February 15, 2014

College Wraparound: BC clinches Hockey East's top spot

By Joshua Kummins

Thanks to Saturday night's win at Vermont, the Boston College Eagles clinched the top spot in Hockey East with two weeks still to play in the regular season. (Photo: Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)

Four Boston College Eagles (24-4-3, 15-1-1) had multi-point nights as they clinched the Hockey East regular season title for the 13th time ever and third time in four years, thanks to sweeping the No. 14 Vermont Catamounts (15-11-3, 7-9-0) with a 5-3 win at Gutterson Field House.

Junior Johnny Gaudreau’s goal 11:41 into the second period extended his point streak to 26 games (24-29-53). He also added an assist on BC's next goal, the game-winner off the stick of senior Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) at 16:52 of the middle stanza.

Gaudreau, Hayes and their senior linemate Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass.) have combined for 93 points in the 17 games they have skated together for the Eagles.

The offenses started slow, but the top-ranked Maroon and Gold scored twice in the final 2:40 of the first period to take command. Freshman Chris Calnan (Norwell, Mass.) notched the first goal on a shorthanded breakaway at 18:18, before an Arnold goal at 19:24.

Senior defenseman Nick Bruneteau brought the Catamounts within one goal at 2:07 of the second, but BC scored twice more to take a three-goal lead into the second break. Vermont scored twice in the final period, but freshman Scott Savage scored on a wicked shot to put the game out of reach for the Eagles seven minutes in.

Not lost in the game was a 35-save effort from BC junior netminder Brian Billett (Brunswick, Maine), which included 13 saves in each of the last two periods, and a multi-point night for Bruneteau.

BU-New Hampshire postponed

Saturday night’s scheduled Hockey East match between New Hampshire and Boston University was postponed due to the snowstorm that hit Eastern Massachusetts during the late morning hours. The game will now be played on Monday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m.

BU was also scheduled to officially retire Jack Parker’s No. 6 in a ceremony during the game’s first intermission, but those festivities have been rescheduled for BU’s Feb. 28 game against Northeastern, which is also Senior Night and the final regular season home game of the year for the Terriers.

Parker (Somerville, Mass.), a 1968 BU alum and 40-year head coach at his alma mater, will become the second Terrier to receive the honor, joining Travis Roy (Augusta, Maine) and his No. 24 which hangs in the Agganis Arena rafters.

Northeastern 5, Massachusetts 4

The Minutemen (8-19-4, 4-11-3 Hockey East) scored the final three goals of the third period, but the No. 12 Huskies (17-10-3, 9-6-1) held on for an important victory at the Mullins Center in their lone game of the weekend. NU freshman Zach Aston-Reese and sophomore Kevin Roy each scored a goal and an assist for the victors, while junior Clay Witt eclipsed the 30-save mark in net for the third straight game. A night after posting his 100th-career point at UMass Lowell, senior Conor Sheary (Melrose, Mass.) had a goal and an assist for the hosts.

Maine 3, Merrimack 2

Junior Connor Leen put the Black Bears (15-10-3, 9-5-2 Hockey East) ahead to stay with 28 seconds remaining in regulation, downing the Warriors (7-18-3, 2-12-2) for the second straight night by a goal at Alfond Arena. Less than nine minutes earlier, Merrimack senior Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) tied the game and became the 18th player to score 50 goals and 100 points for his career but his efforts were not enough for a win.

Notre Dame 3, Providence 0

A 36-save effort from senior Steven Summerhays helped the Irish (17-12-2, 6-9-2 Hockey East) to a huge road win against the No. 9 Friars (15-9-6, 7-7-2) in front of a sold-out Schneider Arena crowd. The defeat was senior Derek Army's (North Kingstown, R.I.) 140th game in a Friar uniform.

Brown 4, Quinnipiac 2

The Bears (10-12-3, 7-10-1 ECAC Hockey) recovered from a Friday night loss to Princeton with an impressive win over the fourth-ranked Bobcats (21-6-5, 11-4-3) at Meehan Auditorium. Bruins prospect Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, Maine) scored twice for Bruno, while senior Marco DeFillippo made 23 saves in goal. Senior Kellen Jones scored a goal and an assist in defeat for QU.

Harvard 2, St. Lawrence 2 (OT)

In an exciting ECAC Hockey clash at Appleton Arena, sophomore Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, Mass.) notched assists on both goals as the Crimson (9-12-4, 5-9-4) earned a tie with the Saints (11-15-4, 5-9-4) to take three points out of a weekend in the North Country. The result was Harvard's first tie since Jan. 7 against Quinnipiac.

Dartmouth 6, Clarkson 1

Junior Eric Neiley and sophomore Brad Schierhorn each scored twice as the Big Green (6-15-3, 5-12-1 ECAC Hockey) rolled to an impressive win over the No. 14 Golden Knights (17-13-2, 10-8-0) at Cheel Arena, a building in which Dartmouth had not scored a goal since November 2010 entering the night. After Friday's win down the road at St. Lawrence, Dartmouth completed its first road weekend sweep since a 2-0 series win against SLU in the first round of the ECAC playoffs two years ago.

Yale 7, Princeton 5

The No. 13 Bulldogs (13-8-4, 8-7-3) scored three shorthanded goals for the first time in their storied program history in an offensive explosion at Ingalls Rink. Leading that explosion for the Elis was Kenny Agostino who registered two goals and an assist.

Bentley 5, Army 4 (OT)

Freshman Tyler Deresky scored 2:18 into overtime to lift the host Falcons (16-10-4, 14-5-4 Atlantic Hockey) to a weekend sweep of the Black Knights (3-24-0, 3-20-0) on a snowy night at John A. Ryan Skating Arena in Watertown, Mass. Andrew Gladiuk scored the 18th and 19th goals of his second campaign in the third period, both on the power play, to pace the Bentley attack in a game which featured six of nine goals scored on man advantages.

American International 7, Sacred Heart 6

Senior Jon Puskar scored two goals and two assists to lead the Yellow Jackets (10-19-1, 9-13-1) in an Atlantic Hockey barnburner against the Pioneers (9-21-0, 8-15-0) at Milford Ice Pavilion. AIC has all of a sudden picked up the pace down the stretch with four wins in five games.

Connecticut 5, Holy Cross 0

Thanks to a 38-save shutout from freshman Robby Nichols and two goals from sophomore Joey Ferriss, the Huskies (16-10-4, 13-7-3 Atlantic Hockey) rebounded to defeat the conference rival Crusaders (9-18-3, 8-12-3) in Worcester. The win was Nichols’ sixth win and second shutout of the year. In addition, senior Jordan Sims became the 27th player in UConn history to reach 100 career points with an assist in the first period.

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins
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