While Boston College football’s season came to a crashing end, the defending national champion hockey team rolled on.
On Saturday evening, the #1 Eagles defeated the visiting Dartmouth Big Green, 6-3, in their second non-conference game of the year. The win was Boston College’s tenth in a row, moving them to 10-1 on the season. The Eagles have won 29 of their last 30 games, dating back to last season. Head Coach Jerry York has won his 923rd game, needing just one more to tie Ron Mason’s 924. With this win today, it is all but certain that York will at least tie the record during the calendar year 2012.
BC struck first early in the game, led by their captain. Pat Mullane got BC on the board at 3:40 of the opening period, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead (assisted by Alber and Gaudreau). Dartmouth got that goal back during a 4-on-4 situation later in the first period, in which Dartmouth’s Andy Simpson and BC’s Steven Whitney got simultaneous holding penalties. Rick Pinkston did the honors for the Big Green, tying the game 1-1 at the 16:19 mark (assisted by O’Brien and Mosey).
In the second, it first appeared that Boston College was putting some distance in between themselves and Dartmouth. At 4:10, Patrick Brown showed some fourth line muscle, scoring his second goal of the season to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead (assisted by Dyroff). The lead doubled at 13:10 as Johnny Gaudreau worked his magic with another sensational goal, pushing BC ahead, 3-1 (assisted by Whitney).
There was no such space to be had for BC, at least not in the second period. The Eagles broke down defensively in the final two minutes of the frame, allowing two Dartmouth goals. The first came on a Brandon McNally power play goal after a Mike Matheson penalty for interference, making it a 3-2 game at 18:32 (assisted by Lindblad and Keenan). Dartmouth’s equalizer happened less than a minute later at 19:19, with Tyler Sikura’s sixth goal of the year (assisted by Lindblad and Walsh).
In a 3-3 contest that looked very much like it would be a BC lead after two periods, the Eagles regained their composure and fought back. What resulted was a three-goal outburst to deliver the win: Pat Mullane at the 18-second mark (assisted by Gaudreau), Steven Whitney at 3:41 (assisted by Gaudreau and Mullane), and Johnny Gaudreau’s empty-netter at 19:53 (assisted by Whitney and Mullane).
Saturday was a big offensive day for Gaudreau and Mullane, as the former had five points and the latter four. Both players had a plus-5 rating for the game; Steven Whitney did as well and totaled three points. It is very fair to say at this point that Gaudreau is a legitimate Hobey Baker contender at this point in time, and may in fact be the frontrunner if the season continues on this trajectory. There is a long way to go, but Gaudreau has helped himself, as well as his team.
The Eagles continue their impressive run through the early part of this season, and will return as #1 next week. Jerry York’s first attempt at tying Mason’s record will come next Friday as Boston College visits Boston University, a game that will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.