Jack St. Ivany sprinted toward the net, maneuvering around Vermont defenders and flinging a shot, but the puck was knocked away by Vermont goaltender Gabe Carriere. Sam Sternschein followed up on the shot, but his rebound was brushed aside. On the third and final try, Patrick Giles crushed a slap shot at Carriere, tying the game after four consecutive Vermont goals and allowing Boston College men’s hockey fans to briefly exhale.
“He’s a clutch player,” BC head coach Jerry York said of Giles in his postgame press conference. “He’s never gonna score 30 goals, but he just gives his heart and soul to our BC team. [He is a] very valuable member.”
The No. 9 Eagles (3–3–1, 1–1–0 Hockey East) faced off against the Catamounts (1–4, 1–0–0) on Friday night, the first of a two-game series in Vermont. Although BC got off to an early 3–0 lead, the Catamounts scored four straight to bring the game to 4–3. After Giles’ tying goal, the game was forced into sudden death. An overtime penalty on the Eagles resulted in a power-play goal by Philip Lagunov, who secured Vermont a 5–4 win.
“It was a pretty tough ending for us here,” York said. “Disappointed in the outcome. Consistency is something we’ve been trying to get. It’s still early in the season, and we’ve got a good club … but we’ve just got to be more consistent over the 60 minutes, or sometimes the 65 minutes like tonight.”
The game started strong for both teams, as they battled for puck possession. An early penalty call on Giles put the pressure on BC goaltender Eric Dop, who was forced to come up with big saves.
After killing the power play, a breakaway by Mike Posma looked like it might be enough to give BC its first goal of the game, but his shot went wide and hit the post.
With five minutes left in the first period, the Eagles finally converted on one of their scoring chances. As he drew a Vermont defender toward him, Brandon Kruse sent a cross-net pass to St. Ivany, who was left wide open and slotted the puck into the back of the net, opening the scoring for the Eagles.
Not even three minutes later, the Eagles struck again. Defenseman Eamon Powell fired a slap shot at Carriere, who deflected it off his pads into the stick of Giles. Giles quickly fired the rebound into the back of the net, giving his team a two-goal lead.
The scoring carried over into the second period for the Eagles. Just 44 seconds into the period, Jack McBain went stampeding toward a broken-down Vermont defense, where he fired a shot past Carriere to earn his 12th point of the season, leading his team in points in his 100th game as an Eagle.
“In the third period, we all thoroughly outplayed them, so we’ve got to get more [of an] instinct to win the game,” said York. “I thought we played really well in spots, but [we were] not consistent enough to really cement the win here.”
One minute later, the Catamounts found a response. Simon Jellus skated down the left side and fired a wrist shot to the right side of the Eagles’ net, a shot too quick for Dop to get his glove on it, giving Vermont a 1–0 lead.
The scoring didn’t stop there for the Catamounts, as a shot deflected in by Lagunov cut the deficit to one and gave Vermont all the momentum.
Halfway through the second period, BC earned its first power play of the game. Despite many goal-scoring opportunities led by St. Ivany and McBain, the Eagles were unable to convert on their shots.
The Catamounts took advantage of the Eagles’ scoring drought, as Vermont’s Dallas Comeau came skating down the right side of the ice, sending a backhanded shot past Dop. Dop could do little to prevent the puck from going in the net, and Comeau’s goal was enough to bring his team out of a 3–0 hole and even the score at three apiece.
Ninety seconds into the third period, Vermont gained its first lead of the game. Isak Walther fired a slap shot at the Eagles’ net, and the Catamounts jumped into the boards in celebration.
Early in overtime, Giles slotted a shot into the net that was eventually called back for goaltender interference, and Vermont won it on a power-play goal from Lagunov.
“We apparently won the game … and it gets called back and … we have to accept that call,” York said. “The celebration that you’ve won the game in OT, and all of a sudden, you know, everything turns around on you.”
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor