Tic-tac-toe. On an impeccable passing sequence from Julius Mattila to David Cotton and finally to Chris Calnan in transition, the captain goes top shelf to net the game-winning goal against enduring rival, Notre Dame.
Enlivened by yet another sold-out Conte Forum, BC overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to trump the Irish, 6-4, on The Heights Saturday night, taking revenge since losing the first game of the series in South Bend in December.
“Our crowd played a huge factor in our win tonight in how hard we played. Hats off to the students and the people who just came out to watch a good hockey game,” Jerry York relayed.
For a team struggling to find the twine lately, Saturday night was a change of pace—and a high-scoring one at that.
ND took the edge early, opening the gate with a goal one minute into the contest. BC, however, notched one right back to even it out with Calnan recording his first of the night off of a short-handed shot. The next series of goals continued the trend, with BC scoring to play catchup.
But then Notre Dame took its biggest lead all game and went ahead by two halfway through the second. The Eags' response? Lighting the torch by going on to record the next—and final—three goals.
Colin White cut it to a one-goal deficit with just over four remaining in the second at 4-3. To continue the momentum, Julius Mattila sent the crowd roaring with the equalizer goal two minutes into the third.
The two rivals would then battle for the longest time period all game with no goal scored—ten minutes—until ND appeared to score the breakaway goal to steal the lead yet again with 8:38 left. But, a penalty on both ND’s Anders Bjork and BC’s Casey Fitzgerald before the goal was scored rendered it a no-goal and sent the Eags' morale soaring.
With 4:00 to go, Calnan completed a string of tic-tac-toe to notch the game-winner and loft the Eags to 5-4. To top it off—with BC on the penalty kill, not to mention—Ryan Fitzgerald scored on an empty net in transition with 1:07 remaining after ND took out Cal Peterson in an attempt to go 6-on-4 on offense, sending the Irish back to South Bend packing with a two-goal cushion.
“This was definitely a big one. Trailing a few times like that speaks to the character of the guys in the locker room. You just keep grinding at it," Calnan stated.
While tonight was the last time that the two contenders will meet in the Hockey East Conference (ND returns to the Big 10 as of next season for logistical reasons), coach York asserted that the yearly two-game series will be sure to continue.
“The win is huge. You love beating those guys, and we’re gonna have a good string of games coming up—trophy season—and everyone’s ready for it. We’re excited,” the Captain said.
Before trophy season, however, BC has a few more regular season games to handle. Next up, the Eagles head north to Durham, NH this coming Friday in a matchup at UNH.