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Hockey East's Three Stars: Boston College, UNH Keep Shining

After Boston College dispatched Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon in Boston, UNH did away with third-ranked Denver in unusual fashion at Magness Arena.

Johnny Gaudreau's two goals and three assists paced Boston College's big win over Dartmouth.
Johnny Gaudreau's two goals and three assists paced Boston College's big win over Dartmouth.

1st Star: UNH's Offense

Hockey East's hottest item through the first two months had been the play of sophomore netminder Casey DeSmith, who had allowed just 12 goals in ten games. In just under 75 minutes of play in Colorado this weekend, DeSmith allowed 7 - four to Colorado College and another three in the first 9:05 of UNH's eventual win at Denver.

But Casey Thrush potted two goals on Friday night and hat tricks by Kevin Goumas and Grayson Downing pushed the Wildcats ahead of the second-ranked Pioneers on Saturday evening, and UNH managed to escape the Rockies without a blemish, in spite of the rough goaltending. Sure, it was just one weekend, but Dick Umile has been pondering the whole season where he's going to get offense from. If UNH can continue this hot streak and get back to their old ways on defense, they'll be a force to be reckoned with come March and April.

2nd Star: BC's First Line

It's no secret that BC can score. And it's also no secret that BC's first line is the best the conference has to offer. But even that doesn't mean that their five-goal, seven-assist effort in the Eagles' 6-3 win over #11 Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon shouldn't be lauded. Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames) has 2-3=5 totals, while captain Pat Mullane added two goals and two assists and Steven Whitney added a goal and two helpers.

Each of BC's three third-period goals (including Mullane's game-winner) were scored and assisted by first-liners, and BU must be a little concerned about getting the nation's best team next weekend when their top talent is playing so well.

3rd Star: Freshman Goaltenders

It didn't hurt that his offense netted seven goals, but Providence netminder Jon Gillies (Calgary Flames) earned his second shutout of the season on Saturday afternoon at Brown, stopping all 35 shots that he saw, including 21 in the third period. Meanwhile, BU got a stellar effort between the pipes from Sean Maguire (Pittsburgh Penguins), who stopped 21 shots to earn his first shutout of the season.