BC Closes First Half with UNH Sweep, 2-1
Dec. 7, 2013
Durham, N,H. - No. 9 Boston College will break for the holidays on a high note after sweeping No. 18 New Hampshire with a 2-1 triumph on Saturday night at a sold out Whittemore Center. With the victory, the Eagles vault into a first-place tie in Hockey East with Providence before going on a 20-day hiatus.
Senior forward Kevin Hayes provided the game-winning goal late in the second period, the fifth of his career, and added an assist to lead all point scorers in the win. Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 11 games (10-10-20), helping out on Bill Arnold's third goal of the season at 16:07 of the first period.
Rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko turned aside several New Hampshire chances to buoy the BC defense, picking up his fourth win via 28 saves. New Hampshire outshot BC, 29-19.
The Eagles went all weekend without a power play chance. Boston College's penalty-killing unit rose to the challenge again, stopping all four UNH opportunities. The Eagles have not allowed a power play goal in their last four outings.
Hayes sparked the first goal, plugging up a UNH attempt to gain the zone. After stripping the puck, Hayes fired it over to Gaudreau on the blue line. Hayes stayed the course and charged between the circles, accepting Gaudreau's one-time feed. Hayes fired the disc on UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith and Arnold fought to grab the rebound. With pressure, Arnold shoveled the puck in on the backhand at 16:07 for the 1-0 BC lead.
After a few minutes of back-and-forth hockey to commence the second frame, the Wildcats poured it on midway through. Demko denied Collin Bourque on the one-timer bid at the 6:30 mark, but UNH maintained its pressure and Matt Willows tied it up 1-1.
Kevin Goumas started off the scoring play, connecting with Nick Sorkin on the far post. Sorkin blasted it off of Demko's pad and the puck trickled out to Willows on the other side of the crease for the put back.
Boston College turned the tables late in the second period after Patrick Brown induced a Wildcats' turnover in the neutral zone.
Brown stripped UNH of the puck on a charge and wheeled it past the red line up to Hayes in motion. Hayes deked around his defenseman to create some room, cut across the zone and released a perfectly-placed wrist shot from the right dot at 17:51 to regain the one-goal lead, 2-1.
Midway through the third, BC's penalty kill staved off a Teddy Doherty holding call at 9:45. The Eagles clogged the middle and held strong to preserve the lead.
After the Wildcats lifted DeSmith in favor of an extra skater with 54 seconds to play, the Eagles did not let UNH penetrate and nearly attacked the empty cage on several attempts.
Boston College will recess for the holidays and play in a couple professional venues around the New Year. Just after Christmas, the Eagles will take part in the Three Rivers Classic at Consul Energy Center (home of the Pittsburgh Penguins) in Pittsburgh. BC square off against Bowling Green in the first round on Friday, Dec. 27, at 4:35 p.m. and take on either Robert Morris of Penn State on Saturday, Dec. 28 (TBD).
Following the tournament in Pittsburgh, Boston College will host Notre Dame as part of City Frozen Fenway 2014 at Fenway Park on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m.