PROVIDENCE — History will have to wait until after Christmas.
Boston College coach Jerry York went into Friday night’s game at Providence College needing one victory to surpass Ron Mason’s career total of 924 and move into sole possession of first place in wins by a Division 1 hockey coach.
But York’s No. 2-ranked Eagles (11-2-1, 9-2-1 Hockey East) squandered a 3-1 lead in the third period and had to settle for a 3-3 tie. York’s next opportunity for the milestone will be against Alabama-Huntsville at the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis on Dec. 29.
Though the mark was not reached, the Eagles were fortunate to come away with a point against the Friars (7-6-2, 5-4-1).
The Friars played a very good third period and finally got the equalizer with freshman goalie John Gillies at the bench for an extra attacker with 10.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Freshman left wing Nick Saracino picked an opportune time to earn his first collegiate goal, sending the game to overtime.
“Providence played hard, they played physical, and they were difficult to play against,’’ said York. “We take the point, we leave with some real good learning experiences for our club, too.’’
Providence, with a promising start to the season, was looking for an upset in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,030 at Schneider Arena and nearly got it. The Friars played one of their strongest games of the season.
In the opening 20 minutes, the Friars had the edge in shots — 13-3 — but not the edge on the scoreboard as the Eagles took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission but lost junior defenseman Isaac MacLeod to a shoulder injury.
Sophomore left wing Johnny Gaudreau put BC on the board at 12:39 when he collected a pinballing puck and beat Gillies (26 saves) from the right side of the crease. Senior captain Pat Mullane started the play by winning a faceoff.
Boston College had two power plays in the period, but couldn’t cash in.
Providence had some excellent scoring opportunities, but BC senior goaltender Parker Milner (34 saves) was very sharp — and he needed to be the entire game.
One of the Friars’ best chances came just before the buzzer while shorthanded. Freshman left wing Brandon Tanev raced in alone on Milner and had a terrific backhand try, but Milner blocked it. Tanev picked up his own rebound and tested Milner again, but couldn’t find daylight.
In the second, BC again was short on shots but long on shooting percentage as the Eagles upped their lead to 2-0 through 40 minutes despite having only a season-low 12 total shots to PC’s 28. For much of the period, it appeared the Friars were on the power play because of how much time they spent in the BC zone but they only had one man advantage in the frame.
Freshman defenseman Michael Matheson, who is having a terrific rookie season, potted his third goal during a BC power play, scoring on a wrist shot from the left circle. Once again, the tally came as the result of a Mullane faceoff victory.
It appeared the Eagles had a third goal, this time shorthanded, at 17:06 when sophomore left wing Quinn Smith caused a turnover, kicked the puck up to his stick, and beat Gillies. However, after a lengthy review, it was ruled no goal because Quinn’s momentum carried the puck and the goalie into the net.
The Friars broke through at the 22-second mark of the third. Shortly after the faceoff at center ice, junior right wing Derek Army skated into the goalmouth and tucked the puck between Milner’s pads to make it 2-1.
Boston College responded at 1:56 on Matheson’s second goal of the night as a result of Matheson driving the net and beating Gillies on a low shot.
Providence closed to within one just 12 seconds later when freshman Noel Acciari buried his fourth of the year.
“I was proud of our guys,’’ said Friars coach Nate Leaman. “We struggle sometimes executing a game plan for 60 minutes. I am proud of the guys that we kept coming back in the game.
“It was a good learning tool for us. I thought it was a big step for our team in the right direction tonight.’’Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at email@example.com.