CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Friday nights 1-1 overtime tie between Boston College and Maine featured two highlight reel goals. The game will be remembered more, though, for a goal that wasnt than the two goals that were.
Tied at one with 14:07 remaining in the third period, a Maine forward threw a centering pass towards the slot that deflected off the skate of Black Bears center Wes Clark. The puck squeezed between the legs of Eagles goaltender John Muse (19 saves) and trickled just over the goal line.
The red light immediate went on and referee Dave Hansen quickly signaled goal. But as the Black Bears celebrated, Hansen and linesmen Chris Federico and Chris Aughe convened huddled near the penalty boxes. After about 90 seconds of conversation, the BC public address announcer told the 6,017 in attendance the news that was music to BCs ears ” that the goal was disallowed.
The revelation left Maine head coach Tim Whitehead confused.
What I saw the referee made the call that it was a goal, said Whitehead. At first I thought they reversed it because theyd watched the video and then I realized that they werent using video here.
To reverse the call without video when the ref was right there, I was just surprised. It doesnt say that its right or wrong. Without video, thats a pretty tough call.
BC head coach Jerry York says that, based on a new interpretation of the rule on players directing pucks with their skates, Hansen made the correct call.
That was a goal last year, said York, noting that a season ago, the NCAA rules committee interpreted the rule so that players directing the puck into the net without making a distinct kicking motion was a legal maneuver. They changed the rule this summer that any type of movement of the skate will nullify the goal. So we benefited from the new rule.
Regardless of right or wrong, new rules or old rules, neither Maine nor BC could put a goal past either netminder for the remainder of the game, accounting for the deadlock.
Though the box score will show a combined total of 47 shots, 27 for BC and 20 for Maine, there was a plethora of solid scoring chances for both teams, most of them coming on odd man rushes. It was Muse and his counterpart in the Maine net, Ben Bishop (26 saves), who made the difference.
From our standpoint, we dont like giving up odd man rushes and Im sure [BC] doesnt either, said Whitehead. Both teams were probably trying to do a little bit too much with the puck. It made for an exciting game.
The chances we gave up were outstanding chances, said York of his teams defensive performance. I dont like the thought of trading our great chances for their great chances. You live by the sword and you die by the sword.
The game opened with a first period that looked at first like it would be a defensive struggle, as the opening 15 minutes produced little in the way of quality chances. But a quick flurry in a 90-second span made both goaltenders stand on their heads.
The first, at 14:05, came off a blast from BC defenseman Carl Sneep. His one timer through heavy traffic was snared by the glove of Bishop. Fifty seconds later, Maines Billy Ryan fed a perfect pass to Nolan Baoike at the right post. Appearing to have Muse dead to right, the rookie goaltender flashed his left pad for the save.
Thirty-five seconds after that, it was Bishops turn to make an almost identical save at the other end. Kyle Kucharski fed Matt Lombardi at the left post only to see Bishops right pad keep the puck out of the net to keep the game scoreless through one
BC finally broke the deadlock in the second when Sneep blasted home a shot over the left shoulder of Bishop and just under the crossbar at 5:32.
I got a good quick shot off and fortunately it went in, said Sneep of the goal. Ive been working on my shot a lot this year. Its the one thing [the coaches] want me to improve on.
The Eagles, though, could hold onto that lead for long as Maine came storming back a minute and 10 seconds later.
Ryan, who Whitehead said had arguable his best game of the season, was able to get behind the BC defense and take a pass from Baoike. His quick move at the blue line pushed the puck around the defender and allowed him to go into all alone on Muse, pushing the puck between his legs to knot the game at one.
That was the way it stood into the third when Maine appeared to take the lead. Once Hansen reversed the call on the apparent goal, though, BC took over the momentum.
The Eagles, in fact, had the game-winning goal on the stick of rookie Brian Gibbons. After a shot from the right wing hit Bishop it bounced to a wide-open Gibbons at the right post. With Bishop down and out, Gibbons somehow missed the open net.
He just kind of hooked it wide, said York.
The Black Bears again thought they had taken the lead with 3:29 remaining as a bad angle shot bounced strangely off Muse and rested on the goal line. The goal light again came on but Hansen, positioned right on the goal line, immediately waved no goal, ruling the puck had not crossed the line.
There would be a handful of potential shots for the remainder of regulation and through the overtime, but neither club was able to bury their chances and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Though both teams fought hard, neither seemed satisfied with the draw.
I dont think satisfied [with the tie] by any means, said Sneep. Were never satisfied without a win.
Any time you can get any points off of Boston College, thats a plus, especially in their rink, said York. But having said that, when youre in striking distance and you might be able to snag two, thats what you want. Were please to get a point but not satisfied.