CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College goaltender John Muse had a game he might like to forget on Friday afternoon against Clarkson. All except the final 60 seconds.
In a game where Muse (13 saves) was less than sharp, he came through when the pressure was on, robbing Clarksons Mark Borowiecki, who already had two goals on the afternoon, with 58 seconds remaining as the Eagles held on for a 6-5 non-conference victory over the Golden Knights in front of 5,689 at Kelley Rink.
That was John Muses best minute of the game, said BC head coach Jerry York of the final 60 seconds. He fully realizes that [wasnt his best performance]. Hes hard on himself and wants to play much better through the 60 minutes. Having said that, in his last minute he made some incredible saves.
The Eagles got themselves into the tight situation down the stretch by surrendering two late tallies to Borowiecki and Andrew Himelson to bring the Golden Knights within a goal. Compounding the situation, BCs Patrick Wey was called for tripping with 2:01 remaining to set up a power play for Clarkson, which pulled its goalie with 1:22 left for a two man advantage.
Clarkson head coach George Roll said the would-be tying attempt that Muse stopped was a result of a set formation that a week ago resulted in two late goals in a 2-2 tie with Harvard. It nearly worked again.
[Borowiecki] had a great opportunity, said Roll. We moved him up front last week against Harvard and created two goals and we almost had the one tonight.
While the Golden Knights might tell the tale of woe over Muses final stop, what was their Achilles heel in the game was penalties. Clarkson gave Boston College nine power plays on the night and the Eagles converted four times. BC had scored only once with the man advantage in its last 11 tries but look to be back to the form that had the Eagles 11-for-24 on the power play prior to the recent drought.
Our power play is hot, said York. Weve got some guys with skill. The [top] unit has some really good chemistry right now.
The Eagles got on the board on their second of four power plays in the first period when Cam Atkinson deflected home a Joe Whitney shot from the left point at 5:33 for the 1-0 lead.
Clarkson, though, answered immediately. Borowiecki attempted to center the pass on a rush. But once his pass was blocked and deflected back to the sophomore blueliner, he ripped a shot high blocker side on Muse to knot the game at one at 6:35.
The Golden Knights shot themselves in the foot with additional penalties midway through the frame. With Tom Pizzo already in the box for interference at 8:36, Lauri Tuohimaa was whistled for hooking just 38 seconds later giving the Eagles an extended 5-one-3.
The Eagles set up the attack on the power play and Paul Carey scored his fourth of the season firing a shot in a scrum past Clarkson goaltender Paul Karpowich (24 saves) to give BC a 2-1 lead through one.
Neither teams defense or goaltending was exceptional in the second and the result was an offensive onslaught.
Clarkson evened the game at 4:16 when Adam Pawlick banked a wrap around off of Muses right skate.
The Eagles, though, answered quickly with not one, but two, goals. Barry Almeida got the rebound of a Matt Lombardi shot at the right post at 4:48 to give the Eagles back the lead. And 59 seconds later, Ben Smith buried a cross-crease pass on the power play to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead.
Clarkson got within a goal when Matt Becas seemingly harmless wrister from the top of the right faceoff circle beat Muse blocker side at 11:53.
But as the final seconds of the period were counting down, Chris Kreider got behind the Golden Knights defense and scored on a breakaway with 21.8 seconds remaining to send the Eagled to the third leading, 5-3.
BC extended the lead early in the third when Carl Sneep one-timed home a slapper on another 5-on-3 at 3:39. But Clarkson wasnt ready to die just yet.
Once the Golden Knights got within a goal and had the man advantage for the final two minutes, Roll elected to give the team a chance to score 5-on-4 first, but then resorted to pulling Karpowich. That certainly forced the pressure and put BCs defense on its heels and thats when Muse came through.
Twelve different BC players got on the scoresheet in the game, while Borowiecki, Scott Freeman (three assists) and Beca (goal, assist) all had multi-point efforts for Clarkson.
Both teams will take the rest of the weekend off before BC travels to UMass on Friday, Dec. 4, and Clarkson heads to face rival St. Lawrence that same evening.