Colin White took a shot close in on net. The University of New Hampshire’s Andrew Poturalski was ready, and blocked the shot inside the crease. Unfortunately for Poturalski and UNH goaltender Danny Tirone, Matty Gaudreau was ready, too. Gaudreau corralled the rebounded shot from the front of the net and swept it to the left of Tirone to send the puck to the back of the net. The game was now 3-1 for Boston College and Gaudreau had netted the first goal of the game not coming from one of the Wildcats’ or the Eagles’ special teams.
While the Wildcats were quick to answer the Eagles, BC (10-1-0, 4-0-0 Hockey East) used the momentum from its first even-strength goal of the game to bring solid 5-on-5 play to the third period. BC’s Saturday night’s hockey game against the UNH (3-6-3, 1-1-3) was initially a battle between special teams, but the Eagles’ 5-on-5 play followed through when it mattered, and was the difference that brought the game to a final score of 6-3.
BC’s first goal was not by its power-play team, but its penalty-killing unit. A penalty on Ian McCoshen for hooking at about six minutes into the period gave the Wildcats a power play. BC, however, was the team that benefitted from UNH’s one-man advantage. Assisted by White, Ryan Fitzgerald netted the puck past Tirone for the first goal of the game, displaying the Eagles’ effective offensive play on the penalty kill.
UNH responded in kind to the Eagles with a power-play goal. With four minutes left to play in the first, Zach Sanford was called for interference. On the power play off a rebound from Matias Cleland, Matt Dawson got the puck and brought it soaring past the glove hand of Thatcher Demko to tie the game.
In the second period, two penalty calls against the Wildcats gave the Eagles a two-man advantage. UNH’s defense and Tirone, however, cleverly read the Eagles’ play and did not give up any goals. BC’s penalty-killing unit was also tested, and brought the play to the Wildcats’ defensive zone, diluting any scoring efforts from UNH. While these penalties did not yield any results for either team, a penalty on UNH’s Richard Boyd caused a scoring opportunity to happen in front of the Wildcats’ net. Sanford had passed to Alex Tuch, but Tuch did not connect with the puck. In the mess of bodies in front of the net, Teddy Doherty collected the puck and shot it past Tirone.
Penalties can bring goals, but they also can bring injuries. Due to some pushing on both sides after the whistle at 12:21 into the second, Chris Calnan skated off the ice injured. While BC killed the penalty, Calnan will be out for more than a five-minute major—BC Athletics announced after the game that the Chicago Blackhawks’ prospect will miss extensive time with an upper body injury. In the two penalty kills later in the second, the Eagles worked in front of the net to block shots and kept the score at 2-1.
Even though the Eagles and the Wildcats both had power plays in the beginning of the third, neither resulted in a goal. The Wildcats quickly cleared the puck, and the Eagles skillfully intercepted shots on net. Debated for a while due to a potential earlier offsides, Gaudreau’s goal for BC brought the Eagles to a two-goal lead. John Furgele’s response was a nice five hole on Demko to reduce UNH’s deficit. The two-goal lead, however, was restored by Doherty, who, skating up the left side of the ice, received a pass from Miles Wood and notched his second goal of the game. Less than a minute later, Casey Fitzgerald sent a scorcher to the Wildcats’ net, which was tipped in by Adam Gilmour.
With some fight still left in the Wildcats despite the 5-2 score, UNH continued to pressure Demko with shots. With less than two minutes left in the game, Tyler Kelleher swiftly directed the puck into the Eagles’ net, sending Demko sprawling to try to save it. Wood then rounded out the game for BC by getting an empty-net goal, thanks to a pass from Fitzgerald, bringing the final score to 6-3.
The Eagles’ game against the Wildcats showed that being the Beacon Street Bullies can bring good and bad. But in seeking another Hockey East win away against University of Connecticut on Tuesday, York will hope that the Eagles will not be missing a player due to an injury from a penalty.
Featured Image by Jake Evans / Heights Staff