ESTERO, Fla. — A double-overtime goal from junior Chris Collins led the Boston College Eagles (9-3-3, 4-1-3) to a 2-1 victory over the St. Cloud State Huskies (8-10-2, 4-8-0) in the championship game of the 2004 Florida College Classic.
Wednesday night’s game, played in front of 6.550 fans at Germain Arena, was the first-ever meeting between the teams.
The FCC was noted as one of the most competitive holiday tournaments in college hockey this season, as three of its four competitors were ranked nationally. With the title, BC looks to be back on the winning trail after, essentially, a two-week holiday hiatus.
St. Cloud went up 1-0 with a goal at 7:39 in the first period of play. Off an errant pass, senior forward Mike Doyle charged down the right side and let off a shot on net. With traffic in front of the net, the puck was deflected through the legs of BC goalie Matti Kaltiainen.
The Eagles knotted the game at one at 12:01 in the second period. On the power play, a rebound was scooped up by senior Dave Spina, but his shot went off of St. Cloud goaltender Tim Boron’s blocker. Senior Ryan Shannon collected the puck and went top-shelf for his second goal of the tournament.
At the second intermission, both teams were comparable on paper in terms of shots, power plays and penalty minutes. The deadlock on the scoreboard and in the scorebooks set the stage for an intense final period of play.
Although the energy was there on both sides in the third period, excellent goaltending by Boron and Kaltiainen kept the puck out of the net and the game remained 1-1.
“We knew both goaltenders were razor sharp last night,” said BC head coach Jerry York. “I thought it was going to be hard to score going into the game and both teams had great offensive chances. Both kids were spectacular in net.”
Time expired in the first overtime and the game remained locked at 1-1. Collins broke the scoreless tie when he took a pass from senior Ryan Murphy and got it past Boron at :59 of the second overtime.
“Ryan [Murphy] just set me up so well right there on the doorstep,” said Collins. “I had the easy part when I tucked it around his skate into the net.”
Tournament MVP Kaltiainen made 35 saves in the winning effort for the Eagles. Boron made 42 saves for the Huskies.