MASSACHUSETTS RALLIES TO TIE BOSTON COLLEGE WITH LATE GOAL, 2-2
Senior forward Branden Gracel scores game-tying goal for Minutemen
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College held a one-goal lead deep into the third period, but a late Massachusetts' power play tally blemished the Eagles' perfect Hockey East mark in a 2-2 draw on Friday night at Kelley Rink.
Freshmen continue to flourish at The Heights as both Ryan Fitzgerald and Austin Cangelosi scored their fifth-career tallies and Kevin Hayes, Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold stretched out their point streaks to six games.
Junior Brian Billett closed out the series with a 32-save performance and kept the Eagles' penalty-killing unit afloat for the second-consecutive outing. Minutemen backstopper Mac Haight surrendered two goals on 28 BC shots. UMass outfired the Eagles, 34-28, including a 12-3 total in the third period.
Freshman Steven Santini was assessed a five-minute major in the waning moments of the third period and Branden Gracel capitalized just over a minute later to send the contest into overtime. The Eagles knocked on the doorstep a couple times in the extra session, particularly a strong rush by junior Quinn Smith, but the teams closed out in a 2-2 stalemate.
Halfway through the first period, a Michael Matheson goal was disallowed after it was deemed Arnold prevented Haight from playing the puck. The Minutemen scored three minutes later.
Just seconds after freshman Ian McCoshen's penalty expired, Ray Pigozzi drew first blood at 13:15.
The Minutemen were still set up in power play formation and Conor Sheary delivered a cross-zone pass to Gracel on the near post. Sheary popped it out to Pigozzi on the left dot and he ripped it over Billett's glove for the 1-0 lead.
A minute and a half later, the Eagles evened the count on a tic-tac-toe goal polished off by Fitzgerald at 14:42.
Junior rearguard Danny Linell picked off a UMass outlet pass and raced it up towards Haight. Hayes cut down the middle, accepted Linell's dish and kicked it over to Fitzgerald on the far side for the easy wrister to tie it up, 1-1.
Cangelosi roofed a few exchanges later for the go-ahead goal at 17:37 of the opening stanza.
Gaudreau`s heavy forecheck paid off as he threw the puck at Haight from behind the net. The puck bounced off of Haight and Arnold gave it back to Gaudreau for another try. Gaudreau deferred and linked up with Cangelosi just below the right dot to make it 2-1.
Billett came up huge in the second period, stopping 13 shots, but momentum shifted in UMass' favor in the third and came to a head after Santini's five-minute major at 17:26.
Gracel tied it up with a slap shot that deflected off of an Eagle defenseman past Billett to force overtime.
Sheary triggered the play from the top right corner, enabling Joel Hanley to deliver the one-time pass to Gracel on the left dot to tie it up late on the power play at 18:34, 2-2.
Smith's bid at 1:30 of overtime was thwarted, capping the 65-minute affair.
Boston College returns to mid-week action when the Eagles cross town into Cambridge for a Wednesday-night showdown with Harvard at 7 p.m.