Feb. 5, 2014
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BOSTON COLLEGE vs. MERRIMACK
Boston College will play its requisite league game in between the first two Mondays of February this Friday night when the Eagles host Merrimack. Friday’s fixture marks the first time these two teams have squared off at Kelley Rink since Nov. 16, 2012. Merrimack would prefer to play it in North Andover, Mass., because the Warriors have not won in Chestnut Hill since Oct. 31, 1997. Twenty-seven games have transpired between Halloween of ’97 in which Boston College has mounted a 24-0-3 record against Merrimack within that stretch. All-time at Kelley Rink, BC is 34-6-3 against Merrimack since the start of Hockey East play. In the first meeting between the two clubs this season, BC came away with a hard-fought road victory, 4-1, on Jan. 21. Kevin Hayes scored the opening goal at 1:23 of the first period and the Eagles never looked back. Freshman Adam Gilmour also scored, netting the game-winning tally in power play fashion at 19:18 of the first frame.
Since Boston College and Merrimack met at Lawler Arena on Jan. 21, the Warriors have only won once in four outings. In all, Merrimack is 7-15-3 with a 2-9-2 mark in Hockey East play. Just last weekend, Merrimack was swept by No. 8 UMass Lowell, 4-2 and 4-0, respectively. Mike Collins leads the offense with 19 points (8-11-19) as the senior is tied for 77th in the country in scoring (0.90 ppg). Merrimack’s offense ranks 55th in the country, averaging 1.92 goals per game, while the defense is slotted in 33rd. Goaltender Rasmus Tirronen earns the brunt of the work between the pipes and sports a 2.37 goals against average (31st in NCAA) and a .912 save percentage (40th in NCAA). The Warriors’ penalty-killing efforts are strong, ranked 18th in the country with an 83.8 percent kill rate. The power play has converted on 16-of-114 chances (14.0 percent), tabbing it 48th in college hockey. Merrimack has won just once on the road this year (1-10-2).
PLENTY OF TWENTY
In 15 of Jerry York’s 20 campaigns as head coach at Boston College, the Eagles have achieved 20 wins or greater in a season. BC managed to win its 20th game this season in just its 27th outing, tying for second quickest under York. In 2010-11 and 2003-04, Boston College won 20 games in 26 tilts, marking the fastest under York. This year’s team matched the 2000-01 Eagles’ squad that emerged victoriously in 20-of-27 contests.
In most cases during the Beanpot, BC will play a league game the Friday night between the tournament. Since York’s arrival, Boston College has scripted a sterling record of Friday games in between Beanpot Mondays, posting a 12-3-2 mark. The Eagles have won every game of that nature since 2004 when BC tied Merrimack, 4-4, on Feb. 9, 2004. The last time BC lost a game in between the Beanpot was Feb. 9, 2001 (PC, 3-5).
FOR ALL THE BEANS
With the victory over BU in the semifinal round of the 62nd annual Beanpot Tournament on Feb. 3, Boston College will play in its fifth-consecutive Beanpot championship, marking the most in school history. Next Monday marks the third championship meeting against Northeastern in the last four seasons, but just the fifth championship bout against the Huskies ever.
Thanks to a surging second-half start, Boston College has guaranteed itself another winning season. This will make the Eagles’ 17th-straight winning campaign under Jerry York and the 74th winning season (out of 92) in program history.
(maroon and) GOLD STANDARD
Since Dec. 6, Boston College has gone unbeaten, amassing a 13-game unbeaten streak with 12 victories and one draw. The Eagles’ 13-game unbeaten streak is tied for third-longest in the Jerry York era (1994 - current). This marks the third 13-game unbeaten string (2006-07, 2009-10). York has posted three 14-game unbeaten streaks (1997-98, 2003-04, 2004-05) as well. The gold standard under York is BC’s 19-game winning streak that resulted in a national championship during the 2011-12 season (Jan. 27 - April 7, 2012).
