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Men's Hockey Captures Hockey East Title

Brian Billett earned his first start since Jan. 17 and stopped 35 shots in victory

Brian Billett earned his first start since Jan. 17 and stopped 35 shots in victory

Feb. 16, 2014

Box Score

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BURLINGTON, Vt. – For the third time in the last four seasons and league-record 13th overall, No. 1 Boston College clinched the Hockey East regular season title by completing the sweep of No. 14 Vermont with a 5-3 victory on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Five different goal scorers and a strong performance by junior goaltender Brian Billett propelled the Eagles to their 10th-straight victory. Boston College is unbeaten in its last 17 games, two shy of matching the record set by the 2011-12 squad in the Jerry York era.

Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau was one of three multi-point scorers for BC, tallying a power play goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 26-straight outings with at least one point. Rookies Chris Calnan and Scott Savage also netted a goal and an assist in the victory. 

Vermont outshot Boston College, 38-27, but Billett stopped 35 shots to up his record to 12-3-1 on the season. UVM’s Mike Santaguida started the first two periods and stopped 14 shots on 18 attempts before Brody Hoffman cleaned up the third period. 

Each team squandered a power play chance early on, but when Vermont was granted its second opportunity of the first frame, it was BC that took advantage for a short-handed strike. 

Senior Bill Arnold was hauled off for slashing at 17:13 of the first and the Catamounts applied early pressure, but a mishandled puck on the blue led to a 1-0 Eagles’ lead. Calnan stayed tight on the point and when he saw the puck bobbled, he pokechecked it away and was off to the races on Santaguida. Calnan popped a sharp snapshot past the UVM netminder short side. 

The Eagles were still in penalty-killing mode after the Calnan tally and as Arnold exited the box, he inserted himself into the play and made it 2-0 with just 36 seconds left in the first period. 

Senior captain Patrick Brown took a feed at the top of the zone and slid it over to classmate Isaac MacLeod for the one timer. As the puck bounced off of Santaguida’s right pad, Arnold carved in from the penalty box and tucked the loose disc to the back of the net at 19:24. 

Vermont came out firing in the second and cut the deficit in half at 2:07. 

The Catamounts got the puck in deep off the transition and Connor Brickley registered the first shot of the possession. Billett made the initial stop but Nick Bruneteau was in position to gather the carom and tuck it around to the back of the net to make it 2-1. 

Bruneteau negated his own tally after Gaudreau made it 3-1 on a holding call he committed at 10:14 of the second period. 

Rookies Austin Cangelosi and Adam Gilmour worked the puck around the top of the zone and Gaudreau dropped behind the defense. Gilmour connected with Gaudreau on the far post and he lifted it over Santaguida’s shoulder for the power play tally and a 3-1 lead at 11:41 of the middle session. 

Veteran forward Kevin Hayes gave the Eagles some breathing room at 16:52 of the second period with his patented wrist shot. 

Savage broke up a play in front of Billett and dumped it out to Gaudreau in the far corner. Gaudreau rushed it into Vermont’s zone and left the puck off for Hayes on the left dot. Hayes snapped it past Santaguida to give Boston College the 4-1 cushion. 

The Catamounts got one back at the beginning of the third period after Ian McCoshen was whistled for cross checking at 5:24. Colin Markison scored nine seconds later on the power play to try and close the gap, 4-2. Mario Puskarich handed the puck off the Markinson and with pressure, beat Billett five hole as he crashed to the ice. 

Savage restored BC’s three-goal lead a minute and a half later with a blast from the point. 

Junior Destry Straight and Calnan worked the cycle and Savage was the beneficiary in the end. With a Catamount defenseman right in his face, Savage unleashed a vicious slap shot past Hoffman at 7:00 of the third period to give the Eagles a 5-2 advantage. 

Chris McCarthy added a goal midway through the third at 11:25, but Billett and the rest of Boston College’s defense held their ground to hold on for the 5-3 triumph. 

Boston College will return to Kelley Rink on Friday night to kick start a home-and-home series with UMass Lowell on Feb. 21. Faceoff between the Eagles and River Hawks is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

Game Notes

- Boston College won its third Hockey East regular season title in the last four seasons and 13th overall in the league’s 30th season. The Eagles have won the most Hockey East regular season trophies. 

- Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 26 consecutive games with at least one point. Gaudreau’s power play tally and assist on Kevin Hayes’ game-winning goal upped his total over that span to 53 points (24-29-53) and a +35 plus/minus rating. 

- The forward line of Johnny GaudreauBill ArnoldKevin Hayes have now all scored at least one point in 15 of their lasts 17 games as a line together. All three scored a goal at Vermont on Saturday and have now totaled 38 goals and 53 assists for 91 total points and a +70 rating. The BC trio has skated in 17 games together starting on Dec. 6. Boston College has not lost since then.

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