College Hockey: Boston College offense too much for Wildcats

Johnny Gaudreau - Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

With a new top line, Boston College found the back of the net six times en route to a Hockey East win.

Chestnut Hill, Mass. -- Boston College had dropped its last two games in surprising fashion, losing on the road in Hockey East play at Maine, and then to Holy Cross in non-conference action at home.

So to shake things up, Jerry York went all in.

After tooling with his top line the past few contests, York put all of hit top guns—Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold, and Kevin Hayes—on a new top line.

The result? Old linemates and new linemates can all produce.

The Eagles found their offensive game, as six different players scored, and Boston College leapfrogged New Hampshire in the Hockey East standings with a 6-2 win at Conte Forum.

"I didn't think against Holy Cross we played as hard as I liked, and we didn't play as a team, but we learned from that," said BC head coach Jerry York. "If everybody could figure this out they'd be 36-0 for the year."

The first goal of the night against UNH came off the stick of Gaudreau, who only took 67 seconds to find the back of the net. On the end of the first shift of the night, BC's new top line connected, when Arnold sent Gaudreau an alley-oop pass up ice, springing the Eagles top forward on a breakaway.

"They got a breakaway, I mean, look who got a breakaway," said a frustrated Dick Umile, New Hampshire's head coach. "That's not a good plan.

"They got it on the rush. We did a terrible job back-checking on the rush."

The action would then tilt in favor of UNH though, who dominated the rest of the possession in the first, to the tune of 16 shots to BC's four.

The Wildcats finally broke through, with Jeff Silengo firing a shot under the glove of Brian Billett just 18 seconds into the second period to knot the score at one.

But the Eagles only needed 48 seconds to retake the lead, as Steve Santini was able to stash home a rebound off the rush and put BC ahead 2-1.

"Our team was very opportunistic," said York. "We some chances, and we didn't miss many. If we had a chance, it was a red light."

Play would settle down until late in the second, when the Eagles exploded for three goals in the span of 1:40 to put the game out of reach.

On the first, old linemates Austin Cangelosi and Gaudreau rekinled some magic. With Gaudreau at the end of a shift, and Cangelosi on the ice making a change, the two drove through the dots, with Gaudreau putting a saucer pass on the freshman's tape for an easy redirect.

For the most part though, it was the unit of Gaudreau, Arnold, and Hayes that was producing quality scoring chances all night.

"They should; those are our three most dynamic players," York said. "Generally I like to split them up, but we're experimenting a little bit; we're coming off two losses in a row.

"There's a chance they could be a very good line."

The Eagles next tally would come off the stick off defenseman Teddy Doherty, who picked up a loose puck behind the Wildcats net and wrapped it off the pad of Casey DeSmith to push BC's lead to 4-1.

The second period scoring was capped off only 18 seconds later. With UNH pressing and trying to send numbers forward, Kevin Hayes escaped the zone on a 2-on-1. With a defender in the passing lane, a calm and collected Hayes elected to shoot, beating DeSmith and chasing him from the game.

"We didn't play very well defensively in the second period," said Umile. "I don't think we played well from the net-out in the second."

While the Eagles wound up winning by a definitive margin, the game itself was played much closer. BC was able to capitalize on nearly a third of its shots on goal, even as UNH outshot the homestanding Eagles 41-21.

"It feels like we were in a very evenly matched college hockey game," said York. "Brian Billett made some outstanding saves.

"New Hampshire had the puck a lot, and were very creative in the offensive zone, which led to some excellent, Grade A chances against us."

The teams will get another crack at each other Saturday night, when the weekend series shifts Durham, and the Wildcats home ice.

"I thought [Kevin] Goumas' line was terrific tonight," said York. "We're going to have to watch that matchup tomorrow night.

"We're going to have to contain them a little bit-we're not going to shut them down, but tonight they had way too many chances."

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