March 21, 1998
BOSTON, Mass. -- Freshman forward Brian Gionta's goal at 14:19 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and lifted Boston College to a 3-2 win and the 1998 HOCKEY EAST Tournament championship. The game was played in the FleetCenter.
The title is the Eagles' third in the 14-year history of the league, their first since 1990. It also gives the Eagles an automatic berth in the 1998 NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament.
Boston College trailed 2-0, before junior captain Marty Reasoner cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal at 18:44 of the first period. The goal was Reasoner's 30th of the season.
Freshman Mike Lephart evened the score at 6:10 of the middle period, setting the stage for Gionta's game-winning tally.
Gionta's goal came just seconds after a possible BC goal was reviewed -- and denied -- by a replay official in the press box. The official who viewed the replay ruled the puck was just "98 percent" over the goal line. The puck must fully cross the line for a goal to be awarded.
Both of Maine's goals were special-teams goals in the first period. Steve Kariya netted a power-play goal at 7:56 to open the scoring, and Bobby Stewart added a shorthanded tally at 9:26. Maine outshot BC, 10-7, in the first period.
BC outshot Maine 10-6 in the second period, and 10-3 in the final period.
BC freshman Scott Clemmensen earned his 22nd win in net, making 17 stops. Maine's Alfie Michaud made 24 saves.
Game Notes: Junior captain Marty Reasoner earned the tournament's MVP honor, while he was joined on the All-Tournament Team by sophomore defenseman Mike Mottau and sophomore forward Jeff Farkas. After the game, BC head coach Jerry York expressed his feelings on Reasoner's game: "(At this point in his career,) Marty Reasoner is flat out the best player I've ever coached. He's a great leader." ... Gionta's game-winning goal was his sixth of the season. Reasoner on Gionta: "I think Brian has probably been one of the best players in the country the last month." ... With the win, BC raises its record to 26-8-5. BC's victory total marks the most wins in a single season since the 1990-91 Eagles finished with a 27-12-0 mark ... Boston College, which could earn a bye through the first round of the NCAA Tournament with its title-game victory, will learn where and when it will play in the national tournament on Sunday, March 22. The NCAA Tournament pairings will be announced on espn2 at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern time). Reasoner on the Eagles' NCAA Tournament hopes: "There's no doubt in anyone's mind in (our locker room) that we can come back here (FleetCenter, the site of the 1998 NCAA Tournament's semifinal and final games) in two weeks and play for a national championship.