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BC and Notre Dame Set for Frozen Fenway

Kevin Hayes is one of eight current Eagles to have played at Fenway Park in their career

Kevin Hayes is one of eight current Eagles to have played at Fenway Park in their career

Jan. 2, 2014

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The “Holy War” freezes over on Saturday night when Boston College welcomes Notre Dame to an outdoor game at Fenway Park for the 2014 Citi Frozen Fenway event. For the Eagles, this marks their third time playing in Boston’s famed ball yard while the Fighting Irish will be playing in unfamiliar territory. Notre Dame did, however, played defeat Miami University, 2-1, outdoors at Soldier Field in Chicago. Saturday’s meeting between BC and ND marks just the 33rd contests between the two institutions all-time with Boston College holding the 17-13-2 (.563) advantage. The game will be unique as it denotes the first meeting between the two squads as Hockey East opponents; thus, kicking off a new league rivalry. Boston College has won three of the last five decisions against ND, including BC’s third national championship in 2008 (4-1 in Denver). In the last 16 and a half seasons, Boston College and Notre Dame represent a combined 753 victories on the ice.

Notre Dame skates into its second outdoor game in program history with a 10-7-1 overall mark, but just a 3-4-1 total in its inaugural season as a member of Hockey East. In their last seven games, the Fighting Irish have accumulated just two victories. ND started the season red-hot, posting a 5-0-0 mark including a pair of shutouts to start the season against Western Michigan. Since that five-game winning streak to start the year, the Irish has slipped to 5-7-1. T.J. Tynan leads Notre Dame with 15 points (3-12-15) while Mario Lucia has lit the lamp a team-best nine times. Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays is 11th in the country in both goals against average (1.89) and save percentage (.931). Thanks to Summerhays, the Fighting Irish defense ranks near the top of the NCAA in seventh overall (2.11 gpg). The offense is tied for 21st, averaging 3.00 goals per game. The penalty kill is tied for 16th (84.6) while the power play ranks 27th (19.6).

Boston College polished off the month of December with an unblemished mark of 4-0-0. This marks the Eagles’ sixth perfect December under Coach Jerry York, with the other five occurrences taking place in 2010, 2009, 2007, 2003 and 1999.

Johnny Gaudreau has broken his old point streak of 12 games he posted last season, spanning from Oct. 13 to Nov. 30, 2012, and has now scored at least one point in his last 13 games. Gaudreau’s current point streak commenced on Nov. 1, 2013, and he has scored 25 points during that time, with 12 goals and 13 assists. Throughout that tear, Gaudreau has accounted for seven multi-point games. In fact, the only game Gaudreau has not scored a point in this season was at Minnesota on Oct. 27.

Boston College ran away with its first trophy of the season, claiming the Three Rivers Classic tournament held at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ CONSOL Energy Center after throttling Bowling Green, 5-0, and Penn State, 8-2. Johnny Gaudreau (2-3-5) was named the Tournament MVP while Kevin Hayes (1-3-4) and Bill Arnold (0-3-3) joined Gaudreau on the All-Tournament Team. Boston College scored 13 goals over the course of two games of the Three Rivers Classic, outscoring all three other squads combined. Penn State, Bowling Green and Robert Morris combined for 12 goals in six games amongst themselves.

In his 20th-career start, Brian Billett recorded his first career shutout via 27 saves against Bowling Green on Dec. 27. The last time Boston College recorded a shutout on the road was when Parker Milner made 29 saves at Providence on Feb. 24, 2012.

Since joining forces on the top line on Dec. 6 against New Hampshire, the triple threat of Johnny GaudreauBill ArnoldKevin Hayes has been nearly unstoppable in the Eagles’ four-game winning spell. The trio has combined for 20 points, including seven goals and 13 assists with a +24 rating in December. Heading into Jan. 4, Arnold (1.06), Gaudreau (1.00) and Hayes (0.94) rank first, second and third, respectively in assist scoring in Hockey East while Gaudreau (1.83) and Hayes (1.56) are the one-two punch atop the league’s scoring list.

In Boston College’s 8-2 blowout of Penn State on Dec. 28, junior forward Destry Straight netted the Eagles’ first hat trick of the season and first since Steven Whitney turned the trick against Northeastern on Jan. 18, 2013. The hat trick not only counts for a career high in points scored in one game, his first tally of the night stands as his third-career game-winning goal.

Boston College has already defeated three teams (Penn State, Army, Wisconsin) by six goals or more this season. The last time an Eagles’ squad turned in that many dominant performances of a six-goal margin of victory (or more) was when BC defeated five teams of that nature on its way to the national championship during the course of the 2009-10 season.

Five of Boston College’s six defensemen scored a goal at the Three Rivers Classic (Dec. 27-28), including Michael Matheson, Scott Savage, Danny Linell, Travis Jeke and Teddy Doherty while Isaac MacLeod also found the scoring sheet in BC’s win over Penn State.

Boston College broke its seven-game scoring drought on the power play and lit the lamp twice with the extra skater on Dec. 28 against Penn State. It marks the first time BC’s has done that since scoring three PPGs against Army on Nov. 10. The Eagles also scored two power play markers against RPI on Oct. 13.

Boston College has collected eight awards from Hockey East after Johnny Gaudreau was named Hockey East Player of the Week on Dec. 31 and Brian Billett was heralded as the Hockey East Goaltender of the Month on Jan. 2. The Eagles have won eight awards from Hockey East this season, including Thatcher Demko HEA (Defensive Player of Week - Dec. 9), Ryan Fitzgerald (HEA Rookie of the Week - Nov. 4 and HEA Rookie of the Month - Dec. 4), Billett (HEA Goalie of the Month - Jan. 2) and Gaudreau (HEA Player of the Week - Nov. 11 & Dec. 31 and HEA Player of the Month - Dec. 3). BC was tabbed HEA Team of the Week on Dec. 9 after sweeping UNH.

