Strong third seals cold win for Boston College at Frozen Fenway
At a frozen Fenway Park yesterday, players hailing from Texas and Florida made the difference. No. 8 Boston College used tallies by Lone Star freshman David Cotton and Sunshine State senior Austin Cangelosi to eke out a 3-1 win against Providence College.
Many of the announced 19,547 fans had long admitted defeat before the end, though, as the 19-degree temperature made to feel appreciably colder by the 12-mph wind.
“I’m frozen,” BC coach Jerry York said. “It’s such a different atmosphere than the game you play indoors and because of that it makes it special, given the atmosphere of playing at Fenway. I enjoy it and I feel good about the win. It’s Hockey East and two points.”
Both teams benefited from the one-day postponement of the Hockey East doubleheader due to snow, gaining a combined seven players from the recently completed world junior championship. BC’s arsenal was further bolstered by senior winger Ryan Fitzgerald, back after missing six games with a high ankle sprain.
The frigid conditions caused the clubs to change lines at a quicker-than-normal 45-second clip.
The opening period left little doubt that both teams were intent on garnering valuable league points when 6-foot-6 Friars defenseman Vincent Desharnais and BC’s 5-foot-8 faceoff whiz Cangelosi were sent off for hitting after the whistle.
Providence (8-7-4, 1-5-2 Hockey East) did a terrific job on the fore-check, pressuring the Eagles defense tightly and preventing break-out passes. That resulted in much of the game being played in the neutral zone, despite what BC’s 16-4 edge in first-period shots might infer.
Penalties were BC’s bug-a-boo. After killing off a carryover penalty, defenseman Jesper Mattila committed a high-stick minor at 2:17 of the second. BC (14-7-2, 9-1-1) initially staved off the shortage thanks to a sliding block by forward Matthew Gaudreau, but freshman Branden Duhaime sparked a 1-0 lead when he came on a rush down the left and passed from the corner. First-line left wing Josh Wilkins wasted no time in blasting the puck home four minutes in.
BC pulled even at 8:22. Cangelosi most crucial faceoff win resulted in a draw over to defenseman Michael Kim. One of the Eagles’ hardest shooters, Kim unleashed a blast that sailed past the outstretched glove of PC’s Hayden Hawkey.
“Austin is great on the draws. He’s a phenomenal center,” Kim said. “Him being a right-handed shot, it’s easier for him to win the draw over to my side to take the one-timer.”
Cotton connected for the game-winner on the power play with just 3:11 to play in the third, shortly after PC’s Brian Pinho went to the box for interference.
“It was kind of a broken play, They were bringing pressure on the (penalty kill). The puck was bouncing around,” said Cotton about his seventh goal. “The ice was a little chippy so I just tried to get it on net and luckily it went in.”
BC iced it when Cangelosi found the empty net with 1:08 left.
“The third period we took three bad penalties and that was the game,” PC coach Nate Leaman said. “We found a way not to be successful because of our lack of discipline.”