BOSTON – After all the hoopla, after all the hype since summer, Frozen Fenway finally arrived on Friday night, as No. 7/8 Boston College faced off against longtime rival Boston University in a truly once-in-a lifetime experience.
While both teams enjoyed the experience of skating in historic Fenway Park, only BU enjoyed the result, as the Terriers took the two points with a 3-2 win over the Eagles.
The Terriers dominated the first half of the affair before the Eagles finally showed signs of life at the end of the second period and the beginning of the third period.
“I thought it was one of our better games as far as being smart with the puck,” Terrier head coach Jack Parker said. “I thought we played a very solid game from start to finish.”
“I thought the first half of the game we were back on our heels and we were playing like we were scared to death to lose the game,” said BC head coach Jerry York. “They were strong, they were winning puck battles and we were just kind of observing it. Then it gets to be 3-0 and it seemed to me our team said ‘Hey, we’ve got nothing to lose now. Let’s start playing hockey.’”
BU had the best chances early in the first. Corey Trivino received a pass at the blue line and tipped it quickly to Joe Pereira. John Muse (21 saves) denied Periera of a goal but the diminutive forward drew a cross checking penalty on Tommy Cross at 5:09.
The Terriers would take full advantage of the ensuing power play as David Warsofsky, fresh off a gold medal win in the World Junior Championships, blasted a puck from the point that found its way through Muse’s five-hole.
Warsfosky celebrated his fourth goal of the season by throwing up an imaginary baseball and hitting it out of the park with his stick.
“I have to give some credit to Adam Kraus (Terrier goaltender),” Warsofsky said. “He came up with it before the game and I figured if I scored I’d go with it. Hopefully (Parker) doesn’t see it on film.”
BU continued to pepper Muse with shots as the Eagles struggled to recover after the goal, as even the power play couldn’t muster many chances on Kieran Millan (15 saves), whiffing on two first period chances with the man advantage.
The Terriers wasted no time building their lead in the second period on a goal Muse likely wants back.
Colby Cohen ripped a shot that Muse blocked aside, but the rebound caromed to Pereira’s stick and he slipped a backhander just past Muse’s right pad for the 2-0 advantage. The goal stood after a brief video review showed the net left its moorings after the puck crossed the goal line at the
After the BU goal, BC seemed to catch a big break as two quick penalties put the Eagles on a two-man advantage for 1:56. However, BC only took five shots, with only one hitting Millan, on a disappointing power play. Overall, the Eagles’ power play finished with a 1 for 8 showing.
“That was a disappointing part of our game for sure,” York said. “Especially the five-on-three. That’s a golden opportunity to put some points on the board.”
The Eagles began to start pushing the Terriers around before BU capitalized on a delayed penalty at the 10:50 mark of the second. Nick Bonino, the sixth skater on the ice, took the initial shot before Wade Megan, positioned right on the doorstep, popped it over Muse’s left shoulder. Freshman Sean Escobedo notched his first collegiate point with the second assist on the Megan goal.
“I was the guy that hopped on and it just came right to my stick,” Bonino said. “We had Zach Cohen in front and Wade chipping away at it. We went hard to the net all night and got rewarded for it.”
The Eagles’ power play finally lifted itself from its doldrums at the end of the second when Brian Gibbons banged home a Paul Carey rebound at the 18:19 mark. For Gibbons, it was his eighth goal of the season. More importantly, it gave BC some pep in its step not seen in the first 38 minutes.
“Paul Carey caught some speed coming through the neutral zone and took their D wide and took it to the net and the puck was just sitting in the crease and I was able to bang it in,” Gibbons said.
“That was huge to get us going going into the locker room,” Eagles captain Matt Price said. “In the locker room going into the third we were pretty positive. That goal gave us some life and some ability to know that we could have a shot at it going into the third.”
The Eagles carried the momentum into the third period, earning two power plays within the first five minutes. However, the BU penalty kill continued to hold its ground and limit the Eagles’ chances.
While the BC power play failed to generate much throughout the game, the penalty kill sparked the club midway through the third. Brian Gibbons pushed the puck up the left side, then slid a backhander to Cam Atkinson who buried it, cutting the BU lead to just a goal.
BC continued to pour the pressure on the Terriers, but time and again Millan and the defense made big plays on several scoring flurries late in the game to keep BC from knotting it up at three.
The Eagles had one final chance to tie it up with seconds remaining while Gibbons sat in the penalty box, but despite pulling the goalie the Terriers shut them down.
Up next for BU is a road date with Providence next Friday, while BC hosts the Friars on Tuesday.