It was your typical BC-at-Matthews-Arena frustration for much of the day... but in the end it was the Eagles who pulled out an exciting come-from-behind victory in overtime against the Huskies, 4-3.
It may have ended well but there was really a ton of frustration. After a strong start by BC in which they went on a 7-0 run on shots, Northeastern put their first shot of the game into the net behind starter Brian Billett to go up 1-0.
A big part of the game were the penalties -- too many for BC, and too much failure for Northeastern.
It started off midway through the first with Michael Matheson going off for high sticking. Not only was Northeastern unable to capitalize, but BC managed to come in on a 2-on-1 courtesy of a brilliant play by Kevin Hayes at the tail end and Fitzgerald buried the pass to tie the game at one. Officially it was an even-strength goal, but it was effectively shorthanded with Matheson having just come out of the box behind the play.
There was a whole lot of nothing in the second period. No scoring for either side and one penalty each. BC led each of the first two periods in shots by a small margin -- 13-10 and 16-11, respectively.
The third period got off to a wild start. BC freshman Chris Calnan was given a 5+Game just 11 seconds in for a brutal contact to the head, giving Northeastern a 5 minute power play.
Two minutes later, NU's Colton Saucerman took an unnecessary penalty to take two minutes of power play off the board for the Huskies... but NU would score just 21 seconds later on the 4-on-4 to take a 2-1 lead, because of course they did.
It wasn't over. Isaac MacLeod was assessed a hooking penalty as the goal was scored to make it an extended 4-on-3 for NU, but then NU took a hooking penalty 44 seconds after that to make it a very, very long 3-on-3.
Neither team would take advantage of the open ice, but Northeastern did get an insurance goal from Saucerman with 13:38 left to go to make it 3-1. Bill Arnold took a penalty a minute later and BC was left wondering why oh why are they cursed in that Godforsaken arena.
Fortunately, Patrick Brown gave BC new life. Matheson fed a slick pass over to Brown who threw the biscuit into the oven to pull back within 1. BC would kill the penalty and start to build some momentum.
Who else would you expect to tie the game? It was Johnny Gaudreau, of course, who did some trickery on this one and it paid off. Gaudreau came in with speed and went to do his usual wrap behind the net to allow the rest of the offense to set up, but instead threw the puck right off NU goaltender Clay Witt's skate where it trickled over the goal line. Witt looked up to the heavens as the scoreboard ticked over to 3-3.
It wouldn't take long for BC to take the win in overtime, and it was all the result of some good hockey sense out of freshman Adam Gilmour, who was well-positioned to shoot the puck into the open net on a Patrick Brown rebound. BC celebrated, and the Northeastern student section was forced to put their shirts back on in shame (shame that probably didn't even have anything to do with hockey).
So that was that -- and with the extreme parity in college hockey so far, BC should be thrilled to come out with a sweep of Northeastern, who, fraudulently or not, was ranked coming into the weekend, and actually played some halfway decent hockey all weekend.
After the football team's big win, and the men's hockey team's sweep, the women's team will try to cap off a perfect hockey-and-football weekend tomorrow afternoon at 2pm to complete a sweep of their own against Providence College.
The BC men take on yet another ranked opponent next week as they head down Comm Ave to Agganis Arena for their first game of the year against the Terriers.