Three Impressions From Game One
By Greg Joyce, Sports Editor
It was by no means a pretty game on Friday night at Kelley Rink, but No. 1 Boston College came away with a 2-1 win over UMass. The Eagles showed their ability to find a way to win on an off night, and put themselves up 1-0 in the Hockey East quarterfinal series. Here are three thoughts that stood out from the win:
(Photo by Daniel Lee/Heights Editor)
Milner Keeps Hot Hand
UMass created multiple turnovers that turned into odd-man rushes, but Parker Milner was virtually a brick wall between the pipes all night for BC. Luckily for the Eagles, he only had one hiccup in the game, allowing a third-period goal. Besides that, he recorded 25 saves, and came up with a few highlight-reel stops with his glove. Head coach Jerry York emphasized the clutch performance of his junior goaltender, and noted Milner’s aggressive play as a key to his recent success.
“I thought Parker Milner was outstanding in goal for us,” York said. “He made some really good saves. I think he’s just more confident and assertive in his game.”
For the first nine minutes of the opening frame, the Eagles were playing some inspired hockey. They had outshot the Minutemen 6-0, controlled the puck well, and created some solid scoring chances. Then came the blackout. With 11:01 remaining in the half and the action in full swing, the lights above the ice suddenly went off. The video screens on both ends of the ice lost power too, while the concourse lighting remained on. This began an 18-minute delay, as the teams retreated to the locker room while the referees waited for the lights to power back on.
“I think it was a little frustrating for us,” forward Pat Mullane said. “We had a lot of momentum in that first nine minutes. I thought the first nine minutes of that period was some of the best hockey we’ve played in a long time. We were really skating. We were pretty upset by [the delay], but we didn’t let it affect us. We went back into the locker room and kept our composure, regrouped, and said we had to come back out with the same kind of momentum and tenacity. You can’t really control what happens, and I think we handled it pretty well.”
The official word from BC was that the power outage occurred after a switch house in Newton lost power. Multiple buildings across campus and Newton lost power as well, so the cause was not any issue with electrical system in Conte Forum.
39 Seconds Of Brilliance
The second period was largely dominated by UMass, but a quick turn of events gave BC the 2-0 lead when the teams went into the locker room at the second intermission. Midway through the frame, the Minutemen appeared to take the 1-0 lead on a goal from Steven Guzzo. But after an official review, the score was called off, as the referees determined the puck was directed into the net off Guzzo’s skate.
“We got a good turn of events there when the refs looked at the video replay and nullified the goal,” York said. “It seemed to give us a little bit of life.”
The Eagles capitalized on the reversal of fortune right before the end of the period on a tally from Mullane, which was followed by a goal from Tommy Cross just 39 seconds later. Freshman Johnny Gaudreau assisted on both scores, as his line remained out on the ice after the initial goal.
“Johnny Gaudreau’s line there—the two goals on the one shift, it was some outstanding play there in that short duration,” York said.
Mullane credited Gaudreau as well, and spoke about the impact the first goal had on the energy of the game.
“I thought it swung the momentum in our direction, which we carried through for the rest of the period,” Mullane said.