PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After trailing for almost the entire game against second-ranked Boston College, freshman Nick Saracino scored his first career goal with 11 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 3-3 and send it to overtime. Neither team could find the back of the net in the five minute OT as the game ended in 3-3 tie in front of a sellout crowd at Schneider Arena on Friday night.
In the last game for either team before the break for finals, the Friars (7-6-2, 5-4-1 HEA) showed resiliency coming back from deficits three times in the Hockey East match-up to earn the tie and also denied Boston College coach Jerry York his 925th victory, which would make him the all-time wins leader in NCAA hockey.
After trailing 2-0 going into the third period, Providence responded with goals from junior Derek Army and Noel Acciari before Saracino’s goal capped the comeback for the Friars. Jon Gillies had a strong showing in net for the Friars stopping 26 shots, including a six save performance in overtime. Goaltender Parker Milner made 34 saves for Boston College (11-2-1, 9-2-1 HEA).
In the first twenty minutes, both teams were playing a fast-paced, hard-hitting style of play. Boston College scored the lone goal of the frame at 12:39 after a faceoff win led to a shot from Pat Mullane that Gillies saved. Johnny Gaudreau found the loose puck and got it past Gillies for his 11th of the year. The Friars had a chance to even the score when a two-on-one developed between Acciari and Steven McParland. McParland got off a shot that Milner saved and then McParland’s second shot went just over the net. As the first period was about to expire, Brandon Tanev had an opportunity for the Friars on a shorthanded breakaway. He skated in close before getting a shot off on Milner, and followed up with a shot from a bad angle behind the net but could not get the puck past the BC netminder, who made 13 saves in the first.
Michael Matheson extended the lead for the Eagles when he fired a shot on the power play that went through traffic into the top corner of the Friar goal. Gaudreau and Mullane both earned their second point of the game with assists on the goal at 13:06.
The Friars got off to a quick start in the third period, courtesy of a goal from Army just 22 seconds in. After receiving a pass from junior Steven Shamanski, Army carried the puck in the offensive zone and after a strong effort, cut into the crease and scored on his backhand against Milner. Boston College responded at 1:56 when Matheson slid the puck under Gillies’ pad, for his second goal of the game. Only twelve seconds later, Providence answered right back when Acciari scored his fourth goal of the season as he fired a shot from the slot after being set up by McParland. With time running out, Providence had Gillies pulled in favor of an extra attacker when Saracino’s shot beat Milner. After passing by Acciari and senior Tim Schaller, Saracino carried the puck up until he was positioned in front of the far left portion of the crease when he fired the shot up high to help the Friars secure a Hockey East point and ultimately snap a 12-game losing streak with the Eagles.
Providence outshot Boston College 37-29, in the game BC went 1-for-6 with the man advantage, whole Providence went 0-for-3.