Still, with seven minutes left in a tied do-or-die playoff game, the best players step up.
For the Eagles, that meant it was time for their Hockey East commit to pot one.
“You can’t tell a kid how to score a goal. He has to seize the opportunity,” said Hanson. “Brian had the chance and he buried it.”
The Eagles’ penalty killers were challenged last night, with Central going on the man-advantage five times. Pinho, a fast, smooth skater, is one of St. John’s best defensive forwards, and felt like the work on the kill helped him stay focused on the task at hand rather than figuring out how to score.
“We were pretty riled up; I think the guys on the kill really helped keep everybody calm and helped us get control of the game,” said Pinho, who scored on a cross-ice feed from Bird and assisted on Bird’s insurance tally with 2:08 to go. “I like to let the game come to me.”
As a result, an Eagles team that three years ago had never been to a Super 8 semi has made it back-to-back-to-back. Wednesday against Austin Prep, Pinho will try to lead his team back to the Garden — not by gripping his stick and trying to go bar-down on every shot, but just by being himself.