MEN'S HOCKEY: Hayes Leads BC Past Lowell
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
After Friday night’s 1-0 victory over No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell, the No. 1 Boston College men’s hockey team was looking for some offense. Fortunately, yesterday’s second game of the weekend home-and-home saw six goals from the Eagles, as they defeated the River Hawks 6-3 at Kelley Rink. Junior forward Kevin Hayes led the way with two power-play goals and an assist, while line mate Bill Arnold had one goal and three assists. Captain Pat Mullane, Destry Straight, and Johnny Gaudreau each notched a score, while freshman defenseman Teddy Doherty recorded three assists.
“We lost 42 percent of our scoring from last year and only brought in one freshman who is coming in as a forward this year,” said head coach Jerry York. “But I think that a lot of credit needs to go to the players we have in our program that are just improving and getting better. The top two lines are really going to have to be scoring threats. I think Billy’s line stepped up tonight. Pat Mullane’s line has been terrific in the early goings. Now we have two lines that almost compose our power play units. All six forwards play in the first two power plays. I felt good about more distribution on the offensive end, especially with Kevin’s line now going.”
Less than five minutes into the first period, Arnold put the Eagles on the board. He and Doherty raced down the ice before Doherty sent a pass to Arnold, who deflected it just in front of the crease. Then, at the 18:41 mark, Hayes positioned himself next to the post and deflected a Doherty shot in for the score. At the end of the first period, the home squad was only outshooting the River Hawks 9-8, but it held the two-goal lead.
“It’s definitely a little easier when you get out to a quick start, and it’s something the coaching staff emphasized, especially after we got down by three at UMass Amherst a couple of weeks ago,” Arnold said. “I think it’s a really important thing for our team to do, to come out fast and at least get some quick shots on net.”
The second period started out much like the first, as Hayes scored his second power-play goal of the day at the 5:33 mark. Freshman defenseman Michael Matheson sent the puck down to Arnold, who hit Hayes in the slot. Hayes finished the play with a shot to the back of the net to give his team the three-goal lead.
From that point, however, UML made a comeback. Michael Colantone scored at the 7:40 mark to put his team on the board. This score ended BC goaltender Parker Milner’s streak of 161:42 that began on Oct. 19. Milner finished the day with 25 saves.
The River Hawks brought the deficit down to one when Derek Arnold scored a power-play goal at the 11:14 mark in the second period. Gaudreau ended the opposing momentum at the 13:40 mark when he and Matheson went down the ice on a breakaway. The freshman hit Gaudreau across the net, and the sophomore finished the play by lifting a backhander over the goaltender’s reach.
After a goal was called back near the end of the period on a kick by Doherty, the Eagles managed to increase their lead back to three when Straight chipped in a shot at the 17-minute mark to make the score 5-2. It was the Eagles’ third power-play goal of the game on five opportunities, including Hayes’ two earlier scores.
“Our main thing throughout the week was to get shots on net, and I thought that both power-play units did a great job of getting out there and, instead of being fancy, just getting pucks to the net,” Hayes said. “Teddy Doherty had two shots where he went right to the net, and luckily they ended up on my stick.”
The third period, again, saw the River Hawks try to get back into the game. Scott Wilson scored a power-play goal after Milner faced a barrage of shots in front of the crease. The toughest stretch came when Lowell had the five-on-three advantage, but BC was able to kill the power-play opportunity. York credited the River Hawks for their full game effort, especially with their special teams unit.
“They wouldn’t go away,” he said. “And full credit to them. It’s 3-0, they’re down, and they hung in there. Even when they closed it to 5-3, the game is far from over, so we still have to play. We played pretty well down the stretch. The five-on-three was a key kill for us.”
After a timeout by York, however, the home club was able to put the finishing touches on another victory. Mullane took a pass from Steven Whitney, and ripped a shot from the post to give the Eagles the final score of 6-3.
For York, a two-win weekend like this is what will help the team focus down the road, and it was a real test for the remainder of the season.
“Like I was saying tonight to a couple of the guys, we’re just getting into the rhythm of the season,” he said. “We’re starting to play successive games, or at least two in a weekend. That’s good for getting into that hockey mindset.”