Boston College figured out the best way to protect a two-goal lead might be simply to rely on goaltender Joseph Woll. Coach Jerry York also made certain the Eagles improved their poise and reduced their turnovers as they took a 4-1 win over BU in a Hockey East game Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
BC (9-6-2, 9-2-0 Hockey East), which squandered an early 2-0 edge in falling, 7-4, to the Terriers on Friday night, converted twice in a 44-second span, then held on behind Woll, who had a season-high 36 saves (30 in the final two periods).
Connor Moore opened the scoring, one-timing from just outside the left circle, the shot getting past Jake Oettinger, with Graham McPhee screening, at 13:33. David Cotton upped the edge to 2-0 with a breakaway off a faceoff. Playing 4 on 4, Cotton went past Chad Krys, earning a delayed penalty, then went in alone and finished the rebound under Oettinger at 14:17.
BU (7-9-1, 5-5-1) dominated the start of the second period, Shane Bowers giving the Terriers a 14-1 shot edge as he cut the deficit at 9:27.
But Woll closed the door after that and the Eagles’ fourth line regained a two-goal advantage. Ron Greco finished off a Casey Carreau leave for a 3-1 lead at 15:10, his sixth career goal and third in the last two games.
“The game got a little out of hand [Friday] night and I think I didn’t play as well as I could have,” Woll said. “I made it a point to show up tonight and make sure I played a full 60 minutes and give us a chance to win. I think I played well, for sure — it’s a testament to the team, they came out and played the full 60 minutes, too, kept them to the outside, kept them from rebounds, blocking shots.”
The Terriers again took command, with a 13-3 shots advantage in the final period. But Woll made a double save on Bobo Carpenter and Jordan Greenway in a shorthanded situation in the opening seconds and a point-blank save on Bowers minutes later.
“Unfortunately, I feel like we’ve been in here too often with the same responses and same summaries,” BU coach David Quinn said. “You know, there’s such a fine line between winning and losing at this level and we just haven’t crossed that line, yet, consistently enough. It’s disappointing. I thought we did a lot of good things but, unfortunately, two costly mistakes early put us down 2-nothing early, again. Tough to dig yourself out of that hole when you’ve got the first–place team in here with a goalie like that.”
Late in the final period, the Terriers pulled Oettinger, but could not convert in a 6-on-4 situation. Woll stopped Greenway in the final seconds, before McPhee finished into an open net at 19:32.
“Again, we got a good start, this time we stayed with that and they couldn’t really dent Joe,” York said. “We did not manage the puck very well [on Friday] — five of six goals were full possession by BC and we turned the puck over and it led to a goal. We talked about managing better, and sometimes that means putting it in a safer area. We had very few turnovers and that was certainly critical.
“We really keyed on that. I think you harp on it enough, you’re going to manage pucks better. You’ve got the puck on your stick, you better make a good play.”
BC, which plays host to Northeastern next Saturday, has compiled an 8-1-1 record since Oct. 28. BU, which visits UMass-Lowell next Friday, fell to 3-5-1 at home.
“I thought we really started pushing the pace and doing the things we’re going to need to do to have success in the second period,” Quinn said. “The third one [Greco’s goal] was a tough one to overcome. I know we only got one [but] we had great chances. If we weren’t getting the chances it would be a lot more alarming, but I think we’ve been more opportunistic over the last three weeks and that bodes well for us going forward.”