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BC and PC Play for First on Friday at Kelley Rink

Michael Matheson is part of BC's penalty kill that is ranked second in college hockey (90.1 percent)

Michael Matheson is part of BC's penalty kill that is ranked second in college hockey (90.1 percent)

Jan. 8, 2014

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The top two teams in Hockey East return to a more conventional style of hockey when Boston College hosts Providence on Friday night at Kelley Rink. The Eagles have carved out the top spot in Hockey East with a game in hand on the Friars. BC is two points up on the Friars and will be seeking a big victory to extend its winning-streak to six games. The last time BC and PC met was on March 2, 2013, and the Friars curbed a five-year streak of being winless. Providence defeated Boston College, 5-1, after a late goal by Quinn Smith prevented the Eagles from being shutout. Before that, PC did not defeat Boston College since Feb. 29, 2008. Eighteen games transpired from Feb. 29, 2008, to March 1, 2013, before Providence earned its first victory over BC on March 2. In the overall series, the Eagles lead Providence, 107-46-13 (.684) with a 63-26-12 (.683) in Hockey East action. In his 20th season, Jerry York has compiled a 39-16-10 record against Providence.

Providence, two points behind Boston College in the league standings, is licking its wounds from a tough loss to Northeastern on Tuesday evening at Schneider Arena. With 34 seconds left in regulation, NU's Braden Pimm forced overtime and followed that with the overtime winner 12 seconds into the extra session. PC's loss on Tuesday night nudged its winless streak to three games, having tied Merrimack on Saturday night in the opening act of Frozen Fenway. The Friars also lost to Air Force at Dartmouth's holiday tournament on Dec. 30. PC opened the season with a 10-1 start, but since, has gone 4-3-3. Ross Mauermann leads the Friars' scoring attacked and is ranked 11th, nationally, in scoring with 1.33 points per game (14-14-28). Sophomore goaltender Jon Gillies backs the fourth-best (tied) defense in the country (2.00 gpg), with a .941 save percentage. Gillies' save rate is second-best in the NCAA while his scant 1.88 goals against average is ninth-best in college hockey.

Several Eagles are nearing significant benchmarks for their career, both in scoring numbers and games played. Kevin Hayes is three points away (28-69-97) from becoming the third Eagles to reach the 100-point plateau mark for his career. Patrick Brown skates in his 100th-career game against Providence while Johnny Gaudreau's 100th-career will come and go after the Brown contest on Jan. 11. Danny Linell will have played in his 100th-career game against Boston University on Jan. 17. Bill Arnold is one goal away from scoring 50 for his career while Coach York needs just two more wins to reach the 950-career victory milestone.

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 14 games. Gaudreau's current point streak commenced on Nov. 1, 2013, and he has scored 27 points during that time, with 14 goals and 13 assists. Throughout that tear, Gaudreau has accounted for eight multi-point games. In fact, the only game Gaudreau has not scored a point in this season was at Minnesota on Oct. 27.

Johnny Gaudreau is college hockey's second-leading scorer (1.84 ppg), trailing St. Lawrence's Greg Carey (1.85 ppg). Gaudreau is second in the country in goal scoring, averaging 0.89 goals per game. In BC's 19 games this season, Gaudreau has accounted for 10 multi-point games. On Jan. 4, against Notre Dame at Fenway Park, Gaudreau racked up his 16th-career game-winning goal in a two-goal showing. Gaudreau's five game-winners this season are tops in college hockey. His 0.95 assists per game is ninth best in the NCAA.

In 98 career games, Gaudreau is tied for 42ne all-time in the BC annals for career points (59-72-130) and tied for 37th in goals scored (59). Recently, Gaudreau also cracked the top 50 list in career assists, tying Ed Kenty (1970-73) for 50th all-time. On average, Gaudreau contributes 1.33 points per game for his career.

Kevin Hayes' consistent play over the course of November and December catapulted him into the country's third most prolific scorer. Following Frozen Fenway against Notre Dame, Hayes has scored 11 goals and 19 assists this season, including 11 multi-point performances. The local product from Dorchester is averaging 1.58 points per game thus far.

Since joining forces on the top line on Dec. 6 against New Hampshire, the triple threat of Johnny Gaudreau - Bill Arnold - Kevin Hayes has been nearly unstoppable in the Eagles' five-game winning spell. The trio has combined for 27 points, including 10 goals and 17 assists with a +31 rating. Heading into Jan. 10, Arnold (1.11), Hayes (1.00) and Gaudreau (0.95) rank first, second and third, respectively in assist scoring in Hockey East while Gaudreau (1.84) and Hayes (1.58) are the one-two punch atop the league's scoring list.

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 4.42 goals per game. Johnny Gaudreau leads that charge as the second-highest point scorer in the NCAA with 1.84 ppg while Kevin Hayes is in third (1.58 ppg). Gaudreau is also second in goals per game (0.89) while Bill Arnold is third in the country with 1.11 assists per outing. The Eagles own the nation's highest scoring margin (+ 2.11) and the second-best penalty kill in the game, preventing 90.1 percent of opponents' chances. BC's combined special teams is second best in college hockey (58.2 percent).

Sophomore Brendan Silk chose the outdoors to score his first goal of the season. The Wakefield, Mass., native scored his first tally of the year against Notre Dame at Fenway Park on Jan. 4, marking his third-career goal.

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.

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.

Johnny Gaudreau is the second leading scorer in the country, averaging 1.85 points per game (14-17-31) #WeAreBC

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

Patrick Brown is playing in his 100th-career game against Providence #WeAreBC

• .@BCHockeyNews leads the country in scoring offense, averaging 4.42 goals per game #WeAreBC

• Providence curbed an 18-game winless streak against Boston College in the last meeting with a 5-1 win on March 2, 2013 #WeAreBC

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