EAST LANSING, Mich. — Findlay went into Saturday night’s championship game of the Icebreaker Tournament as the perfect Cinderella team. They’d knocked off the tournament hosts with patience and persistence, biding their time and waiting until the third period to unleash their fury.
The Boston College Eagles, however, weren’t cooperating with the Oilers’ ideas on how to capture the Icebreaker title, taking the trophy with a smooth 4-1 victory at Munn Arena.
“I thought [netminder] Matti [Kaltiainen] played very well in goal, and it’s one of the more difficult games to play; you’re not getting a lot of shots on you, but he stayed focused and he played very well. We were pretty solid in all three zones, we had a wide territorial edge, a wide edge in shots,” Boston College coach Jerry York said.
The Eagles used the first period to establish their dominance with 14 shots to the Oilers’ five. The numbers on the scoreboard were in their favor, the bounces went their way, and the lone goal was from freshman forward Adam Pineault’s stick, which he corralled after Oiler goaltender Jon Horrell let a rebound bounce off his pads from Eagle Joe Rooney’s initial shot.
The second period was full of chances, some for both teams, but no one changed the numbers on the scoreboard.
The Oilers found themselves with a shorthanded opportunity just minutes into the second, with Rigel Shaw poke-checking the puck off an Eagle’s stick just inside the blue line, but his shot didn’t make it through traffic.
Minutes later, Eagle forward Ty Hennes had his own shorthanded opportunity, stealing the puck from an Oiler defender before losing his stick.
But the best scoring chance of the second belonged to Mike Batovanja for the Oilers. Intercepting a pass between Eagle defenders breaking out of their defensive zone on a power play, Batovanja found himself with only the goaltender between him and a tie score. Batovanja held onto the puck a little too long, allowing Kaltiainen to get into a better position before letting the shot fly.
The third period belonged statistically, like the rest of the game literally, to Boston College. The Eagles added power-play goals by Patrick Eaves and Tony Voce, who poked a loose puck into the net after it lay untouched and uncovered in the crease, to put themselves up 3-0 over the Oilers.
The Oilers pulled Jon Horrell with a little over two minutes left in the game, but on a faceoff in the neutral zone, the puck was shot by Ryan Murphy off the draw and into the open net to make the score 4-0 Eagles.
“I’ve never seen that happen,” Findlay coach Pat Ford said after the game.
The Oilers’ Brian Sherry scored with 22 seconds left to spoil the Eagles’ bid for a shutout. All was not lost, however, for the Oilers.
“Playing in tonight’s game was a huge step for our program,” Ford said. “We kept it close as long as we could and the better team won. They dominated.”
The Ice Breaker’s All-Tournament Team was as follows:
G Jon Horrell, UF
D John Adams, BC
D Nate Markus, UF
F Junior Lessard, UMD
F Ben Eaves, BC
F Jim Slater, MSU
Most Outstanding Player: Eaves