Feb. 24, 2013
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Sophomore forward Quinn Smith scored with 2:37 left in the overtime period to lift fourth-ranked Boston College to a 2-1 victory over No. 17 Merrimack in a battle of Hockey East and national playoff positioning before a sellout crowd of 2,489 fans at Lawler arena on Sunday.
The Eagles, who last Friday suffered a 2-1 overtime defeat at the Warriors home rink, received a 43-save performance from senior goaltender Parker Milner to capture the victory - and move into a three-way tie for first place (with New Hampshire and Providence) in the league standings with 28 points and one game in hand.
Merrimack now sits in fourth place with 27 points, followed by (in order) UMass-Lowell (26) and Boston University (24).
BC will host UMass-Lowell on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in a game originally scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, while BU will host Merrimack that same night.
Milner stopped 19 (of 20) first-period shots, stopped all 11 shots in each of the second and third and both Merrimack shots in 2:23 of overtime play to earn his 60th career victory in his 80th start. He is 18-7-3 as a senior.
Just two goals were scored in regulation. Both came in the opening stanza.
BC forward Steven Whitney scored the game's first goal - his 10th in the last 10 games and his 20th of the season - at 6:32. Merrimack tied the game on a power-play goal by Shawn Bates at 12:43 - and the score remained for the game's next 49:40 until Smith's overtime gamewinner.
BC finished 3-for-4 on the penalty kill, which included 1:05 of a two-man disadvantage in the third period, and is now 38-for-42 on the kill in the last nine games (90.5 percent).
Team Records: Boston College 18-8-3, 13-7-2 Hockey East; Merrimack 14-11-6, 12-7-3 HE
Game Notes: Freshman defenseman Michael Matheson led all players with a +2 rating while Smith led all Eagles with five shots on net ... of Milner's 43 saves, perhaps his best were Nos. 32-33 tallied around the 12-minute mark of the third period as he stopped Josh Myers on a clean breakaway and also stopped the rebound attempt ... Milner recorded his ninth 30-plus save performance of the season.