For Boston College seniors Brian Gibbons, Joe Whitney, and John Muse, games against perennial also-ran UMass-Lowell have never come easy.
When the three seniors for the defending national champion and perennial powerhouse Eagles met the River Hawks for their final time last night in Lowell, they toted a perfectly mediocre 5-5-1 career record.
At least they finished with a bang.
Cam Atkinson and Jimmy Hayes each scored twice and Muse made 29 saves as second-ranked BC dominated the River Hawks, 5-1, to sweep the three-game season series.
Combined with a second straight loss by No. 1 Yale, the Eagles will likely move up to the top spot when the new rankings come out tomorrow.
Gibbons contributed two assists (his 19th and 20th) in the win and Whitney added one as the Eagles (18-6-0, 14-5-0 Hockey East) won for the ninth time in 10 games.
BC dominated from start to finish, pouring 43 shots on Marc Boulanger.
Atkinson needed only 4:43 to get BC on the board, scoring his 18th, with assists going to Gibbons and Whitney. Hayes upped it to 2-0 with an unassisted goal at 5:40 of the second period.
Matt Ferreira gave UMass-Lowell (4-20-2, 3-16-0) life by getting his ninth at 7:04 of the third, but Atkinson struck again just 2:42 later with a shorthanded tally to sink the River Hawks.
Rensselaer 5, Yale 2 — In Troy, N.Y., Allen York stopped 38 of 40 shots and the No. 10 Engineers (17-6-3, 9-5-0 ECAC) got goals from five players to hand the top-ranked Bulldogs their second consecutive loss.
Denny Kearney and Kevin Peel scored for Yale (17-4-0, 11-3-0) but the Bulldogs allowed Rensselaer to score on three of seven power-play opportunities.
Northeastern 2, UMass 2 — Wade MacLeod scored twice and Chris Rawlings made eight of his 39 saves in overtime, helping the Huskies (8-10-6, 7-7-5 Hockey East) escape with a tie against the Minutemen (6-13-4, 5-8-4) in Amherst. Since opening the season 3-9-4, NU is 5-1-2 to move into sixth place in the conference.
Chase Langeraap and Michael Pereira scored for UMass, which earned only a point in the home-and-home weekend series.
UNH 5, Providence 1 — Paul Thompson broke a 1-1 tie at 7:35 of the second period when the Wildcats were playing two men up, and No. 7 New Hampshire (15-5-4, 13-2-2 Hockey East) added three more goals in a span of 6:23 late in the period to beat the visiting Friars (7-12-5, 3-10-4).
Merrimack 7, Vermont 1 — Mike Collins had three goals and an assist and Chris Barton tallied twice as the No. 14 Warriors (15-5-4, 9-5-3 Hockey East) toyed with the Catamounts (5-15-4, 3-11-3) to get their eighth win in nine games and sweep the weekend series in North Andover.
Cornell 2, Harvard 1 — Locke Jillson scored a power-play goal at 17:46 of the second period to break a 1-1 tie and Andy Iles (33 saves) made it stand up for the Big Red (9-9-3, 7-5-2 ECAC) in a road win over the Crimson (4-16-0, 3-12-0).
Dartmouth 7, Colgate 3 — Doug Jones scored twice and the No. 18 Big Green (12-6-3, 8-4-2 ECAC) struck for two shorthanded goals and a power-play tally in a rout of the Raiders (3-21-2, 0-12-2) in Hanover, N.H.
Union 4, Brown 2 — Jack Maclellan and Bobby Farnham scored for the Bears (7-10-4, 5-8-1 ECAC) but the No. 13 Dutchmen (18-7-3, 10-3-1) rolled at home.
Quinnipiac 2, St. Lawrence 2 — Scott Zurevinski scored 39 seconds into the game and assisted on Connor Jones’s third-period goal as the visiting Bobcats (13-10-4, 6-6-3 ECAC) settled for a tie with the Saints (7-13-5, 3-9-1) but extended their unbeaten streak to five games.
Holy Cross 4, UConn 0 — Everett Sheen had a goal and an assist and Adam Roy made 28 saves to lift the Crusaders (9-14-3, 8-8-3 Atlantic) past the Huskies (7-15-4, 7-10-2) in Worcester.
Bentley 1, Army 1 — Brett Hartung had a first-period goal and Branden Komm made 28 saves but the host Falcons (7-13-5, 6-9-4 Atlantic) had to settle for a tie with the Black Knights (7-15-4, 6-9-4).
Norwich 4, Babson 4 — Tory Allan, Blake Forkey, and Igor Martinez scored 1:10 apart early in the third period and the host Cadets (12-5-2, 10-1-2 ECAC East), ranked third in Division 3, erased a 4-1 deficit to earn a draw with the Beavers (9-8-2, 7-4-2). Jason Schneider had a goal and an assist for Babson.
Women BU 4, UConn 1 — Kasey Bucher had a goal and an assist and the No. 3 Terriers (22-1-3, 11-1-3 Hockey East) coasted past the visiting Huskies (12-15-1, 8-6-1) to earn their 13th straight win.
Harvard 4, Yale 3 — Katharine Chute scored the winner with 4:16 left and contributed two assists, helping the visiting Crimson (12-7-2, 11-3-2 ECAC) get past the Bulldogs (5-14-2, 4-9-1).