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Oct. 29, 1997

Boston College Hosts Merrimack in Conference Opener

Boston College (2-0) vs. Merrimack (1-1)

  • Date: October 31, 1997
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Arena: Kelley Rink (cap. 7,884)
  • Location: Chestnut Hill, Mass.

    Series Facts

    First Meeting: December 18, 1972; Boston College won, 4-1, in the ECAC Christmas Tournament at the Boston Garden.
    Series History: BC leads the all-time series, 21-11.
    Current Streak: Boston College has won last two games and six of the last nine.
    Last Game: March 7, 1996... In North Andover, Mass., the Eagles completed a two-game sweep in the HOCKEY EAST quarterfinals with a 5-3 victory. Five different Eagles scored goals and goaltender Greg Taylor stopped 42 shots.
    BC's Record Versus Merrimack At Kelley Rink: 12-5
    Biggest Margin of Victory: BC won 10-1 on October 2, 1990 in North Andover, Mass.
    Top BC Scorers Versus Merrimack:
    Marty Reasoner, F - 8 gp, 13 pts (3g, 10a)
    Jeff Farkas, F - 5 gp, 5 pts (3g, 2 a)
    Blake Bellefeuille, F - 5 gp, 5 pts (2g, 3 a)
    Coach Jerry York vs. Merrimack: 6-5

    Eagle Slapshots... Since 1989-90, BC is 15-12 against Merrimack in HOCKEY EAST regular-season games... Merrimack won all three regular-season meetings in 1996-97, but dropped two in the HOCKEY EAST quarterfinals to the Eagles... Merrimack's 11 goals in a 11-5 win on 2/15/97 are the most goals against a York-coached BC squad... The Warriors have the only shutout in the 32 meetings, a 4-0 decision on 2/18/95 in North Andover... The Eagles have scored 10 goals twice versus the Warriors (10/2/90, 10-1 win and 12/20/81, 10-4 win).... Senior Jamie O'Leary recorded a career-high four points (1g, 3a) on 3/3/95 against Merrimack... Boston College is in its 77th season of varsity competition and has a cumulative record of 1,059-630-71, a .630 winning percentage.

    Eagles Move Up in Polls... Boston College moved up to #9 in the latest USA Today/American Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll (Oct. 27). The Eagles received 15 votes. In the latest U.S. College Hockey Online Poll (Oct. 27), the Eagles are 12th (14 votes), The last time the Eagles were ranked in the Top 10 was February 24, 1991. BC was fifth in the final Albany Times Union College Weekly Hockey Poll.

    Season Opener... Tonight marks the HOCKEY EAST season opener for both teams. In the 1997-98 preseason coaches' poll, Boston College was picked fourth (58 points) and Merrimack tied for sixth (with UMass-Lowell, 27 points). Last season, Boston College finished sixth (9-12-3) and Merrimack fifth (11-11-2).

    511 for York... With a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame on October 24, Boston College head coach Jerry York (4th season at BC, 44-58-3) improved his overall record to 511-403-43. Currently the ninth all-time winningest college hockey coach, York is fourth among active Division I coaches.

    Quoting York... On the win over Notre Dame... "It was a great win especially when you come from behind like we did. It was a hard-fought win." On being 2-0... "Anytime you start the season like this, it's a huge lift."

    First 2-0 Start Since 1992-93... The Eagles are 2-0 for the first time since 1992-93 when the Eagles defeated Army and Alaska-Anchorage to start the season. The last time the Eagles started 3-0 was 1990-91. That season, Boston College finished 27-12 and made their 18th NCAA Tournament appearance.

    Notre Dame Recap... Down 2-0 midway though the third period, the Eagles scored three goals in a 4:29 span to defeat Notre Dame. Sophomore defenseman Mike Mottau, sophomore forward Blake Bellefeuille and freshman Brian Gionta tallied the goals. Freshman Scott Clemmensen stopped 24 shots in his collegiate debut.

    Other Notables from the Notre Dame Victory... Gionta's goal, the first of his collegiate career, was the game-winner... Junior forward Marty Reasoner and freshman Mike Lephart assisted on Gionta's goal... Reasoner has scored four points (3g, 1a) in three appearances against the Irish... It was the Eagles' third straight victory over the Fighting Irish and seventh in their last eight at the Joyce Center... The Eagles had 29 shots on goal before scoring... After surrendering a power-play goal in the first period, the Eagles were 5-5 in penalty-killing the remainder of the game... 15 NHL draft picks (eight from BC and seven from ND) saw action in the game.

    A Good Reason(er)... The Eagles' leading scorer for the past two seasons, junior center Marty Reasoner, returns to the ice as a candidate for the 1998 Hobey Baker Award.

    An All-HOCKEY EAST selection last season, Reasoner was named to The Sporting News' 1997-98 Preseason All-America team (along with BC senior defenseman Ken Hemenway). Reasoner (13 pts.) has scored at least one point in seven of eight games against Merrimack, including six multiple-point outings.

