Through 54 meetings dating to 1922, Boston College and Yale had never had a men’s hockey game end in a tie, with the Eagles holding a 43-11 advantage.
That changed Friday night at Conte Forum when the second-ranked Eagles and the No. 17 Bulldogs skated to a 3-3 deadlock in front of 7,213. Senior goaltender Parker Milner earned a career-high 45 saves as BC improved to 12-3-2.
“It’s becoming a pretty good rivalry for us,’’ said BC coach Jerry York. “I’m very impressed with their club tonight. We are going to have to look at getting those shots-against down. We’ve got to tighten up in our defensive zone. I think Yale will certainly be in a regional at some point if they keep playing the way they are playing and that’s our intent, to get to one of those regionals also.’’
BC began the game with a strong push, swarming Yale in its own zone for the first three minutes but the Bulldogs held the fort.
One of the best chances for the Eagles came with just over nine minutes left when junior left wing Kevin Hayes had a point-blank shot from the left circle but senior goalie Jeff Malcolm made the stop.
At 15:46, BC broke through on the eighth goal of the season by junior center Bill Arnold. He scooped up a rebound and beat Malcolm on a shot from just outside the left post.
The Eagles got into penalty trouble in the middle period, giving up five power plays to the Bulldogs, who scored on one of them.
BC took a 2-0 lead at 5:31 when freshman right wing Brendan Silk scored on a backhander, converting his own rebound from just outside the left post. It appeared the Eagles might have been offsides on the play but the goal stood.
The next three goals belonged to Yale. At 5:48, the visitors cut the deficit in half when senior defenseman Colin Dueck scored from just inside the blue line.
The Bulldogs nearly had a second tally during a power play, which came courtesy of an ill-advised penalty taken by senior right wing Steven Whitney, who was 200 feet from his own net.
Junior left wing Kenny Agostino received the puck on a backdoor play with three seconds remaining on the man advantage but Milner made a terrific left pad save at 8:04.
The Bulldogs pulled even at 11:37 when freshman defenseman Ryan Obuchowski appeared to catch Milner napping and beat him from just inside the blue line.
Yale took the lead at 12:50 with freshman blue liner Michael Matheson off for high sticking.
Sophomore Matt Killian dished the puck from the right point to fellow defenseman Tommy Fallen at the left point. Fallen threw it down to senior center Andrew Miller in the left circle and he snapped it past Milner to make it 3-2.
The Eagles pulled even during a two-man advantage at 16:33. BC captain Pat Mullane relayed a pass to Whitney, who one-timed a shot from the right circle past Malcolm. And that is the way it stayed.
BC, which was already thin on the blue line because of Patch Alber’s knee surgery, was fortunate to have Isaac MacLeod back after a two-game absence because of a shoulder injury.
But the Eagles were without Matheson for the third period and overtime because he was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for elbowing Agostino in the head in the final seconds of the second period, forcing York to move two forwards to defense during the extended penalty kill.
Senior defenseman Patrick Wey cramped up in overtime, further shortening the bench, but York said he would be fine.
For Yale, it seemed like a win. For BC, not so much as the team has gone winless in two straight games for the first time this season.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org