In sub-freezing temperatures at Fenway Park on Saturday night, the #6 Boston College Eagles defeated the #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 4-3.
With the win, the Eagles have now won five games in a row and improve to 13-4-2 (7-1-1) on the season. Coupled with Providence’s tie earlier on Saturday, Boston College moves back into sole possession of first place in Hockey East.
Mid-way through the first period, Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau scored his sixteenth goal of the season, also marking his fourteenth-straight game with at least one point, setting a new career best. He added his 17th goal, the game-winner, in the third period.
At the very end of the first period, with less than one second remaining, Michael Sit was ejected with a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding. On the ensuing penalty kill, almost the entirety of which was held in the second period, the Eagles allowed the game-tying goal.
[BC] Brendan Silk (4:54 1st; Gilmour, Matheson): BC 1, ND 0
[BC] Johnny Gaudreau (8:54 1st; Arnold): BC 2, ND 0
[ND] Mario Lucia (15:20 1st; Voran, Russo; EA): BC 2, ND 1
[ND] TJ Tynan (0:23 2nd; Rust; PP): BC 2, ND 2
[BC] Bill Arnold (4:38 3rd; Hayes; SH): BC 3, ND 2
[ND] Bryan Rust (7:29 3rd; Tynan, Herr): BC 3, ND 3
[BC] Johnny Gaudreau (8:21 3rd; Hayes, Arnold): BC 4, ND 3
The Gaudreau-Arnold-Hayes line was again exceptional. Together, they totaled seven points, including three of Boston College’s four goals.
Boston College had a great deal more power play opportunities on Saturday than in other recent games, though they went 0-for-9 on the man-advantage. Ironically, the Eagles’ only special teams goal was short-handed.
The pace of the game was extraordinarily slow for several reasons. The first bad omen came with the game starting about an hour late – the puck dropped at approximately 8:30pm. Next, it was clear early on that the ice quality at Fenway was not good. Finally, the nets continually came off of their moorings, such to the point that play was stopped a number of times. As a result, it was difficult at times for teams to establish a flow, and the viewing experience suffered. (In a final insult, the game ended with a lengthy goal/no goal review.)
With regards to the Sit game misconduct, it was certainly worthy of a penalty, but a five-minute major was pushing it, and a game misconduct was a tremendous overreaction by the officials. Ultimately, it did not end up hurting the Eagles as they won the game.
Boston College returns to the ice on Friday night for a key conference game against Providence.