After a terrible 5-2 loss to the UMass Minutemen at home on Jan. 18, which snapped an 18-game winning streak for the Eagles at Conte Forum, BC stomped all over Northeastern 9-3 the following day.
The Eagles (14-5-2) hosted UMass (8-11-2) in what should have been win number 14 for BC, but the hosts were handicapped by sloppy, undisciplined play as well as a short-handed defensive corps. The majority of the first period was spent on special teams, with BC failing to capitalize on the power play while allowing a shorthanded goal to Steven Guzzo. Branden Gracel (2-1-3 totals) and Conor Sheary (two assists), UMass’ big guns, had their way with a patchwork Eagles defense.
With only five defensemen dressed for the game, forward Brooks Dyroff was forced to drop back and play on the second defensive pairing for BC, where he was able to comfortably hold his own. Defensemen Isaac MacLeod (recent shoulder issues), Travis Jeke (six collegiate games) and Dyroff were used only sparingly. As a result, Teddy Doherty and Patrick Wey logged upwards of twenty minutes of ice time for the Eagles.
The Eagles tied things up in the second period, getting scores from Jeke – his first collegiate point – and Steven Whitney, whose handiwork behind the UMass net fooled goalie Steve Mastalerz allowing Whitney to sneak one in the near post. The Minutemen would eventually score three unanswered goals in the final frame to stun a Boston College crowd that has not seen a loss in Kelly Arena all year.
After their uninspired play on Friday night, the Eagles left Chestnut Hill and traveled into Boston to take on Northeastern University (7-11-2), where they proceeded to make a statement by trouncing the Huskies by a score of 9-3. Johnny Gaudreau (four assists), Pat Mullane (one goal, three assists) and Steven Whitney (three goals, one assist) paced the Eagles, who scored three goals in each period.
With Coach York recovering at home from his surgery to repair a detached retina, Assistant Coach Mike Cavanaugh, who recently received the Flanagan Award for his superb work behind the bench, led a more focused Eagles team past the Huskies to salvage a 2-1 conference record against Northeastern. With defenseman Colin Sullivan dressing for the game, Dyroff was able to slot into his wing spot next to Patrick Brown and Brendan Silk.
Fourth liners Danny Linell and Quinn Smith contributed a goal and a piece each, and Kevin Hayes chipped in three assists of his own for an Eagles team that chased NU goalie Chris Rawlings midway through the second period. BC net-minder Parker Milner recorded 42 saves over the weekend and will look to stay sharp for next weekend’s two-game series against Maine.