For Boston College hockey, four-point weekends are the best ones, especially when facing a ranked team. That is precisely how it went for the #1 Eagles against UMass-Lowell between Friday and Sunday. Boston College defeated the River Hawks, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon, sweeping the home-and-home series with the #12 visitors and taking first place in Hockey East.
Contrary to Friday night’s game, which was a 1-0 shutout win for Parker Milner and the Eagles, this one featured plenty of scoring. The home team struck first, as Bill Arnold notched his second goal of the season just 4:23 into the game to give Boston College a 1-0 lead (assists by Doherty and Hayes). There would not be a quick second strike, but the Eagles did take advantage of a power play towards the end of the first period — which would be a theme for both teams in general. UML’s Joe Houk went to the box for roughing, and just 25 seconds into the power play, Kevin Hayes scored his second of the year to double BC’s advantage (assists by Doherty and Arnold).
In the next period, it was much the same story for Boston College and Hayes. Michael Colantone was hit with a tripping penalty for the River Hawks, after which Kevin Hayes netted his second power play goal of the game to make it 3-0 Eagles (assists by Arnold and Matheson). The second assist for freshman defenseman Mike Matheson was his first collegiate point.
UMass-Lowell did finally find an answer after the third BC score. Colantone, whose penalty led to a power play goal, got the River Hawks on the board at 7:40 to make it a 3-1 game (assisted by Holmstrom). It got a little scarier for Boston College when, at 11:14, Derek Arnold scored his first goal of the year for UML to drop BC’s advantage to 3-2. This was on a power play after Pat Mullane was called for tripping (assists by Houk and Ruhwedel).
It would not take long for the Eagles to respond to the River Hawks’ second score, and who else but Johnny Gaudreau would come up with the game-winner. Gaudreau’s third goal of the season came at 13:40 of the second (assisted by Matheson).
Boston College would have a potential fifth goal waved off on video review during the late stages of the second period because it was perceived to have been kicked in, but the Eagles would get the score, anyway. After Colantone went back to the penalty box for tripping, sophomore Destry Straight netted his second goal of the year at the 17-minute mark; this was BC’s third power play goal of the game and it restored the Eagles’ lead to 5-2 (assisted by Doherty and Dyroff).
Not to be outdone, there was one more power play goal to come. Following a Brooks Dyroff penalty for cross-checking, Scott Wilson of UMass-Lowell scored his first of the year to make it 5-3 BC (assisted by McGrath and Wallin). This would not be the final margin, however, as Pat Mullane scored the game’s final goal at 16:25 to give BC a 6-3 advantage (assisted by Whitney).
Parker Milner earned the win in-net for BC, saving 25 shots and allowing three, while his counterpart, Doug Carr, saved 23 and allowed six. The three stars of the game, as listed by Hockey East, were Hayes, Doherty, and UML’s Derek Arnold.
Three Eagles had three points on the afternoon: Doherty, Hayes, and Bill Arnold. In positive news for the BC offense, they scored an impressive three power play goals in their decisive win over the #12 team in the country. The less than good news is that they gave up two power play goals, though it was on nine penalties. The Eagles are still finding the box too much, yet not every penalty called against BC was regarded as being a good call.
The important thing here is that the Eagles won big, and swept the team picked second behind them in the Hockey East poll. BC’s eight points now gives they a two-point advantage over Boston University at this early stage in the season, with plenty of hockey left to play.
Dating back to last season, the Eagles have now won 23 of their last 24 games. Boston College will look to make it 24 of 25 on Friday night at Maine.