The record will have to wait.
Boston College coach Jerry York was chasing history in Friday night’s game against archrival Boston University. York, longtime bench boss of the No. 1 team in the nation, needed one victory to tie Ron Mason’s NCAA Division 1 mark of 924 wins.
BU coach Jack Parker said he was hoping York wouldn’t tie or set the record against the Terriers this weekend.
Ninth-ranked BU played its best game of the season in a 4-2 win at Agganis Arena Friday, scoring a pair of goals in the second period and two more in the third. The teams play again Saturday night at Conte Forum with the season series on the line.
“I thought we played extremely well, obviously,’’ said Parker. “[Against] the No. 1 team in the nation, I thought we played a smart game but we also played a real smart emotional game. We didn’t get caught out of position much, we didn’t let our emotions take us all over the place until real late [when BU took 16 minutes in penalties in the last two minutes]. In general, it was a really great game to watch.’’
It was just the second loss for the Eagles (10-2-0, 8-2-0 Hockey East) in 31 games dating to last year. BC won its final 19 games of the 2011-12 season on its way to the NCAA title, and had 10 wins in a row entering Friday.
The last time BU knocked off the top team in the nation was Jan. 27, 2006, when the Terriers, ranked 13th, beat BC, 4-3, at Conte Forum.
The first period, though scoreless, was eventful. Both teams had flurries but the defensive play and goaltending was outstanding.
The first three minutes of the second period were all BU, which looked like it was on the power play.
The Terriers (8-4-0, 6-3-0) took the lead at 9:04 on a score by junior blue liner Garrett Noonan.
Sophomore right wing Evan Rodrigues took a shot from the left side and the puck ricocheted off the end boards and to the right side of the goal. Junior left wing Matt Nieto got to it first and took a shot from a tight angle. Goalie Parker Milner (30 saves) made the stop but the rebound bounced to Noonan, who bunted it in.
That tally made it 122 consecutive games in which BU has not been shut out, the longest streak in the nation. The Terriers were last blanked Nov. 6, 2009 against Northeastern.
BU doubled the lead at 16:04 with freshman center Danny O’Regan, who was positioned in the right circle, dished the puck to Rodrigues in the slot. Rodrigues’s quick shot eluded Milner for his second goal of the season.
BC captain Pat Mullane, a senior center, cut the deficit in half just 38 seconds later when he beat freshman netminder Matt O’Connor (35 saves) from in tight for his seventh of the year.
With 11 seconds left in the period, BU nearly scored again when captain Wade Megan, a senior left wing, ripped a shot from the top of the right circle that clanged high off the right post.
The Terriers made it a two-goal lead again at 1:46 of the third when freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, a Charlestown native and Bruins draft pick, raced up the left side, drove around the net, and popped in a wraparound for his second collegiate goal.
Megan upped it to 4-1 on an empty-net goal at 18:21 and BC sophomore left wing Johnny Gaudreau closed out the scoring with a power-play goal at 19:36.
BC was playing six-on-three with Milner out for an extra attacker.
“I thought BU was better than we were tonight,’’ said York. “O’Connor made some very good saves but for the most part, I thought BU had the territorial edge. Their transition game was very good tonight. So hat’s off, they played better than we did. They deserved to win the game.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.