BC 4, Providence 1: Billett Blocks Friars for Third Win


The “hot hand” stays hot.

At Conte Forum’s Kelley Rink on Tuesday night, the #3 Boston College Eagles defeated the Providence Friars, 4-1. The victory moves BC up to 12-5 (9-3 Hockey East), gives them consecutive wins, and extends their win streak over Providence to nine straight games. Of note, the Eagles are now also 11-0-2 in their last thirteen meetings with the Friars.

It took over fifteen minutes for a team to find the net, but the Eagles were the ones to do it. At 15:06 in the first period, Boston College was on the power play, and Barry Almeida made the Friars pay. His goal gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead (Carey and Mullane assisted).

The Eagles 1-0 lead was short-lived, however — because it became a 2-0 lead, thanks to Bill Arnold at 16:58 of the first period (Gaudreau and Cross assisted). It was Arnold’s tenth goal of the season. BC outshot Providence 12-7 for the period.

Providence shot back early in the second, getting a goal at 5:50 to make the score 2-1. Sophomore Derek Army benefitted from what has been described as a defensive lapse to get the power play score (D. Cross and Demopoulos assisted). Neither team found the net again in the period as BC outshot Providence 8-4.

In the third, Boston College was being assessed penalties and kept having to kill them off, but at 14:45 in the third, the Paul Carey of the Eagles broke away with the puck and scored a short-handed goal to ice it. For an added emphasis, Barry Almeida scored his second goal of the game on an empty-netter to make the game 4-1 at 18:31 (Kreider assisted).

For the game, BC outshot Providence 30-17. Freshman goalie Brian Billett, getting his third career start, stopped 16 shots and is a perfect 3-0 in his Eagles career so far. Billett is getting rave reviews for his work to this point, and with good reason. One game is a fluke and two is a coincidence, but three is a trend. The Friars just swept the formerly-#1 team in the nation and hung eight goals on them this past weekend, but Billett, helped by a defense that allowed fewer than 20 shots on goal, held them at bay.  It is important to note that while Billett did a nice job again tonight, this win was a total team effort; at least, that’s how it seemed.

I suspect Parker Milner will be back in-goal at UMass-Lowell just because, but honestly, I don’t think anyone will be upset to see Billett back again. The only complication is that following Friday’s game, BC won’t play for three weeks; York may play him because not doing so would be tantamount to benching him for almost a month. We’ll see.

Boston College will not see Providence again until late February. Their next opponent will be UMass-Lowell at the Tsongas Center on Friday night.