Tough. As. Nails.
You get the feeling that this young BC hockey team is too inexperienced to know when they’re supposed to concede a game. Down 3-0 against the #5 ranked Providence College Friars on the road is one of those times where they might be forgiven for packing it in.
But like against Quinnipiac, and like against Wisconsin, the Eagles just kept fighting and trying to claw their way back into the game. This time, they were rewarded with what might turn out to be one of the biggest, most thrilling wins of the season when all is said and done, coming back from a three goal deficit to win 4-3 in overtime against the Friars.
Providence College Goal #1: 7:18 of the 1st period
Shane Kavanagh (Jason O'Neill)
PC 1, BC 0
It wasn’t a good start for BC. The Friars took control of the game early and jumped out to the 1-0 lead just 7 minutes into the game. BC has given up a few goals this year right off the faceoff, and that’s how the Friars got on the board to start things off.
These goals are really nothing fancy — once the puck is won clean off the draw, one Friar, #11 Greg Printz, skates right into the line of sight of Joe Woll. It’s very well done on Printz’s part, honestly, and Woll is pretty solidly screened. Combine that with a laser of a wrist shot by Kavanagh, and the Friars have themselves the 1-0 lead.
Providence College Goal #2: 1:28 of the 2nd period
Spenser Young (Shane Kavanagh, Jason O'Neill)
PC 2, BC 0
That was all the scoring in the first period, and the Friars were really handling BC. The Eagles couldn’t get anything going at all, and Providence continued to control the game in the 2nd period, grabbing their second goal early.
This time, it’s one Joe Woll probably wants back. Spenser Young is the Friar who chases the puck down at the blue line to keep the play onside, and he doesn’t do anything more than throw it in on Woll.
It’s not a particularly hard shot, Woll isn’t screened, and I don’t think an Eagle deflected the puck past him, but it finds its way through anyway to give PC the 2-0 lead.
Providence College Goal #3: 5:16 of the 2nd period
Brandon Duhaime (Vincent Desharnais, Chase Zieky)
PC 3, BC 0
Now BC is basically dead to rights. To this point in the game, they’ve gotten absolutely nothing going on offense, and Providence continued to control possession and get opportunities on net.
The third Friar goal is just all Providence doing the right things. PC finds the puck on their stick at the high slot, and they’d be foolish not to send it in on net through the screen.
Woll makes the initial stop but can’t control it. It sits there on his doorstep, and Duhaime is the first player to put a stick on it. He chips it past Woll, and BC fans probably feel like that’s the game.
Boston College Goal #1: 7:29 of the 2nd period
Christopher Grando (Logan Hutsko, Aapeli Räsänen)
PC 3, BC 1
But somehow, BC finds a little bit of a groove. Perhaps we can chalk it up to Jerry York taking a stroll down the bench and giving everyone An Encouraging Hand On The Shoulder. I for one know that such a thing would make me feel like I could run through walls.
Whatever the reason, BC does give itself one of its first great offensive chances of the game, and they were able to cash in on it.
I just love the few games I’ve seen out of Logan Hutsko. He always seems to be making a play, he’s passionate, and he’s got some real skill. He’s the skater on this play who gathers the puck in at the faceoff circle and puts everything he’s got into rifling that puck in on Hayden Hawkey. Maybe it’s frustration, but the little extra oomph definitely didn’t hurt.
Hawkey can’t control the rebound, and Grando is right there on the doorstep. All he’s got to do is send it right back where it came from, and BC’s on the board.
Boston College Goal #2: 10:26 of the 2nd period
Casey Fitzgerald (Luke McInnis, Logan Hutsko)
PC 3, BC 2
That goal gave the Eagles a bit of life. Less than three minutes later, Casey Fitzgerald gave the Eagles a lot of life.
This is good movement all around from BC. Logan Hutsko (again, Logan Hutsko) does the initial work, taking the puck and skating in toward net to see what kind of space he can get. The Friars don’t give him any, but he busts ass anyway and his efforts draw the Friars in on him to defend.
As he’s going down, Hutsko is able to send it back to the now-very-open McInnis, who dishes off across to Fitzgerald. He’s got some room to work with, so he takes a stride and puts his back into an absolutely wicked wrist shot past Hawkey.
Suddenly the Eagles are heading into the locker room against the #5 team in the country with some real momentum and the knowledge that they can definitely play with these guys. The confidence was clearly building.
Boston College Goal #3: 3:47 of the 3rd period
Graham McPhee (Jacob Tortora, Connor Moore)
BC 3, PC 3
The Eagles came right out and challenged the Friars early in the third period, it didn’t take them long at all to find the tying goal.
The effort from all of these freshmen is just really something to see. They have a desire and a tenacity that is going to cover up for a whole lot of inexperience. Jacob Tortora is the next young man to convert that effort into a great goal scoring opportunity.
He’s the Eagle along the boards that fights his way through the checking Friar to control the puck along the goal line. McPhee does his job, too. He’s not puck watching over there in front of the net — he’s ready for the play to come his way. His stick is down and ready, giving Tortora a good target to aim for on the doorstep. Tortora puts it there, and McPhee’s backhanded deflection is right on the money.
BC has now climbed all the way back to tie the game at 3-3, but they obviously weren’t content to come away with the tie on the road. They kept pressuring Providence and giving themselves great opportunities to take the win, and they converted on one of those opportunities early in OT.
Boston College Goal #4 (GWG): 1:09 of Overtime
Casey Fitzgerald (Christopher Brown, Graham McPhee)
BC 4, PC 3 — FINAL (OT)
This is well done all around, BC.
This all starts well before the GIF gets rolling. The Eagles iced the puck, bringing the play all the way back into their own end, and Providence won the draw. But the Eagles — Jacob Tortora in particular, a freshman once again — caused a quick turnover just below the blue line. That brings us to the start of the GIF where the Eagles are off to the races.
McPhee tries to fight his way through the Providence defender, but he’s bottled up. That defender tries to steer the puck out of harm’s way, but it deflects off the stick of Brown streaking up the left wing right back to Casey Fitzgerald coming across the blue line.
All the Eagles in the building took an audible gasp as Fitzgerald’s skating path took him with the puck right to prime goal-scoring real estate at the top of the crease, and he made no mistake about taking advantage. Fitzgerald rifled that puck off the post and in for the sweetest sound in sports, sending the Eagles flying off the bench in celebration.
This was one awesome win for Boston College in every sense of the word. The freshmen showed once again that they are the type of Eagles we’re going to be proud of over the next few years. The team kept fighting and the minute Providence lifted off the gas, BC’s effort was there to fill the void.
They were rewarded with the win for it tonight, and it’s the sort of big win that might just pay off for them come tournament selection time. It’s two big league points, but it’s also a road win which gives the Eagles a valuable RPI bonus.
BC will be flying out west next weekend for a pair with St. Cloud on Friday and Saturday night. The Huskies sit 4th in the USA Today poll and 6th in the USCHO poll, so the Eagles are still very much in the midst of their murderers row stretch to open the season.