Where to even begin with this game?
Saturday night, Conte Forum was sold out for what was, up to this point, the biggest game of the season. With Boston University taking it on the chin with two straight losses to Merrimack, the Eagles were given a golden opportunity to reclaim some of the ground they lost in the sweep to the Terriers. Coupled with BC’s perilous position right around the NCAA tournament bubble and Notre Dame’s games in hand in the Hockey East standings.
It took a while, but the Eagles came through in the end in an absolutely thrilling come-from-behind victory against the Fighting Irish, with a final score of 6-4.
Yep, 10 goals. Let’s get digging.
Notre Dame Goal #1: 1:04 of the 1st period
Anders Bjork Bjork Bjork Bjork (Tory Dello, Dennis Gilbert)
ND 1, BC 0
BC got off to a slow start — not the first time this year they’ve done that — and gave the Irish a head start on the scoreboard. Dello took the initial shot from up high, and the puck looks like it gets blocked out in front by #9 Dawson Cook.
Whether it does or whether Joe Woll is screened and can’t make the clean save, the puck rebounds right into the dead center of the slot, and sits there for what feels like an eternity. Bjork Bjork Bjork Bjork is the first one there, and he flips the puck in for the goal.
Boston College Goal #1: 4:58 of the 1st period
Chris Calnan (David Cotton, Colin White)
BC 1, ND 1
Fortunately, the Eagles stayed in it despite falling behind (and they would fall behind a few times in this game). This is a pretty goal to even things up.
He won’t get a point on this goal, but Michael Campoli probably deserves one. He gets it started with a really nice poke along the boards that sends the puck into the Notre Dame end.
Colin White gathers it in and sends it right back to the blue line where David Cottin is streaking in for support. Notre Dame’s #2 Tony Bretzman has a bad time and can’t get back to cover Cotton. It turns into a 2 on 1 for BC, and a cool-as-you-like finish from Chris Calnan puts the puck in the back of the net.
Notre Dame Goal #2: 6:10 of the 1st period
Andrew Oglevie (Dennis Gilbert, Jake Evans)
NC 2, BC 1
Back and forth we went. It felt like every time the Eagles managed to get back in the game, Notre Dame took it right back.
This is just an unlucky goal for Joe Woll. I’m not sure how Oglevie manages to get any shot off at all, let alone one that gets into the net, because Luke McInnis is practically glued to him all the way across the ice.
Somehow Oglevie manages to spin around a desperation backhand to just put the puck back into a dangerous area, and it catches Woll (and really everyone else on the ice) completely by surprise, finding it’s way in for the goal.
Boston College Goal #2: 4:48 of the 2nd period
Christopher Brown (Casey Fitzgerald, Ryan Fitzgerald)
BC 2, ND 2
But here come the Eagles right back for another tying goal, now in the second period.
BC did well to be the first skater to a puck, particularly the more the game went on. Notre Dame is caught flatfooted all over the place on this play. Casey Fitzgerald wins the “race” to the puck in the corner, one that no Irish player seems interested in contesting, so Fitzgerald The Younger as some room to make a play.
Look at all the players in blue. 26 is standing on the dot like he’s ready to take a faceoff. 22 is, I guess, interested in the BC skater going away from where the play is happening. 15 watches Christopher Brown go right for the crease but doesn’t seem to care until Fitzgerald actually sends the puck his way.
It’s just an easy touch and goal for Brown, getting Cal Peterson to go down before rifling the shot into the net.
Notre Dame Goal #3: 6:35 of the 2nd period
Felix Holmberg (Jake Evans, Jordan Gross)
ND 3, BC 2
And yet, again, just minutes later, the Irish retake the lead again.
Joe Woll leaves a mighty juicy rebound on this initial shot from Jake Evans, but that’s a shot specifically designed for one — low to the ice where you can’t glove it and can’t use your blocker to direct it away. Woll has to stick out a pad to keep it out, and it winds up right on Holmberg’s stick.
That’s pretty good execution from the Irish there.
Notre Dame Goal #4 (SHG): 8:36 of the 2nd period
Andrew Oglevie (Anders Bjork Bjork Bjork Bjork, Jordan Gross)
ND 4, BC 2
BC really has some problems they need to fix on the power play. Not only did they not score with the man advantage all night, but they gave up a goal and allowed another clear breakaway later in the game on top of it that Woll managed to stop.
