PROVIDENCE, RI -- They had to laugh.
At the same time their old college clubs on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston were renewing an ancient rivalry, former antagonists from Boston College and Boston University were putting the Providence Bruins in the win column in Rhode Island.
Tommy Cross, the former Eagle captain, who was just called up from the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays and David Warsofsky, a former Terrier assistant captain, looked to have scored back-to-back goals, just 69 seconds apart, to tie the game and then give the P-Bruins a permanent lead.
"He got called up, and he’s been doing a great job down there, so he obviously wanted to make a statement here," said Warsofsky of Cross' scoring play, which made the score 2-2. "Anytime you can score it’s a boost to your confidence, and for him to do it in his first game shows a lot about him."
But the officials saw it differently and thanks to his seeing eye wrist shot, Cross was awarded an assist on the first of two goals on the game from veteran forward Jamie Tardif, which was just fine with the P-Bruins rookie defenseman.
"It was a big shift by that line," said Cross of Tardif's trio with left winger Chris Bourque and center Ryan Spooner. "They established themselves down low, and they grinded away Connecticut’s defense.
"We stressed going low-to-high, and the puck squirted out to the point," said Cross of his shot. "Tardif went to the net just like the goal scorer that he is, and he was in the right spot and tipped it in.
"It’s just a good hockey play, it was a hard-working goal, and I was in the right spot at the right time," he said.
But according to P-Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, Cross was in the right spot for most of the evening.
"I thought he was battling below the tops of the circles and the d-zones," explained Cassidy, postgame. "I thought there were a few plays in the neutral zone he could have grabbed the puck and been a bit more assertive, but that’s normal - your first game, you don’t want to be a goat, either, and be too relaxed, so we’ll find that fine line for him.
"Offensively, like I said, he’s a guy that added offense down in South Carolina, so hopefully he’ll bring that element, and he got on the score sheet tonight."
Warsofsky, who had also talked about wanting to contribute more offensively, was happy to be back in the box score as well.
"We had a lot of pressure on them the last couple of shifts, and obviously scored two shifts before," said the blueliner. "I got the puck, and I kind of made a move at the blue line.
"You take enough shots in the game and eventually one is going to go in. I just got lucky and I’ll take it either way."
Maybe it was luck, but the P-Bruins will take it.
"When you’re struggling a little bit, you have to keep it simple and get pucks to the net. That’s what we did tonight. Some nights the puck doesn’t go your way, but tonight it did," said Warsofsky. "But you let it sink in, and when you leave the rink tonight, you get focused on tomorrow.
"We play a tough schedule with a lot of three-in-threes, and you win a game, it feels nice, but you kind of have to put it behind you and look forward to the next one."
And that's just what Warsofsky's Terriers will do as they beat Cross' Eagles 4-2 and head to the Heights on Saturday.
"[Former BU d-man] Colby [Cohen] gave me an update and said the Eagles were down," said Cross. "It’s going to be tough, and then they play again tomorrow.
"I went to practice up in the Heights yesterday, and it’s a good group of guys up there.
"It’s fun to follow, and I’m in the hotel right now with [former Terrier forward Justin] Courtnall so that’s a little weird," he said with a chuckle.
But Cross, who plays on a team sporting BU alumni Bourque, Cohen, Courtnall and Warsofsky didn't think the heated Beanpot roommate rivalry would spill over to any shenanigans at the pregame breakfast table tomorrow.
"No, we’re going to keep it civil," said Cross.
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