BC Avenges 2015 Tournament Elimination, Beats Denver 4-3

Last year, The Eagles were embarrassingly ousted in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Denver. This year, BC exacted its revenge by winning a tight 4-3 game in a top-five matchup for the storybooks. As Coach Jerry York put it;

Just a real good college hockey game!

The team returned to Kelley Rink tonight with a three-game winning streak, a three-game shutout streak, and outscoring opponents 21-3, in five games. However, the team returned to play missing one of its top three freshmen, Jeremy Bracco, who departed the team for the OHL this past Wednesday.

The Eagles started the game off strong, playing the puck well and generating shots on net. Gilmour moved up to the second line to play alongside Alex Tuch and Zach Sanford, filling the vacancy left by Bracco—a good move by York, as they tended to play off each other really well. Travis Jeke was also put in the lineup as a forward to fill the vacancy in the lineup, making a solid contribution on the fourth line.

Demko got some help from the post early on to keep his shutout streak alive, however, that streak ended 9:04 into the first when Danton Heinen lifted it far side past a sprawling BC defense. Demko’s three-game shutout streak lasted a total of 206.02 minutes, an impressive feat for the junior netminder.

The Eagles were able to break through with just under a minute left in the first when Austin Cangelosi sent the puck to Miles Wood at the top of the neutral zone. With one defender to beat, Woods earned himself a breakaway and took full advantage of the play. After a few dekes, he slipped the puck right under the skate of Cowley.

The second period was a sloppy one, starting off with a Denver penalty less than a minute in. Emil Romig was sent off for interference and BC took full advantage as Captain Teddy Doherty hammered home a power-play goal from Sanford and Gilmour. BC took its first lead of the game less than two minutes into the period.

As the period wore on, the play became increasingly sloppy on both ends, as there were eight total penalties in the period, split evenly between the squads. Denver struck gold 13:46 into the period to tie it up with a power-play goal.

The Eagles started the third on the power play, but failed to capitalize on their advantage. After some back-and-fourth play, BC finally regained the lead as Miles Wood broke free from the neutral zone and carried the puck in for a two-on-one with Cangelosi. A beautiful connection pass led to Cangelosi’s one-timer for the go-ahead goal.

The first line was a menacing one, being involved in two of the night’s goals. Cangelosi now holds the team-lead for goals this season with four. "The three together, somehow that mixture produces positive results," said York of the first line.

BC’s excitement was soon stymied as Denver, once again, tied it up when Will Butcher fired one past Demko. With the game tied at three, the final minutes were exciting, to say the least, with shots being fired from all cylinders and players piling up to keep anything out of the net.

With 36 seconds remaining in the game, White took a shot and as a desperate Pioneer defense began to pile up, Matthew Gaudreau came out of the shadows to slip in the game-winning goal. BC was able to hold off a desperate Pioneer’s offense to avenge last year’s loss.

BC seems to be getting along just fine without Bracco; his skill will definitely be missed, but players are stepping up to fill that role. Coach Jerry York commented on his desertion, “We have certain non-negotiable items on our hockey team, it’s not for everybody. There are certain standards we’re not gonna waiver from. This is a tough sport, it plays at a high level and we demand an awful lot from our players, if you’re not ready for that, then it’s not a good environment for you.”

When asked about the events of this week, one could see the smirk creep onto Captain Doherty’s face. Doherty’s response to his teammate leaving: “If you don’t want to be here, you don’t want to be here. Our best two days of practice were Wednesday and Thursday.”

“We’ve moved on and played very very well,” added York.

There is still some work to do, but the Eagles will no doubt make the necessary adjustments to find their way back to Tampa this April.

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Katie McGirney