BOSTON — The action started early at the TD Garden Friday night.
In the first two and a half minutes, there was a video review and two goals.
Expanding to the first eight minutes reveals another two goals.
Providence quieted down after the first period, but Boston College went on to a 4-2 victory in the first Hockey East semifinal.
“Four goals in eight minutes and it was like ‘What’s happening to this good defense and solid play from both teams,’” said BC coach Jerry York. “They weren’t going to say, ‘Hey, your record is better than our record and you can go to title game.’ They played us tight.”
BC forward Steven Whitney got the action started when he thought he scored just 35 seconds into the contest. The officials called no goal but reviewed the play. Replay showed that Whitney’s wrap-around attempt bounced off the right post, slid along the red line and bounced off the left post, all without crossing the line.
Less than a minute later, the Eagles succeeded at tallying their first goal. Forward Paul Carey fought off two PC defenders behind the net and tucked his own wrap-around shot past goaltender Alex Beaudry, just 1:15 into the game.
“Pat Mullane made a nice play getting it deep,” said Carey. “I got lucky; there were two Friars and the puck just ended up on my stick and I just tried to wrap around and it fell in the back of the cage.”
Providence was quick to answer and tied the game just 1:13 later. Defenseman Barrett Kaib ripped off a shot from the right point, assisted by forward Andy Balysky, that he buried behind BC netminder Parker Milner.
The Friars took the lead two minutes later with a goal from Derek Army. The sophomore forward grabbed the puck in front of BC defenseman Patch Alber in the middle of BC’s defensive zone. He then buried it behind Milner for a goal that Milner could have had the angle on.
BC was facing its second deficit in as many games, after facing very few in the regular season. The Eagles responded like a team looking for its third-consecutive Hockey East championship.
“We try not to let it affect us. They got those two goals in the first and I don’t think it rattled us one bit [because] Parker was still strong in net,” said Carey. “It’s a long 60 minutes and you don’t win in the first period.”
Milner, who has stood strong in net throughout the second half of the season, did not allow another goal. The junior goaltender faced 29 shots in the game and made 27 saves, a few of them glove saves that looked improbable.
“Parker Milner gave up a soft goal early, but it didn’t shake him at all,” said York. “He came right back and made some outstanding saves as the game progressed.”
Forward Destry Straight tied the game back up for the Eagles 8:35 into the game and BC did not look back again. Hayes fed the puck to Straight from behind the net and the freshman fired it over Beaudry’s right shoulder for just his third goal of the season.
BC freshman Johnny Gaudreau scored the winning goal for the Eagles four minutes into the second period.
The runner up for Hockey East top rookie honors made a move around a Providence defender and then faked a shot to draw Beaudry out of the net a bit. Gaudreau then had an empty net and dumped the puck in.
“Paul [Carey] made a nice pass to me and luckily it just hopped right over the Friar defenseman’s stick and I had a one-on-one with the goalie,” Gaudreau said. “I just faked the shot on the goalie and I just kept going to the left of him. I had him beat and just threw it at the empty net.”
Whitney tacked on one more goal for BC in the third period. Linemate Barry Almeida drew Beaudry out of the net with a shot and then Whitney grabbed the rebound and shot it past the goaltender glove side.