PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Hardly anything separated these two squads as the Boston College Eagles outshot the Providence Friars 31-29, with each team tallying once in each of the first two periods. It was only fitting, then, for these teams to tie Friday night at Schneider arena in front of 3,030 loud fans.
Providence head coach Tim Army loved the support.
It was a great crowd, brought a lot of energy, this is a great building to play in when youve got that type of environment. In those moments when you can get a little bit tired, it (the crowd) can re-energize you.
Boston College head coach Jerry York was asked if his squad was looking forward to the Beanpot on Monday.
No, this is an important game for us. We are on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. Were getting better as a club. Some stretches of the game tonight we were really sharp.
Smiling York added, one game at a time.
The Eagles dominated the offensive possession in the first period, outshooting the Friars 13-6, but they found themselves locked in a 1-1 tie at the end of the period.
The Eagles drew first blood at 11:15 of the first when Kyle Kucharski scored his eighth goal of the year. Matt Lombardi fed Kucharski in the slot who fired a wrist shot through traffic that found the back of the net.
The Friars waited until late in the first to even the score at one. Freshman defenseman Daniel New knotted the score with about one minute left in the frame when he let a shot go from above the dot to the right of BC goaltender John Muse. Muse had a difficult time locating the puck as it traveled cleanly through traffic and beat him blocker side.
Despite the tied score, York was pleased with his teams play.
I thought we played exceptionally well in the first period, he said. We made one mistake on the faceoff with about 45 seconds left in the defensive zone, and they cashed in on it.
The second period was a role reversal of sorts as the Friars outshot the Eagles in the frame and scored first, only to see the Eagles tie it up late in the period.
Providence College squandered three power plays throughout the first 15 minutes of the second, but finally scored with the special teams at 17:20 of the second period.
The Friars Tim Army, though, wasnt discouraged with that he described as a sluggish power play:
We drew some penalties, if you are drawing penalties, that means you are being aggressive. You are still on the power play, which means you have possession time.
These man advantages and possession time eventually led to the Friars second goal. Junior John Cavanagh found himself wide open at the dot to the left of Muse and fired a shot through traffic that caromed over to the weak side. Nick Mazzolini was waiting on the back door to punch the rebound into a half empty net.
BC responded a couple of minutes later on a power play of their own.
Senior captain Brock Bradford took a pass from Benn Ferriero and skated it up the right side into the attacking zone. He snapped off a low, hard shot that beat Beaudry to knot the score at two. It was Bradfords 17th goal of the year.
There was no scoring in the third period, with the Eagles of Boston College controlling much of the offensive possession despite the shots in the period being equal at 10. Both coaches were pretty content on how their teams played through the third period.
Both teams had chances to win, it was a pretty hotly contested game, said York.
Coach Army commented on his teams standpoint heading into overtime:
Keep doing things right, no change. Dont back off, and try to go for the point. And dont overcompensate to try to get the win, just keep doing what we are doing, and we will generate chances.
Providence almost got that game winner with a couple minutes left in OT when Pierce Norton gained the offensive zone on a 2-on-1. He decided to take it himself, and Muse stopped his first try. However, he picked up his own rebound and snuck it near post. However, Muses spectacular last ditch effort was able to keep the puck on the goal line, earning BC a tie on the road.
BC will take on Northeastern University in the first round of the Beanpot on Monday, and Providence will play Merrimack tomorrow night at home.