Providence, R.I. – Sunday was a tale of two vastly different games.
For the first 25 minutes, Providence controlled much of the play and held a 3-0 lead. However, the Friars let their foot off the gas much to the dismay of the 3,030 partisans at Schneider Arena.
Boston College roared back with three straight goals to force overtime. That’s when Casey Fitzgerald’s wrist shot clanged off the post and into the back of the net to send the Eagles back to Chestnut Hill with a 4-3 win and two key points in Hockey East action.
“All of a sudden we’re down 3-0 in the second. That’s what I’m most proud of. To come back from that deficit speaks volumes for my feelings about this particular team,” said BC coach Jerry York.
“There were no real adjustments, but we played better. We were a little quicker. We were a little slow on the forecheck in the first part of the game. Our second person in the forecheck was quicker and better.”
The game-winner was Fitzgerald’s second goal of the game, which helped him bounce back from a few ugly shifts earlier in the game on PC goals.
“One of the things I’ve grown with the past few years is being able to bounce back. Tonight I had a few shifts where I got the worst of it and they scored on me. I just put that in the past and focused on the now,” said Fitzgerald.
Four rookies found the score sheet for an Eagles team that lacks a senior. Chris Grando scored his second goal of the game to get BC on the board. Logan Hutsko, Aapeli Rasanen and Jacob Tortora all added assists.
“We put a lot of emphasis on our freshman stepping up and playing a big role for this team. They’ve come through on back-to-back nights. It’s great to see. The freshman are bringing that energy,” said Fitzgerald.
Graham McPhee had a goal and an assist for the Eagles. The Edmonton Oilers prospect, more known for his 200-foot game and defensive abilities up front, now has two goals and an assist in three games this season. He had just two goals and eight assists all of last season as a freshman.
Sophomore goaltender Joe Woll was terrific in net once again. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced, including a few real quality chances.
“Joe Woll played outstanding. He made some very good saves for us,” York complimented.
Bryson the Bright Spot
Sophomore defenseman Jacob Bryson showed why he was drafted in the fourth round by Buffalo despite being just 5-feet-9. The London, Ontario native was efficient on retrievals, made a consistently good pass on his first touch, and kept possession in the favor of the Friars.
“Jacob Bryson was the best player by far for us. Jacob Bryson was outstanding,” said Leaman.
Friars PK Working
During a first period penalty kill, sophomores Vimal Sukumaran and Shane Kavanaugh did yeoman’s work. Sukumaran blocked two consecutive shots from the point before clearing the zone with a swing of the stick from his knees. Kavanaugh, who scored PC’s first goal, had an active stick to break up a pass earlier in the same power play.
PC killed two penalties in the final 10 minutes of regulation to keep the score tied, 3-3. Leaman’ team is now 16-of-17 on the penalty kill this season.
“Our penalty kill came up with two pretty good kills in the third period. That was a positive,” said Leaman.
Carolina Hurricanes prospect David Cotton, BC’s top line left wing, left the game after a collision in the first period. According to York, he’s going through concussion protocol.
Winnipeg Jets prospect Erik Foley missed the game after suffering an injury against Miami. His status is considered more day-to-day while freshman Bailey Conger is expected to miss 6-weeks with a hand injury, per Mark Divver of the Providence Journal.