CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Hockey is a game where Murphys Law seems to make a sneak appearance at the strangest time. Friday nights game between No. 11 Boston College and Boston University was yet another occurrence.
On a night where picture-perfect hockey was king at Kelley Rink — a game filled with highlight reel goals and back-and-forth, edge-of-your-seat action — it stands to reason that the overtime game-winning goal was the result of a Colby Cohen pass hitting BC defenseman Brian Dumoulin in the skate and skidding past Eagles netminder Parker Milner as the Terriers defeated the Eagles, 5-4, in overtime.
The goal came on the power play as Cohen sat at the left point and tried to feed a shot-pass across to Nick Bonino standing unmarked at the right post. Dumoulin was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time as the puck caromed off his right skate and past Milner.
Thats something that Colby does really well, said Bonino of what he feels would have been an open-net opportunity had the puck not changed directions. Hell see me there. We made eye contact and he tried to get it to me.
The goal spoiled a fantastic comeback effort for the Eagles, who were down, 4-2, entering the third only to rally with goals from Chris Kreider at 2:13 and Pat Mullane with 5:32 remaining.
Its a tough loss for us, said BC head coach Jerry York. We had all the energy coming back in the building.
That energy, though, was sucked from the Eagles with 38.4 seconds remaining in regulation when referee Tom Quinn called a tripping penalty on BCs Cam Atkinson. The call sent the usually mild-mannered York into a tizzy.
I was more upset about a non-call earlier, said York when asked about the call. Its just consistency. You let one go and call one with 38 seconds left.
Thats not the reason we lost the game, though.
That reason might be the hole that BC dug itself allowing BU to break open a 2-2 tie with two similar goals in the second period.
At 3:27, Wade Megan picked BC defenseman Malcolm Lyles pocket in the left-hand corner, walked out in front untouched and roofed a shot over Milner, who finished the night with a career-high 26 saves, to give the Terriers a 3-2 lead.
It was like an instant replay at 17:02, then, when Bonino grabbed a loose puck in the exact same corner, headed untouched to the net and tucked a shot under Muse for a 4-2 lead through two.
We werent at all on top of our game in the first two periods, said York.
That, though, changed in the third when BC came to life offensively, peppering BU netminder Kieran Millan with 14 shots. While he allowed two goals in the frame to force the overtime, his performance when the game was knotted at four that was a turning point for the Terriers.
Kieran Millan was the star of our game, said BU coach Jack Parker goaltender, who also set a new career high in saves with 42. He made some big saves. He was poised.
The energy, tempo and pace of the game were apparent from the start. If the game were only a 20 minute hockey game, all of the 7,884 in attendance would have left entertained. Quality scoring chances, great saves and highlight-reel goals from both side made for an exciting, up-tempo opening frame.
BU got on the scoreboard first on the power play.
David Warsofsky did yeomans work back checking to break up an Eagles shorthanded bid, turned the play around and then jumped into the offense at the other end, finishing off a perfect feed from Alex Chiasson with a top-shelf one-timer at 6:20.
The Eagles, though, responded with a power-play tally of their own. Ben Smith made a nifty feed between the legs of a BU defender and found red-hot Cam Atkinson in the slot for the equalizer at 12:39. Its Atkinsons fourth straight game with a goal and sixth in his last seven.
Another BU penalty, this one to Eric Gryba for interference, put BC back on the power play late in the frame. As the penalty expired, Pat Mullane threw a shot to the net from the right halfboards that Millan stopped. Plenty of traffic in front, though, allowed Chris Kreider to patient maneuver and fire home the rebound at 17:05 for the 2-1 BC lead.
But before the period ended, the Terriers responded. Vinny Saponari used perfect hand-eye coordination to pick the rebound of his own shot out of midair and just under the crossed at 19:01 to send the game to intermission knotted at 2.
After Wade and Bonino gave the Terriers a comfortable cushion heading to the third, Kreiders second of the night and Mullanes power-play tally that evened the game brought the Kelley Rink crowd to life.
It was at that point that Parker made an adjustment that he said was critical.
Right then, we decided to change our forecheck and get more aggressive because we were back on our heels, said Parker. We got life right off the bat.
That life is what drew the late-game penalty and ultimately resulted in the game winner. That, and a little bit of puck luck on Friday spelled victory for BU.