Boston, Mass. -- "He'll remember that one for a long time," said Jerry York. The legendary head coach was talking about Adam Gilmour, his freshman who scored his first collegiate goal in overtime to lift Boston College past Northeastern, 4-3. The Eagles had to score three consecutive goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the third period to sweep the season series against their Beanpot rivals.
The score was even through two periods on first period goals three minutes apart. Seconds after Northeastern goaltender Clay Witt made a terrific kick save at one end, the Huskies transitioned up ice and capitalized. Defenseman Jake Schecter started the play by chipping it out of the defensive zone. Adam Reid picked up the puck and drove wide before throwing the puck on net. Crashing the net, Torin Snydeman deposited the puck into the back of the net.
Three minutes after Northeastern's score Boston College evened the score on a two-on-one odd man rush. The goal was essentially a shorthanded tally - scored just five seconds after a BC penalty expired. Kevin Hayes made a nice move drawing both the defender and Witt over to him before dishing it to Ryan Fitzgerald who buried it into the back of the net.
There was a lot of up-and-down action over the next period and a half, but the score remained the same. Both goaltenders made some spectacular stops, including on some breakaways.
Pitching duel is a phrase often thrown around when two opposing starters have good games in baseball. So it was fitting on a day that this city celebrated its baseball team winning the World Series Championship that Boston College head coach Jerry York described the game as a "goaltending battle." He said the goaltenders stole the show.
Northeastern coach Jim Madigan agreed with York's assessment. "I thought [Northeastern goalie] Clay [Witt] played well. I thought he played well last night and gave us a chance to win and he played well again tonight. Both goalies played well tonight. Their goalie made some big saves, and so did Clay."
The third period is when all the excitement occurred. Just 11 seconds into the final period of regulation BC forward Chris Calnan took a five-minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head. Northeastern defenseman Colton Saucerman took a penalty to negate the power play, but that is when the Huskies took the lead.
Skating four-on-four Kevin Roy stole the puck from a BC defender who was trying to break out of the zone. The Anaheim prospect dished it down to freshman Michael Szmatula who made a quick move before beating BC goaltender Brian Billett.
About four minutes later at the 6:22 mark Northeastern gained its first two-goal lead of the game when a seemingly harmless shot from the point by Saucerman deflected off a BC stick and past Billett.
A shorthanded goal in the first game of the series swung the momentum in BC's favor, and it would do so again Saturday. Michael Matheson moved down the left and dished it to Patrick Brown who blasted it into the back of the twine to cut the lead in half with 12:10 to play in regulation. It was very similar to the goal scored by Fitzgerald earlier in the game.
BC superstar Johnny Gaudreau evened the score on a goal that not too many other players in college hockey would even attempt. Dashing down the right side, he flipped it on net from an impossible angle and caught Witt leaning away from the post to find the back of the net. "He sees the ice better than anyone I've ever played with, and it's pretty cool," said Brown of his teammate.
With the score knotted at three, that would set the stage for Gilmour's heroics in overtime. The Eagles were cycling the puck down low when Patrick Brown shot it on net, and the rebound went right to Gilmour who banged it into a virtually open net.
"I'm going to sleep pretty well here. Those were two pretty hard fought games between the Eagles and the Huskies this weekend," said York.
Boston College improves to 4-2-1 and will take on archrival Boston University next Friday night at Agganis Arena. Northeastern dropped to 5-3-0 and will travel to red-hot UMass-Lowell next Saturday.