BC dominates Friars
Five-goal first gets rout started
Boston College coach Jerry York said the Eagles’ goal every year is to win as many trophies as possible.
They already have captured one with an overtime victory in the Beanpot final over archrival Boston University at TD Garden Feb. 13.
BC, the second-ranked squad in the nation, took a step toward another with a 7-0 win over Providence yesterday in front of 7,419 at Conte Forum.
Junior Parker Milner (25 saves) extended his shutout streak to 140 minutes, 18 seconds before being replaced at 9:14 of the third period by senior Chris Venti (four saves).
The triumph provided the BC seniors with a milestone of their own, 100 career victories, as they improved to 100-42-10.
“We really capitalized on our opportunities in the first period,’’ said York, whose team took a 5-0 lead into the first intermission and rolled to its largest margin of victory this season. “Our first 20 minutes was as technically sound and as good hockey as we’ve played over the [winning] stretch. We’ve played some very solid hockey these last nine games. I thought this particular first period was exceptional in a lot of regards. We put ourselves in a position now, we’re trying to chase that trophy next weekend and it will be right in front of us. I really feel proud of how our club is playing. We’re certainly peaking at the right time.’’
The Eagles (23-10-1, 17-7-1) have won nine in a row and moved toward capturing the Hockey East regular-season crown, which will be decided next weekend.
Freshman left wing Johnny Gaudreau potted two goals, giving him 16. His second came on the power play, which extended the Eagles’ streak of at least one goal on the man-advantage to 11 contests (14 for 42 in that span).
BC took over from the opening minute. Junior right wing Steven Whitney beat goalie Alex Beaudry from the high slot for his 11th goal of the year just 29 seconds into the game.
The Eagles’ next two tallies were scored 11 seconds apart. At 13:02, Destry Straight made a nice pass from the left circle to the slot for freshman right wing Danny Linell, who flipped it past Beaudry for his second of the season.
At 13:13, BC made it 3-0 when sophomore center Bill Arnold turned in a fine individual effort. Arnold drove through the right circle and charged the net, lifting the puck past Beaudry for his 14th.
Senior left wing Barry Almeida kept the pressure on, scoring on a breakaway at 15:36 after Arnold emerged from the penalty box and sent a pass to Almeida.
Gaudreau’s first tally, at 18:33, was also on a breakaway just after Quinn Smith’s hooking penalty expired, giving BC its first five-goal period since the second period against New Hampshire Nov. 15, 2008.
Providence coach Nate Leaman replaced Beaudry (11 saves) with Justin Gates (13), who played the final 40 minutes.
The first goal Gates gave up was to Arnold, who got his second of the day just 46 seconds into the third, making it 6-0.
Gaudreau closed the scoring on a power play at 3:22.
“They’re an impressive team,’’ said Leaman, whose team fell to 12-16-4, 10-12-3. “Obviously, they’re extremely well-coached and they’ve got a lot of dangerous players who can hurt you, and if you make mistakes it can get ugly fast. We got pretty well beaten by a pretty good hockey team. To play against a team like BC, you have to execute very well and we didn’t execute nearly to the level we need to. They just eat you up because they can make something out of nothing.’’
When asked if there were any positives for his team, Leaman laughed.
“The only positive,’’ he said, “is we don’t play BC next weekend.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.