Eagles Falter, Finish Last In Florida College Hockey Classic

With less than a minute to go in the third period, Teddy Doherty raised his arms in celebration.. After blowing the third period for the third consecutive game, Boston College men’s hockey’s beleaguered captain looked to give his team a temporary reprieve against the nation’s top team, Providence College, with a late, power-play goal. His exuberance, however, was short-lived. The referee quickly signaled no goal, and, thanks to a lack of video replay in Estero, Fla.’s Germain Arena, it was unreviewable. Instead, with 8.2 seconds left, a different light came off, this time from a lamp catching fire high above the Eagles’ bench. And when play resumed after an hour-long delay, BC could not come back.

A lost lead, a no-goal, and a fire—the third period was certainly an interesting one for No. 4 BC (13-4-1, 6-1-1 Hockey East) in its consolation matchup against No. 1 Providence (13-1-3, 4-0-2) in the Florida College Hockey Classic. While the Eagles tallied the important first goal of the game in the third period, they couldn’t keep the advantage over the Friars, who delivered on the power play and kept the Eagles from taking close shots in a 2-1 loss.

The first period was relatively quiet for both teams, which were careful and conscientious in their defensive play. BC was the first to have a one-man advantage, due to a tripping call against PC’s Steven McParland, but the Eagles only had one good goal-scoring chance by Ryan Fitzgerald. At 15:43 into the first, a five-minute major was called on Alex Tuch for interference, and the Eagles had to go on the penalty kill through the rest of the first and into the second.

Although the Eagles effectively killed the five minute penalty, it was difficult for them to generate offensive momentum. The Providence defense kept BC away from the net, preventing them from receiving centering passes for close scoring chances. And, of course, the penalties crept up on the Eagles again, this time with an elbowing call on Casey Fitzgerald toward the end of the second. BC maintained possession of the puck for opportune clears from its zone, but the penalty kept it from returning to even strength. The Eagles closed out the period on a power play from a slashing call on Josh Monk, but could not capitalize on rebounds in front of Friar goalie Nick Ellis.

BC and Providence were hungry for goals in the start of the third, but it was the Eagles’ Doherty who struck first. Chris Calnan grabbed the puck off a Friar turnover and skated into the Providence zone, sending the puck to Doherty, who shot it past goaltender Ellis. Doherty, slotting back in as a forward to replace the suspended Miles Wood and opening up a spot for newcomer Michael Kim on defense, netted the only goal for the Eagles.

Just when things were looking up for BC, an interference penalty was called on Steve Santini. A tired penalty-killing unit could not get possession, which ultimately led Nick Serasino to rocket the puck past Thatcher Demko with a hard shot from the point. Disrupted BC play after the Providence power play was no match for the Friars, as Monk sent a shot past Demko, bringing the score to 2-1. About three minutes later, Zach Sanford was sent to the box for tripping, putting BC again on the penalty kill. A 2-on-1 opportunity for the Eagles, however, led to a penalty on Tom Parisi and 4-on-4 play. As the Sanford penalty expired and Anthony Florentino skated to the box, BC found itself on the man advantage, but could not generate any offensive energy besides the Doherty opportunity with 46.2 seconds left in the game.

At 8.2 seconds left, the Friars and Eagles had to stop play and retreat to the locker room for about an hour as the fire issue was resolved, to the disadvantage of both teams. A few seconds was not enough for BC to even up the score.

This game marks the third time in a row the Eagles kept Jerry York on his 997th win, and the third time in a row they have lost a lead in the third. BC will face Providence once again on Jan. 8, and they cannot rely on just their captain to score goals for them.

Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Staff