and it was great to see his effort tonight.”

Jeke’s high level of play on Tuesday night was just what the doctor ordered for the Eagles, and BC fans hope that it’s a sign of things to come in the future. If Jeke can provide productive minutes for the Eagles down the stretch, then it will make them that much more versatile and deep when the time comes for the Eagles to battle for the program’s seventh national championship in the spring.

BC Builds a Big Lead and With It Comes Fighting

The floodgates opened against UMass in the second quarter, and before long the game got chippy.  First, BC’s Ryan Fitzgerald and UMass’s captain Steven Iacobellis got into it with 11:45 remaining in the second period and were both ejected. The altercation wasn’t limited to just Fitzgerald and Iacobellis, however, as multiple players from each team got involved in the scuffle. In addition to the penalties given to Fitzgerald and Iacobellis, BC’s Josh Couturier and UMass’s Ben Gallacher received disciplined following the commotion (although neither were ejected).  Notably for the Eagles, Fitzpatrick will be ineligible for Friday night’s home game against Maine as a result of his ejection.

York wasn’t very pleased about the game’s chippiness, and certainly doesn’t like the thought of playing another Hockey East conference game on Friday without a full lineup.

“We certainly would like everyone available for the next game,” York said. “But it is what it is.”

The roughhousing continued long after the fracas in the second period, however, as BC’s Alex Tuch got into it with various UMass players on a number of occasions, usually requiring referee assistance to break up the tussles.

Record-breaking Defense

The Eagles are currently riding the best defensive stretch in program history, having shut out four of their last five opponents for the first time ever, and the biggest reason is the stellar play of BC goalie Thatcher Demko. He earned the win by recording 26 saves on the night with zero goals allowed, while UMass’s Nic Renyard and Alex Wakaluk combined to surrender seven goals, with Renyard receiving the loss.

“Thatcher had a very strong night in goal,” York said about his goalie. “He just looks so much more confident this year … you can really build a hockey team from the goal out and I think we have an excellent goaltender.”

As incredible as Demko has been, however, there is more to the Eagles’ defensive success than just his play. Excellent defenders such as team captain Teddy Doherty have helped to reduce the number of shots on goal and kept the action on the other side of the rink, where the Eagles can score. BC finished with seven more shots on goal then the Minutemen (33 to 26) and won by seven goals.

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor