Sports, Winter, Hockey, Men's Hockey

No. 9 Providence Avoids Season Sweep With 4–3 Upset Over No. 1 BC

After icing was called on No. 1 Boston College men’s hockey with 4:36 left in its Saturday evening tilt against Providence, the referees decided to review a play from over three minutes earlier to see if an Andre Gasseau shot crossed the goal line. Although they ruled that the puck stayed out, this appeared to be a lucky break for the Eagles, as it gave their tired skaters a chance to catch their breath.

But Providence still had the edge over the Eagles, as Providence’s captain Chase Yoder won the ensuing faceoff, and he found gold while digging for a rebound, putting the puck past Jacob Fowler with 4:30 left in the game. The goal turned out to be the game-winner.

No. 9 Providence (11–6–2, 5–4–2 Hockey East) upset No. 1 BC (14–4–1, 7–3–1) by a score of 4–3 in a tight, back-and-forth affair that featured three game-tying goals. The Friars were able to take the game despite 32 saves from Jacob Fowler.

“They wore us down,” BC hHead cCoach Greg Brown said. “They were playing very hard. They had a lot of intensity, they were winning more battles than we were.”

The first period was a chippy, physical frame, with the teams combining for seven minor penalties. None of the ensuing power plays led to scoring for either team.

Instead, it was Oskar Jellvik, who also scored first in BC’s home game against Providence the night prior, to open the scoring at even strength 10:09 into the game. Andre Gasseau was able to gain the zone and sneak the puck past Providence’s Cam McDonald and find Jellvik, who drove the net and roofed the puck past Philip Svedebäck.

For roughly the first 16 minutes of the second period, there was little action. The dynamic of the period changed when the Friars killed off a roughing penalty on Clint Levens with 2:02 left in the period and then went on their own power play after Jellvik was called for holding the stick just 15 seconds later.

The Friars cashed in when Yoder tipped in a shot from the point by Hudson Malinoski right in front of Jacob Fowler with 1:11 left in the period.

Refusing to let Providence turn the tide in its favor, Gabe Perreault bounced the puck off the wall to a streaking Will Smith, who took the lead right back, finishing the breakaway chance with a finish that Svedebäck could do little about just 20 seconds after Yoder’s game-tying goal.

The third period featured the most action of the game, but it was Providence who dominated the play, which led the Friars to score three goals.

“We want to play on our toes and play fast, and they were dictating a lot more of the game than we were,” Brown said.

Jamie Engellebert started the period off with a wrister 1:27 into the frame, whichthat he fired past Fowler on a rush where BC had numbers in their defensive zone. It appeared that Fowler may have misread the shot, allowing it to go above his glove with a minimal screen.

The Eagles retook the lead on the power play on a high-to-low passing play from Smith to Perreault. Svedebäck could not react quickly enough to the pass, and Perreault fired it in behind him in what could have been a game winner. But with 13:34 left in the game, there was enough hockey left for Providence to find a game winner of their own.

The tying goal came with 9:44 left when Graham Gamache found Bennett Schimek right in front of the net on a pass from below the goal line. Schimek buried the chance, turning the momentum in the Friars’ favor, which carried all the way to Yoder’s goal five minutes later.

“They were heavier than us in front of both nets,” Brown said. “That was the big one. Two of their three goals in the third were right on the front door, and we weren’t tight enough there.”

The Eagles were not able to recover after Yoder’s goal, and Providence was able to finish the game out, picking up a rebound win after they were routed 7–1 the night before.

“I give them a lot of credit, but we know we have to be smarter and harder in games like that, to be able to close out at the end,” Brown said.

January 15, 2024