Opportunities for Boston College hockey to gain ground in the Pairwise are fading fast, and despite playing well for much of the game, last night's result didn't help. Austin Cangelosi scored his first of the year late in the third period to earn a 2-2 tie with UNH, but the Eagles remain stuck in their early season struggles.
Boston College Goal #1: 13:06 of the 1st period
Zach Sanford (Austin Cangelosi, Michael Matheson)
BC 1, UNH 0
BC came out firing very early in this one, which was encouraging. Jerry York tinkered with the lines before the game, reuniting Austin Cangelosi with Fitzgerald and Sanford and putting Straight and Gilmour with Tuch. Those lines found chemistry right away and really created a lot of chances against the Wildcats.
Eventually, BC would cash in on an early lead. Matheson takes a shot on UNH goaltender Adam Clark who can't corral the chance leading to a tumbling, juicy rebound into the slot. Sanford comes in unchallenged and whacks the puck out of mid air past Clark, and it's 1-0.
That was all of the scoring in the first period, but BC looked pretty good. There's the caveat that UNH is pretty bad, but nonetheless it was nice to see the Eagles creating good offensive looks again.
The second period, though, was all UNH.
New Hampshire Goal #1: 9:01 of the 2nd period
Tyler Kelleher (Michael McNicholas, Harry Quast)
BC 1, UNH 1
Demko would probably tell you he wants this one back, despite the nice shot. Kelleher rang the iron with this rocket that ricocheted off the post and in behind Demko.
The rest of the 2nd period was more of the same, with BC struggling to put anything together and spending most of the time just trying to get UNH out of the BC end.
New Hampshire Goal #2: 17:14 of the 2nd period
Matt Willows (Unassisted)
UNH 2, BC 1
Why is it that BC never scores any goals like this? This goal has been the story of our season: not a terrible effort, but it still ends up in disappointment.
On this goal, Savage makes a nice block on the initial opportunity and the puck winds up harmlessly along the goal line. There are no white jerseys in front of the net at all when Willows throws the puck in front of Demko, but Gilmour is in the wrong place at the wrong time and the puck bounces right off his skate and into the net. Just a heartbreaker to give up.
BC would come back to life in the third period.
Boston College Goal #2: 15:15 of the 3rd period
Austin Cangelosi (Ryan Fitzgerald, Michael Matheson)
BC 2, UNH 2 -- FINAL
After peppering the Wildcats with good chances, BC finally cashes in on the tying goal with only 4 and change to go in regulation.
This wasn't the first time BC tried this play in this game, but it was the first time it worked. Fitzgerald draws the attention of two UNH skaters which allows Cangelosi to skate in on a tear totally unmarked. He has a ton of space and is able to skate all the way to the top of the faceoff circles before whipping off a wrist shot that finds its way behind Clark. It was Cangelosi's first goal of the season, and what a great time for it.
Unfortunately, while BC kept up the pressure through the rest of the third period and into overtime, they couldn't complete the comeback and earn the win. Perhaps what was most disappointing is that if BC was able to earn the win, we're talking about how the new lines made BC look rejuvenated and threatening, rather than the disappointing result. The second period was pretty bad, but BC by and large looked like they were going to score quite a few times more than they actually did.
once again couldn't manage to score a power play goal actually managed to score on the power play late in the second period, but the referees deemed that a player in the crease prevented Clark from playing his position, despite him not knowing where the puck was and making no attempt at stopping the final shot that put the puck into the net. The goal was waved off, because Hockey East.
This game moves BC to 2-7-1 when they don't score a power play goal. The Eagles are 5-0-0 when they do. It's not coincidence.
The home-and-home against UNH moves to Conte Forum tonight, with BC absolutely needing a win to make this a mildly successful weekend. Another tie (or God forbid, a loss) would just be more of the same struggles and would inch BC ever closer to a lost season.