Just sloppy here, really. BC loses possession in their end and the Irish are off to the races. Matty Gaudreau puts up a valiant effort to make up for lost positioning, but can’t get there. With Casey Fitzgerald on Oglevie, Bjork Bjork Bjork Bjork ends up with a mini-breakaway that Woll manages to make the initial stop on.
But, he can’t keep it under control, and with Casey Fitzgerald caught watching the play a bit, Oglevie comes back around for the shot off the rebound, giving the Irish their first two-goal lead of the night.
This one really sucked the air out of Conte Forum. The battle had been tough enough up to that point. But, that would be the last Irish goal — and the comeback was on.
Boston College Goal #3: 15:20 of the 2nd period
Colin White (Matthew Gaudreau, JD Dudek)
ND 4, BC 3
What a pass from Matty Gaudreau.
BC is in the middle of a change, and JD Dudek just throws the puck back in deep to head off the ice.
But Gaudreau is there behind the net with Colin White coming in fresh off the bench. Gaudreau sends back a masterpiece of a blind pass, and White just has to one-time it in to get BC back within one before the 2nd period ended.
Boston College Goal #4: 1:59 of the 3rd period
Julius Mattila (David Cotton, Casey Fitzgerald)
BC 4, ND 4
The third period saw the Eagles continue to get quality chances, but finally, they were able to keep the Irish off the board.
The Eagles, for the third time of the night, tie the game up again. And it’s more hard skating for the Eagles that get them there. David Cotton doesn’t even win a battle for the puck along the boards, he just goes in there and takes it.
Now it just gets silly. What on earth is Notre Dame doing?
Watch these four circled players in the GIF. They aren’t even sort of playing hockey. First you’ve got the guy at the bottom of the faceoff circle, who is neither playing man on Cotton, nor turning around to play man on anyone else who happens to be around, nor is he defending the slot. He just kind of coasts... elsewhere.
Then you’ve got three guys on the blue line who are... I honestly have no idea what they’re doing. I guess standing on the blue line watching the game. Now, in fairness, it was a really good game! I also enjoyed watching it. But despite having a much better view, I think they probably enjoyed Mattila tying the game up much less than I did.
Boston College Goal #5 (GWG): 15:59 of the 3rd period
Chris Calnan (David Cotton, Julius Mattila)
BC 5, ND 4
BC can take full credit for this one. This is great skating, great puck movement, a dash of slick from Cotton (Jesus, Cotton is everywhere in this article), and a dollop of death ray from Calnan.
It felt like the whole game built up to this goal. In the face of some pretty tough adversity, BC kept fighting and fighting and, frankly, had Notre Dame on its heels for what seemed like the whole 60 minutes.
Mattila’s drop pass to Cotton was pretty, but Cotton’s olé of Joe Wegwerth is where the play suddenly looks dangerous. Wegwerth gets spun around and Cotton’s got himself at the top of the faceoff circle. A shot’s not the worst thing he could do from there, but he’s got some great vision to spot Calnan coming in with time and space with support.
It’s a much cleaner chance from there, and Calnan absolutely buries it top corner with authority to give Boston College its first lead of the entire game.
Boston College Goal #6 (ENG): 18:53 of the 3rd period
Ryan Fitzgerald (Casey Fitzgerald)
BC 6, ND 4 — FINAL
It didn’t end quite so easily, as the Eagles took two penalties late that, combined with the Irish pulling Cal Petersen for the extra attacker, saw Notre Dame with a 6 on 3 advantage with the game on the line.
But BC skated harder and wanted it more, disrupting Notre Dame’s opportunity on the power play and sending Ryan Fitzgerald, streaking into the play after Matty Gaudreau went for a change after coming out of the box, in on the empty net. Bjork Bjork Bjork Bjork’s last ditch effort was for naught, and Fitzgerald The Elder had himself a layup to put the game on ice.
All that was left was the glorious jump into the glass.
What a tremendously exciting game, and what a big win in both the national and conference picture. BC is three points clear on BU in the Hockey East standings, eight points clear of everyone else (though with games in hand to be made up), and all the way up to 10th in the Pairwise.
That’s a big win, and it puts the Eagles on a nice three game winning streak heading into Friday’s road game against New Hampshire. Puck drops at 7pm, and I’m sure we’re all hoping to see another touchdown up at Lake Whitt.