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MEN'S HOCKEY: Eagles Win On Banner Night

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

hockey

Graham Beck / Heights Editor

Boston College (2-1-0, 2-1-0 HEA) unveiled both its newest National Championship banner and its newest hockey squad Saturday night at Kelley Rink. In a 3-0 defeat of cross-town rival Northeastern (2-1-0, 2-1-0 HEA), the No. 3 Eagles sought and found retribution against the team that beat them just a week ago.

“With [Northeastern] beating us on their home opener, we most definitely didn’t want them taking our home opener away from us,” said Johnny Gaudreau, who had four points on the night. “It definitely gave us a bit of a chip on our shoulders.”

The grudge match proved to be just that—a grudge match. The game featured a total of 17 penalties. BC just happened to capitalize on early chances and kill any opportunities Northeastern had. The Huskies had 44 total shots, 26 on target, and nearly 15 minutes of power play advantage, but still left Conte Forum goalless. Their chances simply weren’t as good as BC’s due to the play of the back line and the fine form of goalkeeper Parker Milner.

“I was very pleased with our special teams,” said head coach Jerry York. “Our PK was excellent, and our power play was really important for us tonight. Even though sometimes we didn’t score, we had good puck possession. We moved pucks well.”

“Quite simply, [Boston College] just beat us to pucks down low, even when it was five on four,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan. “Their will was greater than ours.”

Just six minutes into the first period, the Eagle power play imposed that will. With a series of crisp passes in the Huskies’ zone, BC broke down the Northeastern defense and broke the game wide open. Defenseman Patrick Wey fed fellow defenseman Teddy Doherty on the left wing, as he crossed the puck to Kevin Hayes in the right slot. Hayes hammered the puck top shelf and into the net. It was the first time BC had grabbed an early lead so far this season.

Four minutes later, captain Pat Mullane and Gaudreau combined to put the Eagles up 2-0.

“It was a great block shot by Pat Mullane,” Gaudreau said. “The [Northeastern] defenseman made a nice shot. Pat Mullane blocked it. I saw [the puck] right on his stick, so I broke through both defensemen. It was a wide-open clear, and he made a nice pass up through the middle. I had a break away and just put it five hole. I thought it’d be open because [Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings is] a pretty big goalie.”

At this point in the contest, the Eagles had scored twice on four shots on goal.

After most of a scrappy, penalty-ridden second period, the Eagles pounced during a five-on-three power play. Assistant captain Steven Whitney, who moved from forward to running the point on power plays, one-timed a pass from Gaudreau past the keeper.

“It’s still early in the season—heck, we haven’t even got into a rhythm yet of practicing and playing,” York said. “I thought we moved pucks better and made smarter plays.”

The 2012-2013 BC hockey squad may not be a finished product yet, but as the 2011-2012 chapter was finally closed out with the raising of the National Championship banner, this team’s chapter in the annals of Boston College history has just begun.

“I think the banner was the end of last year’s championship,” Gaudreau said. “It’s in the back of our minds. We want to win another one, but we have to let that go. We can’t be thinking about last year and what we did last year. It’s a completely new season, and I think the captains have put that into our team so far to make sure that we know last season is over and the new season has begun. We want to win another one.”

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