On Friday night, the University of Minnesota and Boston College were in a 3-3 overtime tie in Minneapolis when Gophers forward (and New York Islanders prospect) Taylor Cammarata got a breakaway. BC goalie Thatcher Demko (a San Diego native!) made a partial save that had the puck fly in the air behind him towards the goal line.
Enter defenseman Ian McCoshen, a Florida Panthers pick in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft. He didn’t have a stick, having lost it trying to slow Cammarata’s breakaway. Which meant he had empty hands. Which meant he was about to use them to bail BC out:
McCoshen reached out with his left hand and then his right, and knocked the puck out of harm’s way. There are special teams players on the BC football team that wish they could have that kind of control on the goal-line.
Ah, but was it, you know, legal?
He actually threw it all the way to a teammate and play continued. The play was later reviewed and the no-goal call stood. The referees missed the hand pass, which even in the defensive zone are not permitted in college hockey. Also, it was never quite conclusive that McCoshen closed his hand on the puck in the crease.
That doesn't take anything away from the craftiness of McCoshen who saved the game. Boston College went on to win in a shootout, 4-3.
(Keep in mind that shootout wins are basically practice sessions in out of conference games, because they don’t factor into the conference standings.)
We’ve seen players swat pucks away from behind their goalies, but rarely with this kind of catch-and-release bravado. Legal, illegal, whatever … it was a hell of a play that capped a hell of a game.