Boston College head coach Jerry York has won 979 games for a lot of reasons. One of them is that he knows his teams well. This iteration doesn’t have a lot of margin for error.
“The game’s tied 2-2 with not much time left, Merrimack (game was the) same, BU (game) was the same. Really close, tight, hard checking games,” York said Friday after 3-2 win over Providence about the type of team BC is.
BC won that Providence game because Zach Sanford cashed in the game winning shot late in the third when he had the chance. BC had similar chances on Monday against Northeastern in the Beanpot semifinal with the game tied 2-2 in the third on Tuesday night, and it had some opportunities to tie it up after the Huskies went up 3-2. The Eagles didn’t convert and they’ll play the early game next Monday night for the first time in six years because of it.
“It’s a 2-2 game with a couple minutes left in the contest,” York said after Tuesday’s loss. “We told our team: we’re built for these types of games, 3-2, 2-1, and we just gotta make a play to win the hockey game.”
York’s remarks after Tuesday’s game were similar to Friday’s because the two games played out in like fashion, as many BC affairs have this season. BC played good defense, and goaltender Thatcher Demko limited second chances when shots did get through. The game came down to the third period, and BC had their opportunities.
Early in the third, with the game still tied, an uncovered Ryan Fitzgerald fired a wrist shot from the slot and missed the net entirely. Later, with the game still tied, Alex Tuch had a similar chance off a rebound and shot the puck off the high glass behind the net. Right before that chance, Tuch couldn’t corral an Adam Gilmour pass on his backhand on a prime 2-on-1 rush.
All period long, with both the score tied after the Huskies went up one, Noah Hanifin cut right through the Northeastern defense, but he couldn’t create a clean enough look for himself, or his teammates, to beat Husky goaltender Clay Witt.
“We had some really good chances to score, other than the two we put on the board,” York said.
After Northeastern potted the game winner, Fitzgerald and Tuch—BC’s two purest goal scorers—each had another chance to atone. Tuch pounced on a rebound in front of Witt with about a minute left, and Fitzgerald raced into the Husky zone with less than 10 seconds remaining and ripped off a missile from the high slot.
“The 6-on-5, we had two really good chances to tie it up,” York said. “Fitzy just missed top shelf, and Alex Tuch, from my vantage point, hit the top of (Witt’s) stick.”
None of BC’s really good chances in the final frame got past Witt, though, and so every player on the Eagles’ roster suffered their first beanpot defeat on Tuesday night. There isn’t much variance for the 2014-15 Eagles besides the win/loss column, and they picked a bad day to finish on the wrong side of it.
Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor