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GOAL BY GOAL: BC Men’s Hockey Comes Up Just Short Against North Dakota, 4-3

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Eagles stage a comeback, but it’s not enough

Kathryn Riley, BC Interruption

It was big game excitement worthy of the stage, but Boston College came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

After a thrilling first period that ended scoreless, the Eagles fell behind 2-0 in a frustrating second, mounted a comeback early in the third, and ultimately lost 4-3 despite making it interesting in the end.

It took until halfway through the game for either team to break the ice and beat the other team’s goalie, and it was a beauty for North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks had a fantastic finish on a two on one to go up 1-0.

Later in the second period, BC’s penalties came back to haunt them. The North Dakota’s fifth power play of the night (to BC’s zero) but the Fighting Hawks up 2-0, and the Eagles seemed like they didn’t have it in them on the night.

But BC finally got some penalty karma and started the third period with a 1:30 5 on 3, with another three minute 5 on 4 to follow, and things got crazy.

Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 0:49 of the 3rd period
Colin White (Scott Savage)

ND 2, ND 1

Great work from BC to get the goal early on the 5 on 3.

I’m a fan of when teams just get the puck on net without over-passing looking for the perfect shot on the two man advantage. You don’t need a clear lane to shoot, and getting in close and sending the puck into traffic is going to give you as good a chance to score as any.

This is exactly what can happen. The puck doesn’t find the back of the net, but ND goaltender Cam Johnson can’t gather it in, either. BC wins the puck back for another glorious chance, and the Eagles cash in on their second opportunity.

Boston College Goal #2: 4:34 of the 3rd period
Christopher Brown (David Cotton, Scott Savage)

BC 2, ND 2

The Eagles scored early enough to give themselves another three and a half minutes of power play after Rhett Gardner’s facemasking penalty at the end of the 2nd period, and they left themselves just enough time to take advantage.

While not technically a power play goal, since the goal was scored exactly 5:00 after the 5 minute major, it was effectively one since the North Dakota skater hadn’t yet left the box.

Not too dissimilar a situation from BC’s first goal. BC takes a shot into traffic. Cam Johnson can’t handle it, and maroon gets to the puck first for the goal.

With BC’s power play struggling early in the season, this is a great way to get on track. Take earlier shots, get more opportunities.

Boston College Goal #3 (EAG): 19:51.3 of the 3rd period
Matty Gaudreau (Julius Mattila, Scott Savage)

ND 4, BC 3 — FINAL

North Dakota, unfortunately, got its two goals back later in the period, and that pretty much put the game on ice. But Matty Gaudreau scored with just seconds to play — not unlike BC’s appearance in Philadelphia in the 2014 Frozen Four — to cut the lead to one, just to make things interesting.

But the clock ran out on the Eagles and that was that, with BC unable to get the tying goal and heading home with a tough 4-3 loss.

On the bright side, BC did look to be the better team at least half the game against a team that many expected to be one of the national title favorites coming into the season. While the Eagles might run into some trouble with this difficult stretch of hockey while Ryan Fitzgerald is healing up, BC has once again shown it can hang with the nation’s best.

Next up for the Eagles is another matchup with Northeastern on Tuesday. The Huskies will look to avenge their loss from last week in which Michael Kim played the hero in BC’s thrilling 2-1 win.