Boston College has started the turn of the New Year with an 8-0-1 mark. It is the best start to a new calendar year since Jerry York’s 2004-05 squad that went 8-0-2 in its first 10 outings from January on. Going back to the 2004-05 team’s December, the Eagles were 11-1-3. Since the start of December for the 2013-14 Eagles’ campaign, BC is 12-0-1.
BURSTING INTO THE BEANPOT
Heading into the Feb. 3 semifinal against Boston University, BC had amassed 19 victories. As it stands, only one other team has racked up more victories before the first Monday in February than the current BC squad. York’s 2000-01 team posted 20 victories while the 2010-11 club matched the 2013-14 Eagles’ team with 19 wins, as well.
JUST KEEPS ON GAUDREAU-ING
Johnny Gaudreau is averaging nearly two points per game (1.96 ppg) after becoming the first skater in college hockey to hit the 50-point plateau this season. Gaudreau’s 24 goals and 29 assists in 27 games puts Gaudreau in the driver’s seat as the country’s leader in points scored. The Carneys Point, N.J., native is working on college hockey’s longest point streak this season, having scored at least one point in his last 22 games. Over that period, Gaudreau has accrued 21 goals and 24 assists for 45 points along with 13 multi-point performances and a +33 rating.
Following his five-assist performance against Maine on Jan. 18, Johnny Gaudreau tied another member of the Eagle coaching staff on Jan. 18. After Gaudreau surpassed Jerry York on the all-time scoring charts, he surpassed BC assistant coach Marty McInnis (along with Joe Whitney) and is now 28th all-time with 148 career points (66-82-148). In 118 games played, McInnis totaled 142 points (58-84-142). It took Gaudreau 102 games to reach that mark (63-79-142). Gaudreau’s 148 total points are also fourth best amongst current college skaters in career points. Of the 19 top skaters in that career list, Gaudreau is the only junior listed. Everyone else is a senior.
Johnny Gaudreau is college hockey’s leading scorer. The 5-8 left winger is averaging 1.96 points per game (24-29-53) and was the first skater to reach both the 40-point and 50-point plateaus for the 2013-14 ledger. Not only does he lead the NCAA in goal scoring with 0.89 goals per game, his five game-winning markers are tied for best in all the land. Gaudreau is fourth in the NCAA with 1.07 assists per game. In fact, Gaudreau has scored a point in all but one game this season (at Minnesota – Oct. 27) and registered 15-multi point performances this season. Gaudreau also leads the nation in four-point performances (3) and three-point showings (8).
THE BIG THREE
The trio of Johnny Gaudreau - Bill Arnold - Kevin Hayes has been nothing short of unstoppable since being paired together on Dec. 6. Not only has BC not lost since this line joined forces (12-0-1), the trio has combined for 29 goals and 44 assists (73 points) and a +62 plus/minus rating. In the Jan. 18 win over Maine, Gaudreau, Arnold and Hayes combined for four goals and nine assists (13 points). Since the combination of these three, they have ALL scored at least one point per game in the ELEVEN of their last 13 outings. Hayes and Arnold have now joined Gaudreau on career-high point streaks. Hayes capped a 12-game streak (13-14-27) and Arnold finished up a career high streak of nine straight from Dec. 6 to Jan. 18 (5-10-15). As of Jan. 21, the triumvirate rests in the top 10, nationally, in scoring. Gaudreau is the NCAA’s top scorer (1.96 ppg), followed by Hayes in third (1.70 ppg) and Arnold, ranked seventh (1.41 ppg). This line has outscored all of its opponents, combined, 29-23, since Dec. 6.
• Johnny Gaudreau is the nation’s leading points and goal scorer in the country, averaging 1.96 points and 0.89 goals per game #WeAreBC
• Thatcher Demko’s winning percentage of .833 (9-1-2) is the second-best mark in college hockey #WeAreBC
• Boston College has not lost at home to Merrimack since Oct. 31, 1997 (24-0-3 since then) #WeAreBC
• Boston College’s penalty-killing unit is tops in college hockey, preventing 91.1 percent of its opponent’s chances #WeAreBC
• Johnny Gaudreau extended the country’s longest point streak to 21 games with a goal and at Providence on Jan. 31 #WeAreBC