Men's Hockey Sinks Merrimack, 4-1
Jan. 21, 2014
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - No. 2 Boston College emerged victoriously from a hard-fought road battle on Tuesday night, skating by Merrimack, 4-1, in front of a sold out Lawler Arena. With the victory, the Eagles are eight points clear of first place in the Hockey East standings.
Senior Kevin Hayes set the precedent, scoring 1:23 into the contest, with help from junior Johnny Gaudreau, to keep their lengthy point streaks intact. Gaudreau owns the country's longest point streak at 19 games while Hayes has strung together a stretch of 11 outings with at least one point.
Rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko won his second-consecutive game with 19 stops as the Eagles outshot the Warriors, 26-20. Boston College limited Merrimack to just two shots in the opening frame.
The Eagles struck early on the Hayes - Gaudreau connection on a break out in BC's end. Gaudreau intercepted Ben Bahe's blind outlet pass along the near wall and sent it back to the other side where Hayes was already chasing after it.
Hayes carved through the middle and let loose a strong backhand on MC goalie Rasmus Tirronen. The initial save was made but the puck caromed out off of Merrimack's Dan Kolomatis and BC gained a fortuitous bounce into the back of the net at 1:27.
Merrimack tied it up, 1-1, on a wrister from Mike Collins at 4:47. Connor Toomey flipped the puck out of the corner behind the net to Brian Christie. Christie hooked up with Collins on the right dot and he beat Demko five-hole with heavy traffic on the crease.
Merrimack committed five penalties in the first stanza and the Eagles made them pay on the fifth one with under a minute to play.
Gaudreau drew a hooking call on Justin Mansfield at 19:13 and on the ensuing draw, Gilmour made a heads up play on the crease.
Gilmour won the draw to Tirronen's right and bounced it off the wall to Teddy Doherty on the blue line. Doherty bashed it towards the crease and Gilmour rolled out and deflected the blast past Tirronen to give BC the 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Warriors posed the first threat of the second stanza after Ben Bahe split a pair of Eagles and had a short breakaway. Demko stood his ground and denied the wrister and Boston College made it a two-goal game shortly after.
Following a Ryan Fitzgerald slashing penalty, the Eagles regrouped and Brown sniped a shot from the left circle to give BC the 3-1 advantage.
Scott Savage made an acrobatic play to keep the puck onsides. After bringing the puck back down to the ice, he zipped it down low to Fitzgerald. Fending off some tough defense, Fitzgerald kicked it back to Brown and he ripped it past Tirronen at 8:31 for the frame's lone tally.
Merrimack tried to cut the ice in half in the third to tie it up, but the Eagles defense stood tall and the Warriors off the board. MC coach Mark Dennehy called for a timeout with 1:40 left in regulation and sat Tirronen in favor of the extra skater. Freshman Austin Cangelosi took advantage, icing the game at 19:08.
Brown pushed the puck back into the zone and Quinn Smith rimmed it to the middle where Cangelosi plowed through and scored to cap the 4-1 triumph.
Boston College will travel out to State College, Pa., to clash against Penn State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. The Eagles and Nittany Lions met in the championship showdown of the Three Rivers Classic back on Dec. 28, 2013. Boston College came away with an 8-2 triumph.
- Johnny Gaudreau owns college hockey's longest point streak, having notched at least one point in his last 19 outings. Over the course of his scoring streak, which started on Nov. 1, the Carneys Point, N.J., native has accounted for 40 points (18-22-40).
- Boston College is tied for the nation's longest unbeaten streak. The Eagles have not lost since the Holy Cross contest on Nov. 29, assembling a 10-game unbeaten stretch of 9-0-1. No. 1 Minnesota also owns an unbeaten streak of 10 games (8-0-2).
- The forward line of Johnny Gaudreau - Bill Arnold - Kevin Hayes upped their 10-game total of playing as a line together to 60 cumulative points. With Hayes' goal and Gaudreau's assist, the line has produced 23 goals and 37 assists with a combined +49 plus/minus rating.
- Patrick Brown has scored a goal in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
- Adam Gilmour scored both his third-career game-winning goal and third-career power play goal in Tuesday night's victory at Merrimack.
- Boston College's power play unit has scored a goal in its last five games and six of the last seven outings.