NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Sophomore forward Quinn Smith scored with 2:37 left in the overtime period to lift fourth-ranked Boston College to a 2-1 victory against No. 17 Merrimack in a battle of Hockey East play and national playoff positioning before a sellout crowd of 2,489 fans at Lawler arena on Sunday.
The Eagles, who last Friday suffered a 2-1 overtime defeat at the Warriors’ home rink, received a 43-save performance from senior goaltender Parker Milner to capture the victory – and move into a three-way tie for first place (with New Hampshire and Providence) in the league standings with 28 points and one game in hand.
Merrimack sits in fourth place with 27 points, followed by UMass-Lowell (26) and Boston University (24).
Milner stopped 19 of 20 first-period shots, stopped all 11 shots in the second and third periods and both shots in 2:23 of overtime play to earn his 60th career victory in his 80th start.
Just two goals were scored in regulation. Both came in the opening period.
BC forward Steven Whitney scored the game’s first goal – his 10th in the last 10 games and his 20th of the season – at 6:32. Merrimack tied the game on a power-play goal by Shawn Bates at 12:43. The score remained stagnant for the game’s next 49:40 until Smith’s overtime game-winner.
BC finished 3-for-4 on the penalty kill, which included 1:05 of a two-man disadvantage in the third period, and recorded 38-for-42 on the kill in the last nine games (90.5 percent).