After last week's 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the BU Terriers, Boston College coach Jerry York was blunt in his assessment of his lethargic Eagles.
"Sometimes, it's not bad to get hit square in the nose and get knocked down," said York. "We'll use this as a motivating tool going forward. We'll have to get off the mat and play better."
So there was a certain irony that the next opponent for No. 3 Eagles was the No. 4 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the latest edition of the "Holy War" between the two Catholic schools. After stewing on their BU loss for a week, the Eagles (9-4-0; 7-2-0 Hockey East) went out to South Bend to try to put a damper on the dedication of Notre Dame's sparkling new Compton Family Ice Arena.
True to York's prediction, the Eagles did play better, but it wasn't enough to get the two points. In fact, it was the Irish who had one more punch, knocking out the Eagles in heart-wrenching fashion on Bryan Rust's overtime tally with only two seconds left in the extra session, giving Notre Dame (9-2-2) a 3-2 decision.
In a game that matched future Hockey East opponents (the Irish will join the league in 2013), the Eagles took a 1-0 first-period lead on Chris Kreider's last-minute strike, as the junior lit the lamp while BC had the extra attacker at 19:47.
The Irish bounced back, charging to a 2-1 lead on second-period goals by T.J. Tynan and Shayne Taker, while the Eagles' sputtering offense (six goals in the past four games) couldn't get a puck past Irish netminder Mike Johnson (32 saves).
BC freshman Johnny Gaudreau got the Eagles back on level terms with his sixth goal of the season at 17:50 of the third. In overtime, the two teams appeared headed to a tie and a share of the points when Rust's last-second tally beat BC's Parker Milner (32 saves), sending the Eagles to their third loss in four games.
The Irish are now 6-2 against the Eagles since the 2003-04 season, though Boston College won the most important game in that stretch, a 4-1 triumph in the 2008 national championship match.
Boston University 4, Vermont 3
Two second-period goals by BU's Wade Megan and Garrett Noonan broke open a close game between the Terriers (4-4-1: 3-3-1 HE) and the Vermont Catamounts (1-5-1; 0-4-1 HE), and Jack Parker's squad edged out a 4-3 win. Vermont made it close on Sebastian Stalberg's late third-period strike, but couldn't get the equalizer. Senior goaltender Grant Rolheiser, making only his second start of the season, had 31 saves (13 in the final stanza) in the win for BU, while Vermont's Rob Madore blocked 26 shots in the losing effort. BU hosts New Hampshire on Saturday, while Vermont travels across town to play Northeastern at Matthews Arena.
Northeastern 5, Providence 2
The hard-luck Huskies (2-7-2; 2-7-2 HE) took a season's worth of frustration out on the Friars (6-4-1; 4-3-0 HE), bursting out to a 4-1 lead after two periods and cruising to a 5-2 win. Northeastern was led by Steve Quailer, who rung up two points on a goal and an assist. The victim of last-second goals the last two times they played, the Huntington Hounds made sure they wouldn't find themselves in the same situation on Friday, with Drew Ellement burying an empty-netter after PC's Ross Mauermann got the Friars within two at 4:15 of the third.
New Hampshire 5, UMass Lowell 0
Last weekend, the River Hawks (5-4-0; 3-3-0 HE) grabbed a rare weekend road sweep of the Maine Black Bears. On Friday night, the UNH Wildcats (5-4-2; 4-3-1 HE) made sure Lowell's road streak came to an abrupt end, backed by Matt DiGirolamo's 31-save shutout effort. The Wildcats' balanced attack got goals from five different players, with Jeff Silengo opening the scoring at 6:20 of the opening period. Stevie Moses and John Henrion added goals in the middle stanza, and Kevin McCarey and Casey Thrush iced the win in the third. On Saturday, the Wildcats square off against long-time rival Boston University at Agganis Arena.
Maine 2, Massachusetts 2 (overtime)
The Minutemen (4-4-3; 2-4-3 HE) spotted the Black Bears (3-6-2; 3-5-1 HE) a two-goal lead in the first period, but battled back on goals by Michael Pereira and Steven Guzzo to rescue a point in a 2-2 tie at Amherst. Mark Anthoine and Brian Flynn scored for Maine in the opening 20 minutes, but then sophomore Jeff Teglia (29 saves) shut the door. Maine's Dan Sullivan stopped 35 UMass shots. On Saturday, the Minutemen travel to Lowell to take on the River Hawks.
Harvard 3, Clarkson 2
In ECAC Hockey action, the Crimson (2-2-1) got its second win of the season, edging the Green Knights (6-4-1) in Potsdam by a 3-2 margin. Harvard never trailed after Eric Kroshus gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead at 6:18, but Clarkson twice knotted the game. Harvard's Danny Biega got the game winner at 13:05 of the third, only 61 seconds after Clarkson's Matt Zarbo had tied the game at 2-2. Harvard's Steve Michalek collected 30 saves to garner the win. Harvard finishes its northern New York road swing Saturday against St. Lawrence.