Chris Kreider Leads Eagles To 2-1 OT Win Over UMass

2/26/2010 - Boston College 2, Massachusetts 1 (OT) - 20-10-2, 15-8-2 Hockey East

It's just too bad Team USA didn't have Chris Kreider on their roster. They might have to correct that in four years for the games in Sochi ...

Kreider continued his post-World Juniors tear, scoring at 2:02 in the overtime period to lift BC past UMass 2-1 on Friday night. The win gives the Eagles (20-10-2, 15-8-2) a critical 2 points as they look to catch first-place New Hampshire this weekend in the regular season finale.

Uncharacteristically, the Minutemen outshot the Eagles 35-33.

Joe Whitney got the Eagles on the board just 18 seconds into the second period, while UMass countered at with a goal from captain Brett Watson at 17:41 of the second period.

Parker Milner got the start in net, stopping a career high 34 saves in the victory. Milner has now won 9 of his 11 starts. For his performance in the Eagles last two wins over Merrimack and Massachusetts, Milner received Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week Honors. Milner stopped 51 of 52 shots (.980 save percentage) over the last two games.

Friday's game against UMass was Milner's third straight start. This certainly begs the question whether Milner has won the starting job over John Muse. When asked the question in his postgame press conference, Jerry York remains noncommital:

"We are still evaluating. But certainly, Parker has put a pretty good statement that he can play at this level and play very well.

It’s the first time for awhile that we have been blessed with two really good goaltenders. So we feel really fortunate now."

While it may be an unpopular decision on the Heights, I think the Eagles have to stay with the hot hand and stick with Parker Milner in net. While some might say that Milner's 9-2-0 record can't be compared to Muse's 11-8-2 record given the quality of opponents, you also have to look at what each goalie has done in net over the past few weeks. In the last two weekend series against Northeastern and UMass Lowell, Muse lost his Friday night start while Milner picked up the W in each weekend's second game. Milner hasn't lost in 4 starts while Muse is 0-2 in his last two starts.

It will certainly be interesting to see what York decides to do with a Hockey East regular season title on the line this weekend.

Bullets

  • Chris Kreider's overtime game-winner was his 11th of the year and his 8th goal in his last 9 games.
  • With two wins last week, Boston College jumps to #5 nationally in both the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
  • Only two penalties were called in the game, both on Boston College (a first period interference call on Tommy Cross and a third period tripping call on Brian Gibbons).
  • With the win, BC clinches home ice for the Hockey East Quarterfinals for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons, and can finish the regular season with no worse than the #2 seed.
  • First place New Hampshire earned 3 points with a win and a tie with Northeastern to push their first-place lead to 3 points with 2 games to play.

Up Next

BC concludes their regular season schedule this weekend in a home-and-home with first-place New Hampshire. The game on Friday night at the Whittemore Center will be televised on NESN (7:30 PM ET). The Eagles return home to Conte Forum on Saturday. Start is 7:00 PM ET.

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