Not long after the basketball team was blown out, another Boston College team embarrassed some other school.
On Saturday afternoon at Conte Forum’s Kelley Rink, the #2 Boston College Eagles men’s ice hockey team defeated the Providence Friars, 7-0. The win was BC’s ninth in a row, and their eleventh-straight victory over Providence. The Eagles are now 23-10-1 on the season and retain first place in Hockey East with just two games to go. It was not only Parker Milner and the Eagles’ second shutout of the season, but it was also their second in consecutive games; Boston College outscored Providence 10-0 over the weekend series.
The Eagles got the scoring underway almost immediately, with Steven Whitney notching the game-winning goal, his 11th of the season, just 29 seconds into the game to put BC ahead 1-0 (Almeida and Cross assisted). For thirteen game minutes thereafter, the Eagles were quiet, but Providence goalie Alex Beaudry could only keep the dam from bursting for so long.
Freshman Danny Linell scored his second collegiate goal at 13:02, doubling BC’s lead (Straight and Alber assisted). The Eagles only had to wait eleven seconds to increase the lead again, as Bill Arnold scored at 13:13 to give Boston College a 3-0 lead (Shea and Whitney assisted). BC kept the pressure up and got Beaudry again, this time two minutes later at 15:36 of the first period thanks to Barry Almeida’s 19th of the year (Arnold and Cross assisted). Finally, the first-period onslaught ended with Johnny Gaudreau’s fifteenth at 18:33 (Almeida and Whitney assisted). The Eagles went into the first intermission with a very comfortable 5-0 lead.
Providence then mercifully pulled Beaudry for the remainder of the game, replacing him with Justin Gates for the second and third periods. To his credit, Gates did well in the second, stopping all six BC shots, though he did not face the sort of barrage that Beaudry saw in the first period with 16 BC shots on goal. The third period, however, was not as charitable.
Boston College resumed scoring very early in the third as Bill Arnold got into the goals column again. Arnold beat Gates at 0:46 for his second of the game and fifteenth of the season (Whitney and Almeida assisted) to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead.
If there was anything missing from this dominant effort, however, it was a power play goal. John Gaudreau made sure BC got it, scoring his second of the game and sixteenth of the year on the man-advantage at 3:22, taking advantage of an open net and putting BC ahead 7-0 (Shea and Mullane assisted).
Jerry York gave his starting goaltender a respite with a seven-goal lead, pulling Milner for the last 10:46 of the contest and inserting senior Chris Venti. This also ensured that a senior would be in-goal when his class won their 100th game, a tremendous achievement by itself.
Ferris State was winless on the weekend against Western Michigan, which means Boston College is virtually guaranteed to be ranked #1 in the nation for this upcoming week. This is in stark contrast to about a month ago, when the Eagles were sinking towards the middle of the pack in the rankings and playing inconsistently. Give credit to all of the Eagles but particularly Parker Milner, who has provided a steadying hand and helped fuel BC’s nine-game win streak.
Furthermore, their chances of winning the regular-season Hockey East title are very good. BC only has two games left, and both are at home against last-place Vermont on Friday and Saturday. The Eagles are ahead of Boston University by two points and the Terriers have the tiebreaker, but Boston College could not be luckier than to draw the worst team in the conference at this point.