There’s an old saying in hockey that turnovers can haunt a team. There’s also a saying that if you get enough pressure on net, good things happen. For the Boston College Eagles, the latter axiom proved to be the most relevant, as the Eagles survived a two-goal scare to defeat the Boston University Terriers 4-3 after scoring three unanswered goals and finishing the job in the shootout.
The game started out as an evenly contested and back-and-forth affair with neither team getting settled in until midway through the first. The Terriers generated a prolonged scoring chance that led to Dop attempting to cover up a shot. The puck trickled free, and a defensive breakdown led to Domenick Fensore getting the puck just above the slot. Fensore ripped it home high above Eric Dop’s blocker, giving the Terriers a 1-0 lead.
The second period was not kind to the BC defense. Early in the second period, BU forced a turnover at the BU blue line, and generated an outbreak. Tyler Boucher got the puck and got around a reeling Marshall Warren and beat Eric Dop high. The Eagles got a break after a review showed the puck went off the cross bar.
The next chance, however, would not be as fortuitous for the Eagles. A counterattack caught the Eagles defensive pair too far up ice, and Max Kaufman got a one-on-one chance on Dop that he made count, and the Terriers extended their lead to 2-0.
Following the midway point, however, the game shifted in the Eagles’ direction, as the Eagles began to get consistent pressure in the offensive zone. Early in the third period, that pressure netted the Eagles’ first goal of the night after a chaotic play led Trevor Kuntar to send a between-the-legs feed to Marc McLaughlin at a tough angle. McLaughlin made the Terriers pay, and the Eagles inched back into the game.
Nikita Nesterenko would get the game level. Following a media timeout, Nesterenko got a shot on goal that hit Drew Commesso and just never stopped moving until it crossed the goal line, and the Eagles tied the game.
Less than a minute later, the captain led the Eagles again, starting a tic-tac-toe play that hit his stick, Jack St. Ivany’s stick, and eventually Patrick Giles’ stick, who completed the play by putting the puck past a diving Commesso to give the Eagles the lead.
The comeback effort was stunted, however, by an eventual BU counterattack. Kaufman completed a BU counterattack that closed in on Dop rapidly, putting the puck past Dop and tying the game. Neither team could get a goal and the game was sent to overtime.
Overtime was a wild affair, but ultimately while both teams had looks, the game was sent to a shootout.
Trevor Kuntar finished the job for the Eagles after five rounds, the only player to score in the shootout. While officially a tie, in a rivalry all about bragging rights, the Eagles will have them for the time being.