Tenth-ranked Notre Dame and 15th-ranked Boston College got together for the 29th time in the all-time series on Friday night at the Joyce Center with the Eagles taking a 3-2 win in front of a sell-out crowd of 2,997.
Joe Whitney’s deflected goal off a Carl Sneep shot from the right point got by Irish goaltender Brad Phillips to snap a 2-2 tie to give Boston the 3-2 victory. Ben Smith and Brian Gibbons also scored for the Eagles to offset Irish goals from Calle Ridderwall and Ben Ryan.
The loss, the third of the season for Notre Dame at home, drops the Irish to 3-3-0 on the season. Boston College picked up its first win of the year in the game and is now 1-1-0 on the year. The Eagles also own a 16-11-2 overall record in the all-time series.
“Boston College played well tonight; give them some credit,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. “They really pack it in the defensive zone. They reminded me of the way Michigan State plays with four guys in close to the net. We couldn’t get shots through to the net.”
The Irish scored first in the game, taking a 1-0 lead just 4:21 into the game when senior center Kevin Deeth set up Ridderwall for a wrist shot from the slot that climbed over Eagles’ goaltender John Muse’s catching glove and under the cross bar for the Swedish sophomore’s team-best third goal of the season. Ian Cole also assisted on the goal. For Deeth, the assist was the 100th point of his Notre Dame career.
In the second period, Boston College evened things at 5:43 on the first of two deflected goals on the night. Freshman defenseman Philip Samuelsson’s shot from the right point was deflected in front by Ben Smith with the puck trickling through Phillips’ pads for his first goal of the year.
The BC lead would go to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Gibbons. The junior center picked up a loose puck in his own zone and skated the length of the ice, tucking a wrist shot past Phillips at 9:11 of the middle stanza for his first goal of the year. The power-play tally was just the second surrendered by the Irish this season and the first since opening night.
The Irish entered the third period down by one goal, but wasted little time evening things just 11 seconds into the period. Ryan won a draw in the BC zone that right wing Christiaan Minella tracked down in the left corner and fed behind the net to Dan Kissel in the right corner. Kissel centered a pass to Ryan at the top of the Eagle crease and the junior fired it past Muse for his second goal of the season.
“We wanted to get the puck in deeper. We knew it was going to be a close game and we wanted to get on them right away,” said Ryan.
“We won the faceoff and got possession of the puck, something we weren’t doing earlier in the game. (Christiaan) Minella wrapped it around the boards and Kiss (left wing Dan Kissel) got it out to me in front. Getting that goal that early gave us some momentum. We had our chances, we just couldn’t put it in.”
Boston College would get its second deflected goal of the game at 11:29 for the game winner. Center Cam Atkinson moved the puck back to defenseman Carl Sneep at the center point. His shot was on goal with Joe Whitney getting a stick on it in front, tipping it over Phillips pads for his second of the season and the 3-2 edge.
“I thought Brad (Phillips) played well tonight. They got their shots through to the net and we didn’t,” said Jackson.
“Two of their goals were deflections and on the third, their guy just walked one of our defenseman. I thought he was sharp early on. He made some big saves in the first period and he was in control.”
On the night, Notre Dame out shot Boston College, 22-16. Muse finished with 20 saves while Phillips had 13 on the night.
One key for Boston College was the Eagles ability to shut down the Notre Dame power play. They killed off all eight chances the Irish had in the game. That snapped a streak of five straight games for Notre Dame with a power-play goal this season.
“Special teams and face offs were the difference in the game tonight,” said Jackson.
“We did a great job on draws Tuesday night (vs. Boston University) and tonight we did a poor job. That leads to puck possession and that leads to offensive opportunities. BC made the most of its chances tonight.
Notre Dame returns to action next weekend when they open the CCHA schedule with a home weekend series versus Ohio State on Oct. 30-31. Game times are 7:35 p.m. and 5:05 p.m. on Halloween night.