Former BC defenseman Brooks Orpik (1998-2001) has been named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team as announced on Jan. 4 after the NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. Orpik, now a two-time Olympian after winning silver in the 2010 Vancouver Games, is the 26th Eagle to don the Red, White and Blue for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team.

Travis Jeke (Pittsburgh) and Michael Sit (Edina, Minn.) have had successful homecomings this season. Most recently at the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, Jeke skated in his first two games of the season and recorded a point in both outings, logging a goal and an assist against BGSU along with another helper against PSU. At Minnesota on Oct. 25, Sit posted his first multi-point performance at BC with a pair of goals at Minnesota on Oct. 25. Sit’s two goals occurred 11 seconds apart.

Austin Cangelosi’s playmaker (three assists) against Penn State on Dec. 28 marks the third of BC’s kind this season. Bill Arnold turned the trick against Army on Nov. 10, 2013, while Adam Gilmour did the same on Nov. 18, 2013, against Wisconsin.

When Boston College won the Three Rivers Classic title on Dec. 28 night against Penn State, not only does it mark the first-ever meeting, but the Eagles will have taken on two-thirds of the Big Ten Conference this season (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota (2), Penn State). The only two teams BC hasn’t played from the B1G are Michigan State and Ohio State. It marked Penn State’s third Hockey East meeting of the season (Vermont / UMass Lowell).

HAPPY (heading into the) HOLIDAYS
Boston College achieved its 10th victory of the season with the weekend sweep over New Hampshire on Dec. 6-7. The Eagles have gone against the grain in the last five years; dissolving the notion BC is a slow-starting first-half team. Since 2009-10, Boston College has accomplished 10 wins or more before the holiday break for five-consecutive seasons. The Eagles most triumphs during this spell took place in 2011 when BC won 12 games before the holiday break.

Since Jerry York took over in 1994, Boston College has participated in 17 mid-season holiday tournaments with the last victory taking place at the Three Rivers Classic (CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh) on Dec. 27-28, 2013. The Eagles have won seven holiday tournaments in all, runners-up on three occasions, finished third three times and fourth twice.

Thatcher Demko, Ian McCoshen and Steven Santini were selected for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team’s final roster of 23 skaters on Dec. 23. Team USA lost to Russia in the quarterfinals on Jan. 2, 5-3, ending its quest for gold. Steve Santini scored a power play goal in Team USA’ 8-0 victory over Germany on Dec. 29. The Americans defeated the Czech Republic on Dec. 26, 5-1, and Slovakia, 6-3, on Dec. 28 before back-to-back losses against Canada (Dec. 31, 2-3) and Russia. The trio of Eagles were the 22nd, 23rd and 24th World Junior Championship participants under Jerry York. BC associate head coach Greg Brown was also an assistant coach with this year’s U.S. National Junior Team.

Nationally speaking, the Eagles rank at the top of several statistical categories, primarily on the offensive side of the ice. Boston College is the No. 1 ranked offense in all of college hockey, averaging 4.44 goals per game. Johnny Gaudreau leads that charge as the second-highest point scorer in the NCAA with 1.83 ppg while Kevin Hayes is tied for third (1.56 ppg). Gaudreau is also second in goals per game (0.83) while Bill Arnold is tied for third in the country with 1.06 assists per outing. The Eagles own the nation’s highest scoring margin (+ 2.17) and the second-best penalty kill in the game, preventing 90.6 percent of opponents’ chances. BC’s combined special teams is also tops in college hockey (60.8 percent).

Johnny Gaudreau is college hockey’s second-leading scorer (1.83 ppg), trailing St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey (1.89 ppg). Gaudreau is second in the country in goal scoring, averaging 0.83 goals per game. In BC’s 18 games this season, Gaudreau has accounted for nine multi-point games. On Dec. 27, against Bowling Green, Gaudreau racked up his 15th-career game-winning goal alongside a pair of assists in a 5-0 shutout. The Carneys Point, N.J., native is currently on a career-best 13-game point streak, matching a career best, starting on Nov. 1, 2013.

In 97 career games, Gaudreau is tied for 44th all-time in the BC annals for career points (128) and tied for 42nd in goals scored (57). With his assist against Penn State on Dec. 28, Gaudreau also cracked the top 50 list in career assists, tying Ed Kenty (1970-73) for 50th all-time. On average, Gaudreau contributes 1.32 points per game for his career.

Kevin Hayes’ consistent play over the course of November catapulted him to be tied for third in the NCAA in scoring. Following the Three Rivers Classic, Hayes has scored 11 goals and 17 assists this season, including 10 multi-point performances. The local product from Dorchester is averaging 1.56 points per game thus far.

Johnny Gaudreau is the second leading scorer in the country, averaging 1.83 points per game (14-17-31) #WeAreBC

Brian Billett recorded his first-career shutout in his 20th game starting as an Eagle #WeAreBC

•Danny Linell is the only current Eagle to have tallied a point (0-1-1) at a previous Frozen Fenway game #WeAreBC

• .@BCHockeyNews leads the country in scoring offense, averaging 4.44 goals per game #WeAreBC

• Destry Straight’s hat trick was the first for BC this season and first since Steven Whitney’s on Jan 18, 2013 vs. NU #WeAreBC

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