Thatcher Demko almost lost it towards the end of the third period. Despite all his solid goaltending throughout the game against Colorado College (0-6-0), a goal slipped past him, shot by the Tigers’ Teemu Kivihalme. The shutout streak seemed to be over. After review by the referees, however, the goal was called off, cueing sighs of relief for the Eagles (4-1-0) and certainly for Demko. This marks the first time a goaltender has gotten a third shutout in a row for the Eagles since Cory Schneider in 2006. BC’s solid offensive control and defensive effort, demonstrated by its dominating penalty kill, helped elevate Demko’s already stellar net-minding and allowed the Eagles to win 5-0 over the Tigers.
The Eagles were energized early in the first period thanks to a goal by Adam Gilmour. This goal set the stage for the first, as the Eagles continuously worked the puck up the ice for goal opportunities close in on the Tigers’ net. On the other end of the ice, BC’s defense kept Colorado’s offense from getting close to the net, resulting in Demko having the ability to follow the puck inside BC’s zone.
Because of BC’s strong offensive effort, the Eagles collected three goals in the first period. The Eagles’ second goal came later in the period, as Miles Wood hustled up into Colorado’s zone, centering a pass to Austin Cangelosi to give him the one-timer into the top shelf past Colorado goalie Jacob Nehama. With less than two minutes to go in the first, Ian McCoshen let off a shot from the top of the Tigers’ zone, bringing the score to 2-0.
Despite Colorado goalie Nehama’s strong effort in the face of the pressure from BC’s offense and Colorado’s faltering defense, he was replaced by Tyler Marble before the start of the second period. The Tigers came out with more energy in the second, but they were met with more force by the Eagles. Demko responded solidly to the Tigers’ enhanced effort, while Marble tried to keep the Eagles at bay.
Marble’s attempts, however, were not enough to keep the puck out of Colorado’s net. The Eagles went on the penalty kill three times in the period, but a man down did not stop them from scoring. While Colorado was on a power play, a scrum between the Eagles and the Tigers led to both teams receiving penalties. Although the play was still 4-on-3, the Eagles took the earlier momentum and set it into motion, leading Zach Sanford to score a shorthanded goal for BC and turning the game in the Eagles’ favor.
Tensions ran high in the third period as frustrations increased for the Tigers and as the Eagles worked to match the aggressive play. This resulted in penalties on both sides, including a 5-on-3 opportunity for Colorado. Demko responded by following the play and positioning himself to defend BC’s net from often-screened shots. BC’s penalty-killing team pursued the forecheck and kept possession for the majority of the Colorado power plays. A power play 8:41 into the period allowed Gilmour to notch another goal for BC right off the faceoff. With less than three minutes remaining in the third, BC’s shutout of Colorado was almost broken by Teemu Kivihalme, but the goal was called off—the referees ruled the Tigers offsides, keeping the score 5-0 in favor of the Eagles.
Saturday night’s shutout of Colorado was contributed to by the Eagles wide range of talent and teamwork. All shutout streaks come to an end, but as for the way Demko and the Eagles have been performing lately, perhaps this streak is just beginning.
Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Editor