Outside of National Championships, one of the Boston College men’s hockey games that I have the most distinct memories of is BC’s 5-4 triple overtime win over the UNH Wildcats in the 2008 Hockey East semifinals. Honestly I sometimes forget that this was just the semifinal game, because the Eagles easily took out UVM 4-0 to win the trophy, a much more forgettable result than the stress-fest that was the UNH game.
UNH went up 2-0 early in this game, and increased the lead to 3-1 midway through the second period. A 3-1 lead with half the game to go is certainly not insurmountable, so by this point I was nervous but hadn’t completely given up hope. However, at 12:23 in the second period the Wildcats went up 4-1, and it began to seem impossible that BC would be able to stage a comeback.
Late in the second period, however, Joe Whitney and Brian Gibbons each scored within a 3 minute span to cut UNH’s lead down to 4-3, giving the Eagles a real chance heading into the final period of regulation.
Just 4 minutes into the third period, Matt Price sent a pass off of Dan Bertram’s skate then off the post into the net, tying things up at 4. The teams remained scoreless for the rest of regulation, sending the game into overtime.
BC almost won this one during the first overtime, but Matt Greene’s goal was disallowed due to the goalie’s mask being knocked off. This added an extra level of anxiety for BC fans, as it often seems that teams whose overtime goals get called off end up losing those OT games.
After Greene’s called off goal, the teams kept battling and it started to seem like this game might never end. By the time Benn Ferriero scored the game-winner with a deflection of a UNH player’s stick just 43 seconds into triple-overtime, the teams had been playing for 100 minutes and 43 seconds and had combined for 119 shots on goal. BC goalie John Muse made 45 saves in the victory, while Kevin Regan’s 62 saves for UNH weren’t enough to stop the Eagles.
The stress of this game can’t be matched, but it was also the game that really taught me to never count Jerry York or his teams out of a game. Even when the deficit seemed insurmountable, Coach York could lead a team to victory.