Boston College-Denver Final Score: Eagles Hang On For Big 2-1 Win


Boston College-Denver Final: On Friday night in Denver, Colorado, Ryan Fitzgerald and Thatcher Demko were the heroes as the #5 Boston College Eagles defeated the #11 Denver Pioneers, 2-1.

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The win gave Boston College their fourth victory in a row since losing on opening night to UMass-Lowell; the Eagles are now 4-1-0 on the season. Denver falls to 3-2-0.

Notably, Boston College head coach Jerry York won his 500th game as the team’s chief by defeating Denver on Friday night, rising to 967 wins all-time.

Boston College-Denver Final: Quiet First

Both the Eagles and Pioneers struggled to generate offensive opportunities in what was a defensive first period. Denver got five shots to goalie Thatcher Demko, while Boston College put only four on the pads of Evan Cowley.

Boston College would get two power plays in the first while Denver got one; none were productive. The first Eagles’ power play was lifeless while Denver had a few decent chances. BC would go scoreless in their second opportunity on the man-advantage as well.

Boston College-Denver Final: Offenses Arrive

The two teams looked more ready to challenge as the second period got underway. In fact, Denver thought they were setting the tone for the period right away: 28 seconds in, Nolan Zajac gave the Pioneers a 1-0 lead by scoring his second of the year.

Though trailing, the Eagles continued to grind, and eventually, a good pass from Austin Cangelosi found Ryan Fitzgerald in front of the net at point-blank range. Fitzgerald knocked the puck into the net and Boston College tied the game on a power-play goal at 7:43.

Boston College and Denver would each gift the other team several other power play opportunities, but a key moment came when BC’s Noah Hanifin took a high-sticking call while the Eagles were down a man after a Scott Savage hold. The Eagles and Demko killed off the 5-on-3 shortly after their tying goal to help hold the score at 1-1 into the second intermission.

Play remained even for much of the third, but after the Eagles killed a penalty to Zach Sanford for holding the stick, the Eagle, fresh out of the penalty box, hit Ryan Fitzgerald with another good pass that happened to find the back of the net. Fitzgerald’s second of the night put the Eagles ahead for good at 2-1 with just under five minutes to go.

Denver would have chances late, pulling the goalie with about two minutes left, but Thatcher Demko made a number of big saves in the closing moments to secure the victory.

Boston College-Denver Final: Goal Chart

DUNolan Zajac0:28 2ndLaLeggia, MarcinewBC 0DU 1
BCRyan Fitzgerald (PP)7:43 2ndCangelosi, StraightBC 1DU 1
BCRyan Fitzgerald15:18 3rdSanford, SmithBC 2DU 1

Boston College-Denver Final: Other Stats

Boston College went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill on Friday night, with their crowning achievement there being a kill of a 38-second 5-on-3. The Eagles were 1-for-5 on the power play.

Ryan Fitzgerald scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the win for Boston College; he now leads the team in both goals scored and points (6). He and Adam Gilmour, who got stoned by Cowley on a breakaway opportunity, both lead the Eagles with two power-play goals on the season.

Thatcher Demko had a strong game in net, making 25 saves to earn the win. Denver’s Cowley made 20.

Boston College-Denver Final: Bottom Line

This was a big one for Boston College, after we collectively wondered what they would look like without Steve Santini. The Eagles went on the road against another ranked team and ground out a late win, marked by good defense, good passing, and timely scoring.

In their prior victories, the Eagles were well outscoring their opposition, but Friday night’s game saw Boston College win another way by holding together in a close, low-scoring contest. It may be early in the season, but it was a great sign.

Boston College-Denver Final: Next Up

The Eagles go for the weekend sweep of the Pioneers on Saturday night at 9pm.