BURLINGTON, Vt. — Boston College forward Steven Whitney’s second goal of the game salvaged a 4-4 Hockey East tie for the Eagles against the University of Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse Friday night.
Whitney sent his shot past freshman goaltender Brody Hoffman at 4:57 of the third period, only 1:17 after Robert Polesello had given the Catamounts a 4-3 lead in the back-and-forth game.
With the tie, the Eagles (19-10-4, 14-9-3) moved within 1 point of co-leaders UMass-Lowell and Providence with one regular-season game remaining. The River Hawks and Friars each have 32 points, while BC and New Hampshire are deadlocked at 31.
Vermont (11-16-6, 8-12-6) clinched a tournament berth after missing the league playoffs for the first time a year ago.
“There was a lot at stake for sure. BC has their eye on trying to win a regular-season title and it’s been a fight for our playoff lives for quite a while now,” UVM coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I don’t think we played our best game tonight but I’m proud of our guys for finding a way to get a hard-earned point against an excellent hockey team.”
BC coach Jerry York expressed concern over his team’s defense.
“Both teams had some really good chances during the course of the game,” he said. “We did a lot of things well.
“I thought our team competed well, made some good plays, but we were a little sloppy on some of the goals we gave up. Other than that, we reset and play again [Saturday].”
BC is 2-5-3 in its last 10 games at Gutterson.
The teams were never separated by more than a goal, alternating leads starting with a 1-0 BC edge. UVM responded with two, the Eagles scored twice for a 3-2 lead, the Catamounts moved in front at 4-3, and Whitney’s second goal produced the final score.
York pointed to “our ability to come back with Stevie Whitney” as crucial to BC and said Johnny Gaudreau “had an outstanding night. He had the puck a lot and made some really good plays for us.”
“This is a difficult place to play with the environment, so it was a good third-period comeback for us,” York said. “We were looking to get 2 points, as was Vermont.”
Destry Straight and Gaudreau scored the other BC goals. Parker Milner had 17 saves.
Chris McCarthy, H.T. Lenz, Caylen Walls, and Polesello scored for Vermont. Hoffman made 31 saves, four in OT.