MINNEAPOLIS — Taylor Cammarata was inches from becoming Minnesota’s hero for a night at Mariucci Arena.
Instead, the hero title goes to Boston College defenseman Ian McCoshen.
The showdown between the top-ranked Gophers and the No. 5 Eagles ended in a 3-3 tie, largely because McCoshen made a save when his goalie couldn’t.
Kyle Rau sprung Cammarata for a breakaway with under two minutes to play in overtime, Cammarata had the Boston College defense beat and his backhand shot deflected off Eagles goaltender Thatcher Demko’s shoulder and fluttered toward the goal line.
“I dropped my stick first reaction and just grabbed it,” McCoshen said. “I didn’t necessarily palm it, I just kind slapped it out.”
Minnesota and Boston College shared scoring chances in the final 80 seconds of regulation and overtime without a goal.
Boston College (2-1-1) won the shootout that ensued, but it won’t affect either team’s standing in the PairWise Rankings.
The teams will conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mariucci Arena.
“That was a heck of game with the pace up and the plays that were made,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. “If you made a mistake, you’re going to pay. We haven’t faced a team like that yet this year.”
Minnesota controlled the game from puck drop until midway through the first period.
The Gophers got a goal 30 seconds in after their first shot on goal by Kyle Rau rebounded out to Hudson Fasching, who put the puck in an open net after Rau collided with Demko.
Travis Boyd scored four minutes later when Rau fed him on the back door from across the crease.
“We didn’t really have a challenge through our first four games, so we were looking forward to a game like this,” Minnesota’s Travis Boyd said. “We got two goals early and the just kind of relaxed.”
Lucia said he hopes Jake Parenteau will be able to play Sunday. Parenteau left the game after he was knocked down in front of the goal and caught his head on the goal post as he slid past it. His injury was disclosed as upper body.
Then came the Eagles rally that got them on the board, tied the game, and took the lead all in a 1:11 span.
Johnny Gaudreau scored on a power play from a low-angle shot on the goal line at the 8:31 mark. A minute later, Minnesota native Michael Sit scored twice in 11 seconds.
“Our captain (Patrick Brown) got all the guys together on the bench and said a few words; I think that was a big game-changer in the first period,” Gaudreau said. “It was really important to come right back after those two quick goals.”
Scott Savage assisted on both Sit goals.
The pace slowed in the second period after a high-tempo first, but Cammarata knotted the score at three, firing a wrist shot over Demko’s right shoulder with 4:27 remaining in the second.
Adam Wilcox stopped 31 shots in goal for the Gophers (4-0-1).
Demko finished with 36 saves and clinched the shootout win with a save on Minnesota’s Hudson Fasching, but McCoshen came up with the save of the night.
“I have just one good eye, so it’s hard for me to see if it’s not right in front of me,” Eagles coach Jerry York said, when asked what he saw on the play. “We give guys a belt if they make a breakaway save, and tonight we split it between Ian and Thatcher.”