Whenever the Boston University Terriers and Boston College Eagles get together, fireworks ensue. Play the game in the Boston Garden and make it the Hockey East Semi-Finals and those fireworks get cranked up to Fourth of July levels. The fans gathered on Causeway Street got what they expected, a physical game between two ancient rivals who wanted a trophy badly. They got an exciting end to the game, but they also got controversy, fights, and passions boiling over after the final whistle blew.

When the teams took the ice, they skated well, matching each other shot for shot and entertaining all in attendance. BU peppered Joseph Woll with shots and BC did similarly to Jake Oettinger. Both goalies stood strong, saving every shot in the period. BU outshot the Eagles 12-9 and had more chances on the power play than their counterparts. Patrick Harper took a slashing call early that BU killed after facing four Eagle shots and BU got three shots on two Eagle penalties late in the period; Colin White was called for hooking and Chris Brown was called for high sticking. No one could score, and the game was a shutout after an entertaining first period.

BC came out of the gates in attack mode and dominated the second period. Julius Mattila scored the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the period to give BC the lead. BU could not get possession of the puck back, getting only three shots on Woll in the first 10 minutes of the second. BC piled up 17 shots in the period but had trouble getting another by Oettinger for a while. That changed when it looked bad for BC. Just after the halfway point of the second, Austin Cangelosi was called for a holding penalty. BU looked to get the equalizer. Instead, Ryan Fitzgerald took the puck on a turnover, drove it the other way, shot it from the right circle and made BC’s lead 2-0. BU would get the momentum back, but they could not get a puck by Joseph Woll.

Just after the halfway point of the second, Austin Cangelosi was called for a holding penalty. BU looked to get the equalizer. Instead, Ryan Fitzgerald took the puck on a turnover, drove it the other way, shot it from the right circle and made BC’s lead 2-0. BU would get the momentum back, but they could not get a puck by Joseph Woll.

Much like the second period, the Eagles got the jump on BU to start the third period. Ryan Fitzgerald got his second goal of the game to put BC ahead 3-0 only 58 seconds into the final frame. BU did not quit. They have shown resilience throughout the season and the third period was no different. They mounted a 22 shot assault on Woll in the third, making him sweat and play his best hockey of the season. He answered the bell and kept BU off the scoreboard most of the way.

With 3:46 left, BU pulled Oettinger from the net to get an extra skater and cut into the lead. With incredible effort, they began to do just that. With 2:24 left, Jordan Greenway mashed a goal by Woll to get BU on the board. 1:02 later, Clayton Keller shot from the right circle to cut the lead down to one. With 1:22 left to go, BU had a chance to tie the game and force overtime in another classic matchup with their bitter rivals. Then the fireworks were turned up to eleven.

With ten seconds left, Woll made an excellent save after he tipped the puck with his stick and caught it out of the air. The faceoff came to his left with 9.8 seconds left on the clock and BU trailing by one. BC won the faceoff and got the puck back to Ryan Fitzgerald. He fell on the puck and covered it up with his mitted hands. Time expired and the game ended. Fitzgerald’s blatant delay of game was not called. The officials failed to make the right call, letting time expire as Fitzgerald lay on the puck breaking rule S9 R67.1: “PENALTY- Minor. A player, other than the goalkeeper, shall not deliberately fall on or gather the puck into the body.” Fitzgerald flagrantly broke that rule in the waning seconds, attempted to defend it as a legal play after the game, and the officials did not call it.

After the no call, tempers boiled over. Jordan Greenway’s helmet ended up off his head and he was removed from the ice after trading a few punches with some Eagles defenders. Brandon Hickey then got into a full on fistfight with Casey and Ryan Fitzgerald. The officials sorted out the madness and when the dust settled, Boston College ended with a 3-2 victory and a berth in the Hockey East Championship game against Lowell on Saturday night.

After the game, both coaches spoke highly of the work the other did and praised the intensity of the game. BU’s David Quinn was disappointed with his power play and effort in the second period. He and captain Doyle Somerby said “We’ve been playing with fire for a few weeks now. We played with an inferno tonight and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole we dug ourselves.”

Jerry York praised his team’s effort, especially his goaltender’s. Joseph Woll made 42 saves on the game, including 20 in the final period. Oettinger played a good game too, making 32 saves in BU’s net. BC just made more plays than BU did for the duration of the game. BU has every reason to be mad about the final blown call by the officials and flagrant dive by Fitzgerald at the end. But they had chances to cut into the lead early and they did not do it. Suspensions are also quite possible for a few players as a result of the major brawl after the final horn sounded.

He and captain Doyle Somerby said “We’ve been playing with fire for a few weeks now. We played with an inferno tonight and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole we dug ourselves.” Jerry York praised his team’s effort, especially his goaltender’s. Joseph Woll made 42 saves on the game, including 20 in the final period. Oettinger played a good game too, making 32 saves in BU’s net. BC just made more plays than BU did for the duration of the game. BU has every reason to be mad about the final blown call by the officials and flagrant dive by Fitzgerald at the end. But they had chances to cut into the lead early and they did not do it. Suspensions are also quite possible for a few players as a result of the major brawl after the final horn sounded.

BU will move onto the NCAA tournament and will wait until selection Sunday to see where they go and who they face. BC will play the Riverhawks of UMass Lowell on Saturday night at the TD Garden for the Hockey East Championship. Puck drops at 7:05pm.

About The Author

Chris is a Boston University and Connecticut School of Broadcasting alum. He reported on BU's basketball for two years for WTBU, where he was a part of the hockey broadcast coverage and hosted a weekly radio show. He broadcasts games for various sports at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University. He primarily covers college hockey in the northeast for Inside Hockey.

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