Jerry York now has 999 career wins and could get his 1,000th against Boston University, Boston College's most notorious rival. It does not get much better than that. Ask coach York, though, and he'll downplay the historic accomplishment: "I always try to focus on we, not me. It's just a number to me."
In #999, Ian McCoshen netted two goals and one assist as BC secured a 5-3 victory over BU in the latest chapter of the Battle of Comm Ave. A force on both ends of the ice, McCoshen was the true difference maker in the first installment of the home-and-home series. His production offensively was accompanied by his ability to disrupt the majority of Terrier attempts in the Eagles' zone.
With two big poke checks to rid BU of possible game-tying or game-winning chances, Ian made his presence on the ice known. "Everybody knew exactly where number three was on the ice," said York. "He's not only a physical presence on the ice, but he's got a nice offensive touch to him."
The game was not fully dominated by the Eagles, whose slow start almost cost them the nights' victory. Their lethargic play led to sloppy penalties and missed opportunities. 47 seconds into the game, BU's Matt Lane went to the box, giving the Eagles the perfect chance to strike on the power play and take an early lead. They failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
Following an uneventful stretch and another botched man-advantage, Steve Santini was sent off for boarding with 2:40 remaining in the period. 41 seconds later, BU made use of the power play and got on the board as Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson lifted a nice wrister over the pad of Thatcher Demko.
The Eagles went into the first intermission chasing the Terriers 1-0. It didn't look good in the second when Santini was once again sent to the box, this time only 39 seconds into play, but the tables turned when Austin Cangelosi managed to get a breakaway during the penalty kill.
After being tripped up on the play, Cangelosi was awarded a penalty shot to even the score at one. A very strategic take managed to fool BU goalie Sean Maguire and gave Cangelosi BC's first penalty point since 2011.
The celebration was short, however, as BU immediately fired back and regained the lead when Ahti Oksanen netted a one-timer on the same Santini power play. The period once again looked like it was going to spiral downward for the Eagles, as McCoshen was also awarded a penalty on the same whistle.
But the penalty killing unit stood strong, and BC was able to hold off the Terriers long enough to return to full strength and steal one back. Zach Sanford capitalized on a loose rebound and congestion in front of the net to, once again, tie the game. McCoshen's initial attempt from the point was blocked by Maguire as the puck bounced off his pad into traffic, and Sanford calmly pulled the puck away from the mob and backhanded the tying tally.
The remainder of the period saw both teams taking numerous and undisciplined penalties, but the stalemate continued until just under four minutes remained in the second. The Eagles were awarded 20 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey, but the team failed to convert on the two-man advantage; however, with just 11 seconds remaining in the 5-on-4, Casey Fitzgerald sent a pass across the goal to Colin White for the perfect one timer to take the lead.
The third saw the Eagles dominate play, holding the one-goal lead, despite more penalties for both sides. Late in the game, though, a collision between Maguire and newcomer Mike Kim gave the Terriers the chance they needed to tie it up. An unfortunate bounce of the puck behind Demko in the crease allowed Bobo Carpenter to knock the puck in behind Demko.
With 4:12 left to play, the game was again tied. Following a decent amount of back and fourth, it seemed as though neither team would break through. The Eagles were getting the chances, but Maguire came up big to keep the Terriers in the game.
The Eagles were given a golden opportunity when Carpenter, the man who had just saved the Terriers' night, was called for tripping with 2:26 remaining. 16 seconds into the power play, McCoshen hammered home the mother-of-all-slapshots to give the BC the one goal advantage.
Despite recent trouble maintaining late leads, the Eagles stayed strong and protected the net. To top it all off, McCoshen made an almost 200-foot chip shot from behind the BC goal line to sink an empty netter to finish the game off for the Eagles. "It was like a Rory McIlroy chip shot," said McCoshen.
The Eagles travel to Agganis Arena on Saturday to play the Terriers at 7pm. A win will not only give them Boston-area bragging rights, but also Jerry York's 1,000th career win.
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