BOSTON — Jack Parker wasn’t on the bench Saturday night, but he sure would be proud of his Terriers.
The former head coach of Boston University constantly reminded his players of one goal during his 40-year tenure: beat Boston College. Throughout his career, he did just that. The Terriers outplayed the Eagles for much of Parker’s time at BU, winning two national titles in 1978 and 1995 while then-BC head coach Len Ceglarski couldn’t muster one. With Parker’s help, the Terriers took a commanding lead in the rivalry between the two schools.
That is, until Jerry York rolled into town. Since then, he leads in three main categories.
Entering Saturday, the Eagles are 42-39-7 against their adversaries from down Commonwealth Ave. since York has taken the reins. York has also brought four championships to BC, compared to only three by Parker. But on a more personal level, York’s success has pushed him far ahead of Parker on the all-time coaching wins list. Parker sits at third with 894, while York is at 999 and actively searching for No. 1,000.
It wouldn’t happen on Saturday night. The No. 10 Terriers (11-7-4, 5-4-3 Hockey East) prevented the longtime Eagles coach from celebrating at Agganis Arena, on the ice that bears Parker’s name. Yet the No. 4 Eagles (15-4-3, 8-1-3) still earned a huge point in the conference standings, clinching a 1-1 tie thanks to Ryan Fitzgerald’s goal with 2:05 remaining in the third period.
But they were fortunate to get even that. Throughout the game, BU goaltender Sean Maguire stoned the Eagles, saving 38 shots, often sprawling out to do so. Terriers head coach David Quinn felt that this was, without question, Maguire’s best game of the season.
“From our end of it, we’ve gotten elite goaltending,” Quinn said. “It certainly bodes well moving forward.”
The Eagles and Terriers showed their hatred right from the game’s outset. On a rush to the net, forward Jordan Greenway collided with Thatcher Demko. Inspired by their goalie, the Eagles played tough in the opening 20 minutes—almost too tough. Demko was often forced to stop BU with a man down—back-to-back penalties by Matthew Gaudreau and Ian McCoshen made sure of that—but he made several great saves, including one using his right pad to stuff Ahti Oksanen on a redirection from Greenway.
On the other end, BC had trouble taking advantage of its early power plays. After Greenway was called for roughing with eight to go, the Eagles played too hesitantly with the advantage. BC’s defensemen spent too much time waiting for the forwards to get in position in front of the net for a deflection, instead of chucking the puck up at the net and hoping for some craziness. Even when they did get a good look, as Adam Gilmour often did, Maguire was there to stop it.
The Terriers broke through after clumsy play caused several breakaways on both sides. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson started the attack by splitting Teddy Doherty and Scott Savage to put up a shot on Demko. After clanking the puck off the boards, the Terriers sent it out to Danny O’Regan, who found team captain Matt Grzelcyk for the easy goal. York placed the blame on overall sloppiness rather than his stalwart goalie, who finished with an impressive 30 saves.
“It was a very shinny game for a few minutes, but they were the ones who got the red light on,” York said.
Maguire continued to stuff the Eagles until late in the third. Zach Sanford led a rush down to the BU end of the ice, allowing Gaudreau to show his creativity. He took the feed from McCoshen before passing it to a wide open Fitzgerald in between the circles. Fitzgerald blasted it above Maguire’s shoulders to force the game into overtime, which would turn out to be an uneventful five minutes.
Despite not getting his 1,000th win, York was pleased with the fighting effort from his team, which has now earned four out of a possible six points against two conference foes (the other being Providence College). “It’s a tie, but it’s a late tie,” York said. “I think it’s good for our team that we can stay patient and hang in a game.”
On the Terriers’ end, there weren’t as many good vibes. They came away with only one point, but came a combined four minutes away from getting three. Still, there was one positive to come away with: preventing York from getting No. 1,000. Captain Matt Grzelyck was asked about if that’s something the Terriers should be happy about after the game. Though he mentioned he had all the respect in the world for what York has done at BC, he still eked out a small smile.
“We definitely didn’t want to give that to them, especially at Agganis,” Grzelyck said.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor