CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — No. 17 Yale did everything it could to go on the road to earn a victory.
The only thing missing from it matchup with No. 2 Boston College was an actual victory.
The Bulldogs outshot the Eagles 48-22 and for the most part of the game, manhandled the team that just a few weeks ago many wondered if it would lose again.
The end result was a 3-3 tie in front of 7,213 at BC’s Kelley Rink.
Yale (7-4-3) fell behind in the game, 2-0, battled to take a 3-2 lead and gave up tying goal late in the second period. The Bulldogs had a glaring chance to retake the lead in the first five minutes of the third period after BC’s Mike Matheson was whistled for a major and game misconduct as the second period buzzer sounded.
“I was pleased [to come back] more so because we were playing pretty well and still not getting the result,” said Yale coach Keith Allain. “That came sometimes be tougher on you mentally than just playing poorly and not getting the result.
“I thought all game long we were moving the puck pretty good on the power play. We get that five-minute major to start a period and we were a little sluggish, but got better as it went along. But they’ve got a pretty good goaltender.”
That goaltender, Parker Milner, battled throughout the game and finished with a career-high 45 saves. Still, one goal he’d like to have back, a Ryan Obuchowski shot from just inside the blueline that tied the game at two, was one that stuck in him even after posting career numbers on the night.
“It’s good to stay in a rhythm, but that second goal I have to be ready for,” said Milner. “That sucked a lot of life out of us.”
Yale controlled a spirited first period, outshooting the Eagles 16-7. It was BC (12-3-2), though, that scored the frame’s lone goal.
Matheson’s blast from the point was saved by Bulldogs’ netminder Jeff Malcolm (19 saves). The rebound bounced off of BC’s Kevin Hayes and right to Bill Arnold, who promptly buried the puck to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 15:46.
In the second, BC expanded the lead on rookie Brendan Silk’s second goal of the season. Though the play appeared offside, no whistle on the play allowed Silk to take the puck to the net and bury the rebound of his own shot at 4:39.
Just 52 seconds later, Yale got on the board. Defenseman Colin Dueck’s shot from the left point floated through a screen and evaded Milner, pulling Yale to within a goal.
“I thought we showed a lot of resolve,” said Allain. “Getting that first goal so quickly after they got their second was a big moment for us.”
After Malcolm stopped BC’s Steven Whitney on a shorthanded breakaway at 8:11, Obuchowski buried the “one that got away” from Milner to knot the game at two at 11:37.
After Matheson was whistled for high sticking at 12:08, Yale took its first lead on the power play 42 seconds later on Andrew Miller’s sixth goal of the season.
BC responded with a power-play goal of its own. Just 14 seconds after gaining a five-on-three advantage, Whitney’s one-timer from the point deflected off Yale defenseman Gus Young’s stick and past Malcolm to even the game at three heading to the third.
Neither team could find the back of the net for the remainder, though both clubs had their chances. The most glaring may have been a Yale bid late in overtime as the Bulldogs sent a four-on-two rush and found the late man for a wide-open shot, only to have BC rookie defenseman Colin Sullivan make a perfect block to earn the tie.
The tie for BC coupled with an 8-1 loss last Saturday marks the first two-game winless streak for the Eagles all season. Milner said that could be a result of the team getting a little bit too high during its early-season success.
“I think the first half of the season we won a bunch of games we shouldn’t have and pucks seemed to bounce for us,” said Milner. “And I think we got a little cocky. Now [the pucks] are not bouncing that way.”