    More Good Reasons... With one assist (on teammate Brian Gionta's game-winning goal against Notre Dame) this season, Marty Reasoner has 90 career points, just 10 away from becoming the 51st player in school history to reach the Century Club.

    Last season, Reasoner, who was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the first round (14th selection) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, scored 44 points (20g, 24a).

    • When Reasoner scores a goal, the Eagles are 19-6-1.
    • Has scored a career-high four points four times in his career.
    • Had a team-high 16 multiple-point games in 1996-97 and 29 in 69 career games.
    • In 1995-96, Reasoner was named HOCKEY EAST Rookie of the Year and earned the league's Rookie of the Week honor a league-record nine times.

    Mottau Comes Up Big... Sophomore defenseman Mike Mottau equalled his career high with two points in the victory over Notre Dame. Mottau's goal with 9:45 left in the third period put the Eagles on the scoreboard. With 6:58 remaining, Mottau assisted on classmate Blake Bellefeuille's game-tying goal.

    After two games, Mottau leads the team in scoring (1g, 2a - 3 pts). It was Mottau's third career multiple-point game. Last season, Mottau was the New England Sports Writers' Rookie of the Year and a member of the HOCKEY EAST All-Rookie Team. Mottau, a graduate of Thayer Academy, was drafted by the New York Rangers in the seventh round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

    First Win for Clemmensen... Boston College freshman goaltender Scott Clemmensen recorded his first collegiate victory in a 3-2 win at Notre Dame on October 24.

    Clemmensen, who was sidelined for two weeks with a fractured metatarsal bone in his left foot, stopped 24 shots in his collegiate debut, including nine in the final period as the Eagles came from behind to win their second game of the season.

    Down 2-0 midway through the third period, Boston College scored three goals in a 4:29 span to take the lead with 5:16 remaining in the contest. With the Irish leading, 2-1, with 7:56 left, Clemmensen made a huge save on a two-on-one scoring attempt. The Eagles tied the score 58 seconds later.

    Clemmensen was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the eighth round (215th pick) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft after playing the last two seasons for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League.

    Multiple Bellefeuille... With one goal and one assist against Notre Dame, sophomore forward Blake Bellefeuille recorded his 12th multiple-point outing of his career (just 36 games). Of all the current Eagles, only junior Marty Reasoner (29) and senior forward Jamie O'Leary (14) have more multiple-point performances.

    Last season, Bellefeuille finished fourth on the team in scoring (16g, 19a - 35 pts). He was also the only Eagle to record a hat trick in 1996-97, a three-goal outburst against Northeastern on February 28, 1997. In the HOCKEY EAST quarterfinals against Merrimack, Bellefeuille had two multiple-point games, including a one-goal, two-assist performance in the second game.

    Streaks... Two Boston College defensemen entered the 1997-98 season with consecutive games played streaks and have continued the trend this season. Senior Ken Hemenway has appeared in 79 consecutive games dating back to 1994-95, while junior assistant captain Brendan Buckley has appeared in all 76 games in his two-plus seasons at the Heights.

    Injury Report... Junior goaltender Mike Correia sprained his left hamstring in the Maroon/Gold intrasquad scrimmage on October 5. He is expected to return to practice in the first week of November.

    Eagles Excel in One-Goal Games... With two 3-2 victories this season, the Eagles are now 10-1 in their last 11 games that have been decided by one goal. In Jerry York's three-plus seasons, the Eagles are 16-10 in one-goal contests.

    The NHL Draft and BC... Once again, Boston College played a big part in the NHL Entry Draft. Four current Eagles were selected in the June 1997 affair, the most (tied with Notre Dame) of any Division I program.

    Forward Jeff Farkas (3rd round, Toronto Maple Leafs) was the top selection from HOCKEY EAST. Other Eagles taken were forward Kevin Caulfield (5th, Washington Capitals), defenseman Mike Mottau (7th, New York Rangers) and goaltender Scott Clemmensen (8th round, New Jersey Devils).

    What I Did Last Summer... Seven Boston College players were among the 44 players who participated in the U.S. National Junior Camp, held at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. from August 9-16. Current BC sophomores Kevin Caulfield, Jeff Farkas and Mike Mottau joined incoming freshmen Bobby Allen, Brian Gionta, Marty Hughes and Rob Scuderi at the camp.

    At the conclusion of the camp, five Eagles (most of any Division I college) were selected to compete at the Tempere Cup in Tempere, Finland on August 21-24. Caulfield, Farkas, Mottau, Allen and Gionta were the Eagle representatives.

    Not Out of Their League... The victory over Notre Dame on October 24 increased the Eagles' winning streak against non-conference opponents to five games, dating back to 1996-97. Once again, the Eagles will play a competitive non-league schedule in 1997-98, including home contests against Harvard, St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

    Bright Lights, Big City... As part of the new television partnership between HOCKEY EAST and FOX Sports New England (formerly SportsChannel New England), Boston College will be featured a league-high three times during the 1997-98 regular season. Starting with a January 10 tilt against Maine, BC fans will see the January 27 game at New Hampshire and the February 6 matchup versus Providence. In addition, select HOCKEY EAST playoff games will be televised.

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