Eagles Stumble Late in Holy War Loss

Boston College held a two-goal lead late in the third thanks to a strong performance from Austin Cangelosi, but Notre Dame's late surge against the worn-out Eagles proved to be too much to handle. With three unanswered goals late in the game, Notre Dame propelled itself to a 4-3 victory, snapping the Eagles’ 13-game unbeaten streak.

BC entered tonight’s game fresh off an impressive come-from-behind victory against Northeastern on Sunday. However, the team was playing without three of its top forwards; Alex Tuch was out with a concussion, Miles Wood had norovirus symptoms and Chris Calnan’s shoulder is still injured. With three contributors on the bench, the team had to shake up their lineup.

Cangelosi, who normally plays on a line with Calnan and Wood, was moved into Tuch’s spot to play alongside Zach Sanford and Adam Gilmour. With Silk still out, the Eagles had to play with three lines, rotating in Peter McMullen and Chris Shero as the extra two forwards. “We had to really ask a lot from some of the kids to step in and play more minutes,” said York of tonight’s team.

Bianca Dempsey / Gavel Media

Bianca Dempsey / Gavel Media

The game started the same way that it ended for the Eagles: slow. They failed to string passes together and were struggling to get anything going offensively. The Irish got on the board first when Bobby Nardella was able to draw Thatcher Demko out of the net and open it up for Jack Jenkins to sink the easy backhand. It wasn’t until that score, halfway into the first period, that the Eagles started to pick things up.

The wake up call served them well as Adam Gilmour struck five minutes later to tie the game at one. Taking the puck from the top of the Irish zone, he powered through three ND players to sink the equalizer. Though the period ended in a one-goal tie, it was the Irish who seemed to have the advantage.

In the second period, the Eagles found their stride and began to play their game. After a successful penalty kill, BC was given a golden opportunity to take the lead. Colin White was awarded a penalty shot early into the second after an interference call against the Irish on a breakaway; his attempt, however, was saved by Cal Peterson. The Eagles found themselves struggling to finish throughout the period, despite many opportunities.

“Credit to [Notre Dame], credit to our guys for stepping up; but we need to learn how to close a game at home.”

Their penalty kill was successful, but the power-play unit fell flat. The Eagles failed to convert on consecutive power-plays late in the second, going 0-for-2 on the night. The second period was a back and fourth battle between the two teams, and the game really picked up on both sides. Neither team could find the net, however, and the game remained tied at one.

The Eagles came out fighting in the third; their play was quick, and they showed their fire out on the ice. The team played together and really pressured the Irish, forcing many turnovers in favor of the Eagles. Following two back-to-back stellar saves by Demko, it was Cangelosi who got the go-ahead goal for BC.

Teddy Doherty ripped a shot from deep in the Irish zone, as Cangelosi was positioned right on the post to deflect the puck in behind Peterson. Three minutes later, the dynamic duo struck again. Doherty took another deep shot, this time ricocheting the puck off the boards behind the goal and right to an open Cangelosi on the far side of the net. Unmarked and alone, Cangelosi easily tapped the puck in behind an unsuspecting Peterson to give the Eagles the two goal lead.

"I thought our team did some really good things during the course of the game tonight," said York. "But we wanna finish games that's for sure."

The Eagles failed to do just that. As the third wore on and the depleted Eagles offense began to falter, Jordan Gross cut the lead about a minute-and-a-half after the second Cangelosi goal. The Irish didn’t look back from there.

Notre Dame tied the game up seven minutes later, when Andrew Oglevie shot a rocket off the faceoff. With the game tied up, the last five minutes of play saw opportunities on both ends. The game appeared as though it was going to head to overtime, but with just 22 seconds left to play, the Irish fired another one right of the face-off; Dennis Gilbert got the game winner for Notre Dame to hand the Eagles their second loss of the season.

Bianca Dempesy / Gavel Media

Bianca Dempesy / Gavel Media

“I thought we battled hard. I thought we played fifty really good minutes, really smart minutes,” said Captain Teddy Doherty. “Credit to [Notre Dame], credit to our guys for stepping up; but we need to learn how to close a game at home.”

This is the Eagles first loss at home this season and their first loss since RPI back in October. An 18 day break seems to be coming at an ideal time for the team, with injuries and sickness plaguing the lineup. The hiatus will allow for some healing time to hopefully get players back on the ice.

BC heads into the break with a 13-2-1 record and will be back in action December 28, playing in the Florida College Classic in Estero, FL. They will be without freshmen Colin White and Casey Fitzgerald, who are vying for spots on the U.S. National Junior Team final roster for the World Junior Championships.

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Katie McGirney