Men’s hockey continues to hold strong the nation’s longest unbeaten streak after defeating Arizona State University 3-1 Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink. Amidst consistent suspense that endured much of the game, Captain Chris Calnan secured the victory when he found the twine on a late punch-in goal with 2:53 left in the game, a much needed go-ahead after three quarters of back-and-forth.
Visiting Chestnut Hill for the very first time, the Sun Devils revealed no inhibitions during the three periods of play and seemed to bring their famed aggression (which has earned them the ranking for the highest number of penalties in the country) along with them. Tensions were high throughout the match, and the sound of the boards vibrating from the slamming of bodies was constant. The grimy tripping and slashing nature of ASU, juxtaposed with BC’s familiar crisp, clean sequences, unsettled the Eagles.
“It’s a gritty thing. You have to want to go there. You’re going to get hit in the back; you’re going to get slashed. It’s always in the back of your head, but you have to push through it,” said Calnan.
Arizona State goalie Joey Daccord made a team that is in its first year at the Division I level look like one that's been around for decades. The scoreboard had nothing to show for BC’s 41 total shots because Daccord made a whopping 38 saves. Defending the other goal, BC’s Ryan Edquist also showed up to play in his third career start, saving 23 out of ASU’s 24 attempts. Most notable, Edquist made a one-handed clutch save in the waning minutes of the third period to keep the Sun Devils at bay.
“Ryan Edquist had to make a big save there with four minutes left in the game, otherwise it would’ve been a tie ball game,” head coach Jerry York emphasized.
The Eagles have moved up to No. 3 in the rankings and are unbeaten in their last ten games, six of which they won without their head coach present. They average more than four goals per game, which is the most effective production in the Hockey East Conference. BC also kept its average high penalty tallies at a minimum Sunday with just five, two less than their normal seven PK’s. This decrease might be attributed to the comfortable reappearance of Jerry York, eyepatch and all, behind the bench this afternoon.
The Eagles are rejoined with their beloved just in time to prepare for the big week ahead. BC heads across the river Friday night for an early Beanpot preview at No. 10 Harvard. While BC has won the games necessary to secure its current ranking, the soft schedule ends here.
On the calendar, BC faces the likes of Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Quinnipiac, to name a few, in the short month-and-a-half before the end of the year. The road to the Frozen Four starts now.
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