At some point, you have to figure that BC will string together a few games without anyone injured, right?
Boston College went into yet another game with a short bench, with Miles Wood and Chris Calnan in the stands with injuries, and by the time the game was over, Colin White was out with a sprained wrist as well. But despite rolling three lines and seemingly running out of gas late, the Eagles had just enough to hold off UNH in a tough 4-3 win at Conte Forum.
Both teams came out firing in the first period, but it was BC who really went to work. The Eagles had 18 shots on net in the opening 20 minutes, but couldn't find the back of the net thanks to UNH's Daniel Tirone.
When the goalie is making saves like this, you might start to think that it's not your night.
For those of you still asking yourself, two hours later, "Did Tirone seriously stop that?" -- no, really, he did pic.twitter.com/cHHEkWomtO— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) February 6, 2016
But BC kept at it, and seconds after that wild save, the Eagles got the party started.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 3:54 of the 2nd period
Austin Cangelosi (Scott Savage, Casey Fitzgerald)
BC 1, UNH 0
When a goalie is on his game, you need to take the goalie's abilities out of the equation. The way you can do that is to work a play for a deflection so that you're just fighting the goalie's positioning, and not his reflexes.
That's how the Eagles got on the board in the 2nd period. Savage took the shot up high with Cangelosi rushing in from the side to get his stick on the puck. Tirone can't do anything about it if the pucks on target, which it is, and BC is up 1-0.
Boston College Goal #2: 4:21 of the 2nd period
Zach Sanford (Teddy Doherty, Michael Kim)
BC 2, UNH 0
It seems weird to be talking about a UNH goalie being the difference, with Tirone's horrendous .895 save percentage (good for 70th out of 81 eligible goalies—woof) so things seemed to go back to normal with BC's goalie coming rapidfire.
BC just kept at it and suddenly they're up 2-0. The puck is squirting around the boards before it gets sent out front to Doherty who sends it on net. Tirone makes the save, but the rebound is on the stick of Sanford. All he's got to do it maneuver around Tirone and tap the puck in for the goal.
New Hampshire Goal #1: 16:43 of the 2nd period
Kyle Smith (Matias Cleland, Marcus Vela)
BC 2, UNH 1
Demko's not immune to rebounds on the doorstep, although this is a tough shot through traffic with the eventual goal scorer Smith right in his grill. He looks around almost like he can't see the puck coming in, and while he almost gets the arm out to make the second stop, Smith sends the puck back where it came from to get UNH on the board.
That brought UNH back to within 1 and set up a wild third period.
New Hampshire Goal #2: 7:52 of the 3rd period
Andrew Poturalski (Dan Correale, Tyler Kelleher)
BC 2, UNH 2
UNH can score, and Poturalski is the leading scorer in all of Hockey East. He adds to his total with this goal, which from what I can tell is the result of a bad bounce of a BC stick that ends up right in the blue of Demko's crease. Poturalski just needs to poke the puck in, and despite dominating much of the game, BC is suddenly tied at 2 with the Wildcats and starting to run out of gas.
Boston College Goal #3: 9:33 of the 3rd period
Michael Kim (Steve Santini, Alex Tuch)
BC 3, UNH 2
But even with BC missing three of its top forwards, there's still enough depth for the Eagles to pull back ahead. Michael Kim is calling for the puck at the blue line and his cannon of a shot finds its way all the way through everyone.
That's Kim's first career goal as an Eagle, and he picked a pretty good time to get it.
Boston College Goal #4 (GWG): 10:24 of the 3rd period
Adam Gilmour (Chris Brown, Scott Savage)
BC 4, UNH 2
Once again BC's goals come rapidfire, and for the second time of the night, they've got two goals in less than a minute.
What a great effort from Gilmour. The puck is taking a couple big bounces off the chip into the zone from Brown, and Gilmour comes racing in from a good 15 feet behind the UNH defender to win the race to the puck.
The puck is still bouncing when he gets there, but that just makes it worse on Tirone when Gilmour is able to get the shot away. Gilmour gets good wood on it and BC has a little insurance.
New Hampshire Goal #3: 11:13 of the 3rd period
Dan Correale (Andrew Poturalski, Tyler Kelleher)
BC 4, UNH 3 -- FINAL
And they would need it, with UNH cutting the goal right back to one less than a minute after BC's last goal.
Correale is tied for second in the league in scoring being Poturalski, and with a pretty goal like this you can see why. Poturalski wastes no time behind the net getting the puck out front, but the pass isn't clean and the puck gets tangled up in the skates of a couple players.
But Correale knows where he is—just a few feet in front of the net, and from a good angle—so he takes a wicked backhand falling to the ice which catches Demko by surprise.
With just under 9 minutes to play, it felt like the game would turn into a free-for-all, but the Eagles were able to hold on from there. UNH pressured with some good chances with the goalie pulled, but they would never get that last puck past Demko to tie the game up.
The win was big as it moved BC up into 4th in the Pairwise, good for a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but the concern is with the big BC forwards going into the Beanpot Championship against the Terriers. The Terriers have put together a hot streak of their own and BC will be in for a rough battle if they're forced to play yet another game down one or two significant forwards.
We'll keep you updated on the status of Wood, Calnan, and White as we learn more, but at least the Eagles can rest up for the rest of the weekend and prepare for Monday's game.