CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Kelley Rink was loud on Friday night as the Battle of Commonwealth Avenue shifted sites for the first time this season.
Having gone winless in six straight games entering the contest, the Boston University Terriers (7-12-2, 2-6-1 Hockey East) were down and out and still hung tough in search of their inaugural road victory of the year. The third-ranked host Boston College Eagles (15-4-3, 9-1-1) strung together a three-goal stretch through the middle of the game to earn a 6-4 victory in front of a sold-out house of 7,884.
“BC-BU games that I’ve played in, watched, or coached have been special games,” Eagles head coach Jerry York (Watertown, Mass.) said after finalizing his 950th career win. “The rivalry is really something very, very special. … BU did an outstanding job in the first period, battling the crowd and the home-ice advantage.”
It was a loud start to the game offensively for the Eagles as they held much of the play in BU sophomore Sean Maguire’s end, but the visitors struck first at the 10:47 mark to take a 1-0 lead.
Set up by a pair of local freshmen Brendan Collier (Wakefield, Mass.) and Doyle Somerby (Marblehead, Mass.), classmate Robbie Baillargeon (Enfield, Conn.) found open space for a nice wrist shot high on the glove side of BC’s Brian Billett (Brunswick, Maine) to stun the home crowd.
“We probably took a big step in the right direction tonight,” BU head coach David Quinn (Cranston, R.I.) said. “We competed more than we have been before this stretch we’ve been struggling. … I thought our first period was a real good period and we did the things we talked about.”
After sophomore Teddy Doherty’s (Hopkinton, Mass.) shot went wide, fellow local and freshman Adam Gilmour (Hanover, Mass.) was there to backhand the careen for the Eagles’ first goal with 46.3 seconds remaining in the first.
After killing off a carry-over penalty to begin the second, BC took a 2-1 lead at the 4:35 mark. Junior Quinn Smith (Fairfield, Conn.) found the back of the net for the first time since Oct. 13, taking advantage of a BU offensive blue line turnover by streaking in ahead for a backhand shot.
It would not be a BC game without a point from Johnny Gaudreau as the Jersey-native junior made it a 3-1 game 11:05 into the second on a one-timer from the center point. Stellar senior linemates Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass.) and Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) were up ice to set up what extended Gaudreau’s career-best point streak to 17 games.
BU freshman T.J. Ryan (West Newton, Mass.) picked a very opportune time for his first-collegiate goal, taking a centering pass and depositing it upstairs at 2:50 of the third to cut the deficit to 3-2.
At 6:20, rookie Chris Calnan (Norwell, Mass.) scored his third of the year to restore order for BC before dishing a beautiful cross-crease touch pass to Gilmour on a 2-on-1 at 9:27 to make it a 5-2 game. Billett allowed a soft one to pass at 11:11 of the third as BU second-year Mike Moran (Marshfield, Mass.) slid one five-hole.
“Tonight, things clicked more,” Gilmour said of the play of his line. “We got a couple bounces and we’re working hard. I owe everything of how I got on the sheet to Brendan (Silk) and Chris.”
BU junior Cason Hohmann scored from the left circle at 16:32 to bring the game within one, but Gaudreau backhanded a puck off the wall, down the ice and into an open net with under 40 ticks to play to equal the 6-4 score.
Maine1, UMass Lowell 1 (OT)
Senior Martin Ouellette made a career-high 39 saves to lead the No. 19 Black Bears (11-7-3, 5-2-2 Hockey East) in a 1-1 tie at Tsongas Center in Lowell. The Quebec native surrendered one goal to River Hawks (14-6-2, 4-3-1) sophomore Adam Chapie 17:11 into the game.
Northeastern 3, Vermont 2
Two quick goals wrapped around the second intermission propelled the No. 11 Huskies (14-6-3, 7-4-1 Hockey East) to victory in the opener of a weekend set against the visiting 18th-ranked Catamounts (11-8-3, 4-6-0). Senior Braden Pimm scored the opening goal for NU, which was outshot 48-19, to extend a five-game point streak one notch.
Quinnipiac 6, Merrimack 1
Senior Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) broke the ice for the visiting Warriors (5-11-3), but the No. 5 Bobcats (18-3-5) rattled off five unanswered goals to earn victory at High Point Solutions Arena in the first half of a home-and-home duel. For QU, junior Bryce Van Brabant scored two goals and sophomore Michael Garteig made 22 stops.
Union 3, New Hampshire 1
The No. 6 Dutchmen (14-4-3) scored a big road win in the opener of a weekend series at Whittemore Center, downing the No. 17 Wildcats (13-11-1) despite a goal from veteran Nick Sorkin and 29 stops from junior Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.).
ColoradoCollege 2, Providence 2 (OT)
Ranked seventh in the nation, the Friars (13-5-5) trekked to Colorado Springs World Arena and used sophomore Mark Jankowski’s goal with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to draw even with the mightily-struggling Tigers (2-15-4) in the opener of a weekend set. The meeting was the first between the teams since Nov. 24, 2000.
Clarkson 3, Yale 2
Senior Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) scored a goal and an assist, but the eighth-ranked Bulldogs (8-4-4, 3-3-3 ECAC Hockey) fell on the road to the No. 14 Golden Knights (14-7-2, 7-2-0) at Cheel Arena.
Colgate 4, Dartmouth 1
Big Green (3-12-2) junior and Belmont Hill School product Brandon McNally (Saugus, Mass.) scored the lone goal in a home defeat to the surging Raiders (10-9-3), which are now unbeaten in the last five.
Cornell 3, Harvard 2
At a sold-out Bright-Landry Hockey Center, the No. 12 Big Red (9-4-3, 5-3-2 ECAC Hockey) used a three-goal start in the opening 40 minutes to down the Crimson (5-9-3, 2-7-3). Loomis Chaffee product and junior Steve Michalek (Glastonbury, Conn.) made 25 stops for the home team.
Brown 5, St. Lawrence 3
Sophomore Mark Naclerio (Milford, Conn.) scored twice and added an assist to pace the visiting Bears (7-6-3, 4-4-1 ECAC Hockey) on the road at the Saints’ (8-11-2, 2-5-2) Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y.
Connecticut2, Mercyhurst 2 (OT)
Rookie Brent Norris scored both goals as the Huskies (10-7-3, 8-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) battled back to a tie on the road against the first-place Lakers (13-9-3, 11-1-2). Despite only coming up with one point, MU remains unbeaten in its last 11 AHA games.
Holy Cross 4, Niagara 2
Crusaders (5-15-2, 4-9-2 Atlantic Hockey) sophomore Sean Gustin (Stoneham, Mass.) scored his first collegiate game-winning goal in a road win in Niagara Falls, N.Y. as junior Matt Ginn made 41 saves in goal.
Robert Morris 4, American International 4 (OT)
Outshot 42-28, the Yellow Jackets (6-15-0, 5-9-0 Atlantic Hockey) held on to clinch one league point in a draw at 84 Lumber Arena in Pittsburgh. Top liners Blake Peake and Jason Popek each tallied a goal for AIC.
Air Force 6, Sacred Heart 4
The Falcons (13-6-4, 8-3-3 Atlantic Hockey) scored three times in the third period to down the visiting Pioneers (6-17-0, 5-11-0) at Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, despite a pair of goals from SHU rookie Jeff Carroll.