CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. Irish Knock Off Top Ranked Boston College, 2-1, In Overtime
Freshman center Vince Hinostroza notched the game-winning goal just 1:56 into overtime as his shot from the high slot deflected off a Boston College forward’s stick up in the air and over goaltender Thatcher Demko’s shoulder for the victory. Defenseman Kevin Lind scored Notre Dame’s first goal of the night.
Boston College got its lone goal from Hobey Baker candidate Johnny Gaudreau who scored a power-play goal in the second period, his 30th of the season.
The win improves Notre Dame to 20-12-2 on the season and gives the Irish a 9-9-2 mark in Hockey East . They finish the season in either seventh or eighth place depending on the outcome of the Vermont-UMass-Lowell game.
Notre Dame will open the Hockey East playoffs - a single-game, elimination first round - versus either Boston University or Massachusetts depending on Saturday’s games.
Boston College sees its record go to 25-5-4 overall and 16-2-2 in league play. The Eagles finish first in the conference and will have a first round bye in the playoffs. The last time BC lost a game was on Nov. 29, a 5-4 loss to Holy Cross.
The win over the top-ranked Eagles marks the second time this season that Notre Dame has defeated a No. 1 team. The Irish defeated then No. 1 Minnesota on Nov. 8th by a 4-1 score. They have now beaten a No. 1 ranked team 14 times in the history of the program, including defeating Boston College when the Eagles were No. 1 on five different occasions.
The two teams struggled to get many scoring chances in the first period as Notre Dame outshot BC by a 6-3 margin. By holding the Eagles off the scoreboard, Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays extended his school-record shutout streak to 210:19. The previous mark of 193:27 was held by David Brown ‘07 and set in the 2003-04 season.
The Irish would finally break through against Demko early in the second period as Lind scored his second of the season, whipping a wrist shot off of the freshman goaltender’s right shoulder just 32 seconds into the middle stanza.
The goal came in transition for Notre Dame as center Steven Fogarty moved the puck ahead to Jeff Costello at the BC blue line. Costello carried over the line and pulled up on the right side and found Lind coming late as the fourth attacker. Lind drilled his shot from the rim of the left circle to make it 1-0.
Again Summerhays stopped all eight shots he faced in the second to increase his shutout streak to 230:19.
The Eagles would get the equalizer at 1:31 of the third on a power play as Gaudreau worked his way down the left side before cutting to the slot and firing a shot at Summerhays. The Irish netminder got a piece of it with his left elbow, but it deflected off him and in.
That goal snapped his scoring streak at 231:50 and is the longest in Irish hockey history.
Neither team would score in regulation to set up the overtime and Hinostroza’s game winner, which came on the only shot of the extra stanza.
Sam Herr dug the puck out of the corner and moved it to Hinostroza moving near the left circle. The freshman appeared to throw the puck towards the Boston College goal where it went off a forward’s stick and went high in the air. The puck made its way over Demko’s shoulder and into the goal as two Irish forwards drove to the front of the goal. The officials reviewed the play and ruled it a good goal to give the Irish the 2-1 win.
On the night, Notre Dame out shot Boston College by a 21-20 margin. Summerhays and Demko each made 19 saves. The Irish were 0-for-3 on the power play while the Eagles were 1-for-2.
The Irish will return to action at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 when they open the first round of the Hockey East playoffs against either Boston University or Massachusetts pending the outcome of Saturday night’s final games.