The Boston College Eagles and Boston University Terriers concluded their regular season series on Saturday night at Agganis Arena. BU got the Friday night victory on the road and wanted the sweep. BC wanted a split and rode their goaltender, Joseph Woll, to that end.
The opening minutes of the game looked more like a skating expose than a hockey game, only seeing two shots between the teams for the first four minutes and only two whistles to stop play in the first six minutes.
After the halfway mark of the period, the game got physical, ugly, and scored. BU went on the power play on a Luke McInnis hooking penalty. BC killed the penalty.
The Eagles turned the tables with picture perfect passing that ended with a Connor Moore goal. Shortly after the goal, Brady Tkachuk and Aapeli Rasanen traded blows after a whistle and sat for two minutes, leading to four on four skating.
Nine seconds after the penalty, David Cotton stole the puck from Chad Krys and beat Terrier goalie Jake Oettinger for a 2-0 lead. Cotton also drew a slashing penalty from Krys, so the Eagles hit the power play looking for an early blowout.
Jake Oettinger shut the door the rest of the period, keeping his team in the game. Right before the end of the frame, things got out of hand. Woll covered a puck and a full hockey brawl ensued.
Five players were put in the penalty box and the crowd at Agganis approved of the effort BU was giving, despite the deficit. As the period wrapped up, the teams combined for ten penalties and BC had a 2-0 lead.
BU turned the tables in the second, outshooting BC 17-9 and making Joseph Woll sweat. Just before the halfway mark, Kasper Kotkansalo kept the puck at the blue line and fired it toward Woll. Shane Bowers tipped it in to get BU on the scoreboard.
BU could not keep the momentum on their side, though. Ron Greco scored his third goal of the weekend and extended the Eagle’s lead to 3-1 as BC killed off three Terrier power plays and looked in position for a road split.
BU again controlled the third period, outshooting the Eagles 13-3. They got two power plays. One was within the first minute and the other was in the final 3:29 of the game. The last one also came when Oettinger was pulled for an extra attacker, but Woll saved all 13 shots, making 36 saves on the night. Graham McPhee put in an empty-netter to close the night and give BC a road split with a 4-1 victory.
Jerry York was happy with his team’s effort and bounce back game, especially against a respected opponent.
“Proud of how we played in this building tonight. Huge weekend for Ron Greco. But Joe Woll was the story of the game. He was outstanding tonight. The Terriers have a good team. Their record is certainly misleading. They’ve got so much talent on that team.”
BC rises to 9-6-2 overall and 9-2-0 in Hockey East, extending their first place lead in Hockey East. The Eagles return home to close out the semester with a matchup with the second place team in Hockey East, Northeastern, on Saturday night. Puck drops at 7 pm.
Terrier coach David Quinn was disappointed with the sadly familiar outcome.
“Too many times we’ve been down here talking about the same problems with the same outcome. We dug ourselves another hole and it’s hard to play from behind like that.”
BU drops to 7-9-1 overall and 5-5-1 in conference. The Terriers will wrap up the semester with a home and home series against the UMass Lowell Riverhawks. The first game is at the Tsongas Center on Friday night. Puck drops at 7:15 PM.