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Eagles Demolish PC To Stay Atop Standings

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

The No. 2 ranked Boston College Eagles (23-10-1) defeated the Providence Friars (12-16-4) Saturday afternoon to complete the season and weekend sweep of the Friars in front of 7,419 fans at Kelley Rink in Conte Forum. The win marked the 100th victory for the senior class and was an absolute domination by the Eagles, who won by a score of 7-0.

The victory was a total team effort for BC, as 10 Eagles were able to pick up points in the victory. Senior forward Barry Almeida, who certainly did not want to waste any time picking up his class' 100th victory, led the way in scoring with one goal and three assists.

"It's a great milestone and, individually, our senior class has had a fair share of success, but it's all about the team, and you have to keep winning down the stretch to make this year special," Almeida said of the accomplishment.

Joining Almeida in the accomplishment were his teammates Tommy Cross, Paul Carey, Edwin Shea, Chris Venti, and Tommy Atkinson.

The Eagles were able to seize the lead just 29 seconds into the game with a goal by junior forward Steven Whitney. Whitney made his way down the middle of the ice on a tremendous skating effort and fired the puck right around the blue line. The shot found the top left corner of the net, beating Providence goalie Alex Beaudry, blocker-side.

The Eagles certainly seemed to have an emphasis on jumping on Providence early and often, tallying five goals overall in the first period. Different players scored all five of the goals, and nine players picked up their first points of the game in the period.

"We really capitalized on our opportunities in the first period," said head coach Jerry York. "I thought our first 20 minutes was as technically sound and as good of hockey as we've played over this stretch. We've played some really solid hockey over our last eight, nine games. I thought this first period was exceptional in a lot of regards. Defensively, we were very positionally sound, but offensively we moved pucks and created some terrific opportunities, which we buried."

Almeida was able to continue putting pressure on the Providence defense in the first frame when he scored on a breakaway. Sophomore Bill Arnold, who had just exited the penalty box on a slashing call, came into the defensive zone, won a battle along the boards, and got an outlet pass to Almeida. Almeida was off to the races and beat out both Providence defenders before scoring on Beaudry through the five-hole.

When asked if they always look for a break coming off of a penalty, Almeida said, "We do practice it. It's all about clock management and knowing when that guy is coming out of the box. Twice tonight it just happened." He added that it was simply "luck of the draw."

The other goal-scorers in the first period were Arnold, Danny Linell, and Johnny Gaudreau.

Gaudreau extended his point streak to seven games by notching his 15th and 16th goals of the season in Saturday's contest. He has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) during the Eagles current nine-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, junior goalie Parker Milner continued his hot hand in the net, extending his shutout streak that dates back to the second period of last weekend's game at Merrimack. BC goalies were able to shut out Providence all weekend, thanks to Milner and senior goalie Chris Venti, who took over for Milner with about 10 minutes left in the third period.

The Eagles seem to be catching wind at the right time, as they need to be playing their best hockey going into the Hockey East tournament coming up after one more weekend series with Vermont this weekend (both games are at Kelley Rink).

"We put ourselves in a situation. Now, where we're trying to chase that trophy next weekend, and it'll be right in front of us. It'll have to be a good week of preparation [for us] to really go after our two games next weekend," coach York said. "I really feel proud of how our club is playing. We're certainly peaking at the right time."

The Eagles also rolled into Friday night's game against Providence. They were able to blank the Friars thanks largely to Milner, who picked up his second career shutout with 29 saves. Tommy Cross, Pat Mullane, and Paul Carey all notched goals for the Eagles in the 3-0 win.

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