BOSTON -- When Northeastern and Boston College get together on the ice, intriguing results often turn out.
Friday night was no different as the teams battled to an overtime contest for the second time in as many meetings at Matthews Arena, this time a 1-1 tie.
Eagles sophomore Adam Gilmour scored with 2:15 remaining in regulation to even the score and give BC a point on the road in Hockey East play for just the second time this season.
"It was a really good battle," BC head coach Jerry York said. "I thought our third period was very good. We had some good puck movement and chances."
"I thought Thatcher (Demko) kept us in the game through the first two periods with some very, very good saves. Then as we started to collect ourselves and play better, Clay Witt played very well," he noted.
The Hanover, Mass. native likes playing in the Huskies' venerable barn as he had a factor in BC's game-deciding goal against Northeastern at Matthews for the second straight season. He lit the lamp 1:36 into overtime to propel the Eagles to a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 2, 2013.
After seeing its opponents open the scoring in each of the last three games, a strong start was a welcome sight for the Huskies. There was no scoring in the opening stanza, but they held a 12-6 shots on goal advantage and dominated much of the play territorially.
Sophomores Dalen Hedges and Mike Szmatula pressured BC second-year Demko in the early minutes, but neither cracked the scoreboard. Hedges' chance was made possible by a bad turnover from Eagle freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin in the slot, leading to a scoring chance.
Junior Kevin Roy, Hedges and junior Mike McMurtry accounted for half of the team's total offensive output in the opening period, posting five shots.
"I thought there was a lot of pace, tempo and there was up and down hockey for the whole game," NU head coach Jim Madigan said. "I loved our effort, I liked the way we battled. They had us on our heels in the third, but I thought we played well and carried the play a bit in the first and second."
NU senior stopper Witt did exactly that for the majority of the contest as he totaled 16 of his 32 saves in the final frame. One of his biggest chances of the game came with about five minutes left in the first period as he stoned sophomore Matthew Gaudreau on an open opportunity from the left side.
"We've had some ups and downs this year, but right now I feel really good," Witt said. "The guys were doing a real good job of clearing out front so it makes my job a lot easier."
After a more even second period at both ends, the Huskies took a 1-0 lead exactly 5:00 in as sophomore Mike Szmatula banged a loose puck home from between the circles. The goal was Northeastern's 18th on the power play in 14 games, the most in Division 1 in that span.
Szmatula redirected a low shot on goal by classmate Colton Saucerman up and over Demko, but he controlled the puck in the paint and banged it home for his eighth goal of the season.
The Eagles bounced back with a much stronger third period, posting a 17-11 shots on goal advantage. It took almost the entirety of the frame for the Maroon and Gold to level the score but it did just that in the waning minutes.
Gilmour capped off a strong, five-shot night with the equalizing tally as he fired home a puck loose in Witt's crease for his fifth goal of the season. He and freshman linemates Zach Sanford and Alex Tuch were very productive on the power play, helping the Eagles generate five shots on goal up a man.
"I had just come off the bench and I was going in, gliding, trying to read the play," Gilmour said. "(Sanford and Tuch) were both battling down low, knowing I was going to come out high. Alex kind of just whacked at the puck, it went up a couple feet and it bounced right in front of my stick."
Neither side found much offense in the overtime as Gilmour fired in the only shot on goal from just inside the offensive blue line, so the teams settled for a stalemate. It was BC's second in as many games as it tied at New Hampshire back on Dec. 5.
"The goal by Adam certainly was a big goal to create a point for us," York said. "Now the dynamic shifts to tomorrow night and who is going to get the three out of four points on the weekend which will be really big in the standings for both our teams."
It is a quick turnaround to Saturday as the teams shift the home-and-home series to Conte Forum for a 4 p.m. game set to be televised by NESN and TSN2.