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Boston College Routs Colorado College in Home Opener

After going 1-1 in a pair of road games at UMass Lowell and RIT to open the season, Boston College returned to Kelley Rink for the first time this season and scored a 6-2 win over Colorado College on Friday night.

Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko makes a save in the 2014 Frozen Four.
Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko makes a save in the 2014 Frozen Four.
Matt Dewkett

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Boston College did not get off to the start it wanted in its season opener at UMass Lowell two weeks ago, but the following two games have been just what head coach Jerry York wanted.

The Eagles put together a second straight complete performance, scoring four times in the second period for a 6-2 win over visiting Colorado College on Friday night at Kelley Rink.

"I think it's always important when we take our club and move outside the conference," York said, "and for so many different reasons. It's a test of where we are in comparison to schools in other leagues ... so in that respect, we thought it was very important to win tonight."

York emphasized the importance of a strong start in the home opener for his team. The Eagles are now 6-1-1, dating back to 2007-08, in their first game of the season in Chestnut Hill.

"It was our home opener and you only get one of those every year," York said. "We were very focused on trying to be successful. It's always a good start (because) it's so difficult to win away from home."

It was not a very strong offensive start for the Eagles, but one simple flick of a wrist shot changed the early complexion of the game and gave BC a 1-0 lead after the first period.

Off a pass from assistant captain Michael Sit, Hingham, Mass. native senior Cam Spiro flicked the shot by Colorado College sophomore Tyler Marble after spinning into his right side faceoff circle at 9:53.

BC committed three penalties in the first without any harm, but early four-on-four play after new ice was made allowed the Tigers to knot the score. Junior top-line center Cody Bradley got credit for the goal, fighting his way through the slot and knocking a puck past the pad of BC sophomore goaltender Thatcher Demko.

However, the Eagles responded fast as senior assistant captain Quinn Smith cut to the front of the net to beat Marble at 5:25 for his first goal since the 2013 Beanpot semifinal against Harvard.

From there, the rout was on as BC scored three more unanswered goals to conclude the period.

Sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald scored on a beautiful play to make it a 3-1 game at 8:29, bursting down the wing and waiting out a defenseman before easily tucking the puck between Marble's pad and the post.

"I think Ryan's made a big step up from last year in all aspects," York said of the North Reading, Mass. native and Malden Catholic product. "He was a young freshman with us last year, but gained a lot of experience. He was a dominant player for us tonight."

Rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin, the second-youngest player in college hockey this season, got his name on the scoreboard at 10:42 as his backhand towards the front of the net redirected off a defenseman's stick and behind Marble.

With just five seconds remaining, sophomore Chris Calnan broke in ahead of the defense and backhanded a shot over Marble's shoulder.

The teams traded goals in the third to equal the final 6-2 score. Sophomore defenseman Jaccob Slavin dished off his second assist of the game at 5:14, feeding classmate Alex Roos for the tap-in.

For BC, Spiro took a pass from freshman Alex Tuch directly in front of Marble's cage for his second goal of the night at 7:25. Spiro registered an assist in BC's 6-2 win at RIT last Saturday night but hadn't scored a goal since a Hockey East quarterfinal win over Vermont on March 15, 2013, the end of his sophomore season.

"He's plugged away," York said. "He hasn't played a heck of a lot during his career here, but he's certainly taking advantage of the chance he has this year. As a senior, it's kind of rewarding to watch that."

Demko's 33-save night, which included 13 in the first period and 12 more in the second, was as strong an effort as he has put forth in his collegiate career so far.

"That's the best I've felt this season," Demko said, "but obviously, I had a lot of help. Our D corps is so solid that it makes it much easier for me to play."

BC will look to avenge its season-opening loss when returning to Hockey East league play, again at home, on Saturday night against UMass. The Minutemen picked up their second straight win with a 3-2 decision at Northeastern's Matthews Arena.

The visitors from Colorado Springs fell to 2-3-0 and finish their Hockey East swing Saturday night at New Hampshire.