CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- When Boston College and Boston University meet on the ice, you'd better hold on to your hats.
This season's first installment of The Battle of Commonwealth Avenue ― the first meeting of Eagles and Terriers in 364 days ― was as good as advertised and lived up to a year's worth of hype.
BC junior defenseman Ian McCoshen broke a 3-3 tie with 2:10 to play before adding an insurance goal in the No. 4 Eagles' 5-3 win on Friday night inside Conte Forum. The Panthers prospect also chipped in with two assists, three shots on goal and was a plus-2 in his first collegiate game with more than two points.
"The momentum swings back and forth kind of highlights college hockey at its best here," BC head coach Jerry York said. "We went with our best defensive players in the last two minutes and weathered the storm there. We're very, very excited about the win."
The Eagles became the first team in Hockey East to 15 overall wins this season, improving to 15-4-2 and 8-1-2 in conference play. BC is 2-0-1 to start the 2016 calendar year after last weekend's three-point series with Providence.
The teams felt each other out for much of the first period, but BU saw the momentum shift its way late in the opening frame and got the scoring going on a power play at the 18:01 mark.
Senior Ahti Oksanen started the play with a nice feed off the rush, setting up freshman Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson's for a beautiful wrist shot from the high slot that turned into his sixth goal of the season.
The game opened up quite quickly in the second with the Eagles scoring three times on 14 shots on goal to take a 3-2 lead into the final intermission.
Austin Cangelosi used his speed to break ahead of the BU defense and drew a penalty shot at the 2:01 mark. The junior drove down the slot, deked several times between the circles and tucked a wrist shot over BU senior goaltender Sean Maguire's shoulder.
Oksanen responded on a power play just 17 seconds later, jamming away at the crease for his 11th goal of the season and 100th career point as a Terrier. Forsbacka Karlsson and senior classmate Danny O'Regan both assisted on the goal.
BC scored twice in about ten minutes to jump ahead, with freshman Colin White putting himself into a tie for the team scoring lead at 15:35.
At 5:18, sophomore Zach Sanford scored his sixth goal of the year to tie the game. Captain Teddy Doherty fired from the point, creating a juicy rebound for Sanford backhand home from just outside the right circle.
Maguire kept the Terriers within a goal with a couple standout saves in the final frame. After an emphatic glove save to stop an Eagle rush about midway through the second, he stopped Alex Tuch and Sanford in quick succession to keep the score 3-2.
Tuch broke through the entire BU defense and somehow got a quick shot on goal through traffic. The rebound from his shot slid out to Sanford, whose chance at goal was even better and slid into the corner to safety.
"Obviously, our power play (3-for-6) was effective," BU head coach David Quinn said. "I actually thought our penalty kill was pretty good, despite giving up two power play goals. I thought our goalie played very well, and just way too many odd-man rushes. Just not an awful lot to like about our game tonight."
BU senior Matt Lane did tie the game with his fifth goal in four games ― a one-time shot from the high slot ― at the 15:48 mark. Freshman Bobo Carpenter was originally given credit for the goal on a tap-in out front of Demko, but it was deemed he never touched the puck as bodies crashed towards the net.
Carpenter was called to the penalty box less than two minutes later, allowing the Eagles to take their seventh power play opportunity of the game. At 17:50, McCoshen took a feed from junior classmate Ryan Fitzgerald and teed up his fourth goal of the season, and second in as many games, from the right point.
McCoshen cushioned the BC lead at 19:47, taking a feed from freshman Miles Wood to lift a puck nearly 200 feet down ice and into an open net.
"It was like a Rory McIlroy chip shot. A lucky, fortunate bounce," McCoshen said. "I was just trying to get the puck down to Cangelosi and he had speed. Their defenseman stepped up, so I was just trying to give it to him for the empty netter."
With the win, York now sits just one win shy of 1,000 for his head coaching career. The Eagles have the opportunity to sweep the weekend ― and earn their coach's historic win ― on Saturday down the road at Agganis Arena.
But it's going for the sweep that York finds most important.
"People find it hard to believe but I'm not involved in that," York said, addressing what the next win would mean to him. "We've always talked about egos and playing as a team. That's why I coach a team sport. I think it's important to be 'we, not me' and it's just a number to me."