Cambridge, Mass. -- Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals and had an assist on another as Boston College cruised to a 5-1 win over Harvard on Wednesday night in front of 2,422 at the Bright Hockey Center.
Jerry York could not have been happier with how his team came out of the gate in the opening 20 minutes. "The first period was our best period of the year so far. We really executed well and played extremely fast."
Boston College outshot Harvard 17-3 in the frame, but only had one goal to show for it. Austin Cangelosi struck from the top of slot off a nice feed from in back of the goal line from Gaudreau at the 4:49 mark.
"In the first period we were very lucky to come out of it only down one," said Harvard bench boss Ted Donato. "We sat around and watched the first period. They obviously have some very good players. They are a very good team," added the former Crimson forward and NHL veteran.
Two goals in the second period gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes, and exemplified the complete mismatch in talent between the two clubs. Destry Straight finished off a real nice tic-tac-toe passing sequence with assists going to Kevin Hayes and Danny Linell at the 8:34 mark.
Gaudreau split the defense after receiving a lead pass from Bill Arnold as the Eagles attempted a breakout. The Calgary Flames prospect dangled a few times and slid the puck past a helpless Steve Michalek for the three-goal lead. "It was a pretty shifty move," said York of his star player's move on the breakaway.
"They have some special players over there starting with number 13 [Gaudreau] who can make you pay in a hurry," said Donato.
Gaudreau added his second of the night and 12th goal of the season, and freshman Ryan Fitzgerald scored his sixth of the season to give the Eagles a 5-0 lead in the first five minutes of the final period.
Harvard freshman Luke Esposito scored his first collegiate goal in garbage time to put the Crimson on the board, and end the shutout bid of Boston College junior goaltender Brian Billett.
As much as the Eagles dominated the first 20 minutes, the Crimson came back to outshoot the visitors 32-17 over the final two periods. Billett didn't make any flashy saves, but he was strong between the pipes and stopped everything he needed to stop.
"It's hard to say this [because of the score of the game], but I thought our goaltender was the difference in the game. He really played well. You can talk 5-1, but Billett was a major factor in the outcome of the game tonight," said York. "I told the guys in the locker room that Brian was one of the key reasons we won tonight," he added.
With the loss, the drought for Harvard against Boston College continues. Ted Donato's program has not defeated the Eagles since November 7, 2006. Boston College has certainly had the better teams on the ice over that period, but York also attributes it to his team getting amped up for playing the other Beanpot schools.
"When you play the neighborhood universities here, whether it be Boston University, Northeastern or Harvard, it's a special game. I think when you play the neighborhood schools there is something unique and special. I thought we played with a lot of anticipation coming over here tonight," said York.
The Eagles, now 8-2-2 on the season, head to Orono to face the University of Maine on Saturday night. The Crimson are off until next Tuesday when they face another Hockey East foe, this time on the road against New Hampshire.
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Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.