Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Boston College bounced back from a tough loss by capitalizing on RPI's mistakes and taking advantage of opportunities. Three freshmen scored their first career goal and rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko picked up the win in his debut between the pipes for the Eagles.
Three freshmen, Ryan Fitzgerald, Chris Calnan and Steve Santini, scored their milestone goals. "It's good to get those young guys with goals early. You can get to press a little bit going through the season," said BC coach Jerry York. However, it was a usual suspect who led the BC offensive charge. Junior Johnny Gaudreau, a Hobey Baker Award finalist from last season, tallied a goal and added two assists.
It only took a little over two minutes for Gaudreau to show off his offensive flare. After receiving a pass from freshman defenseman Scott Savage, Gaudreau dangled through a pair of RPI defenders before dishing it to Kevin Hayes who slid it into the net for an easy power play goal.
RPI evened the score with 2:55 to play in the opening period just after a BC penalty to Michael Matheson had expired. Milos Bubela poked home a loose puck from in front of the net. Matt Tinordi and Mike Zalewski assisted on the goal that had to be reviewed to make sure there was no goaltender interference.
The visitors from the ECAC dominated the first period territorially and on the shot chart. RPI outshot the Eagles, 13-2, in the opening stanza, but only struck gold once.
"Obviously we had a good start to the game. We did a lot of good things in the first period. I thought they did a good job of weathering our push and Demko was extremely good for them in the first period," said RPI head coach Seth Appert.
With the score still knotted at one, a 13-second sequence about six minutes into the second frame turned the tide in BC's favor. Johnny Gaudreau was slashed on a break-in attempt from the left side leading to an Eagles power play. Just eight seconds into the man advantage, Gaudreau scored off a failed clearing attempt.
Just 13 seconds later, Quinn Smith and Calnan broke in on RPI goaltender Jason Kasdorf who saved the initial shot by Calnan. However, the kick save left the puck right on the stick of Smith who buried it into the back of the net.
"In a big moment against a really good team some of our older guys had some uncertainty. We got away from things that gave us success. All of a sudden we give them basically two freebie goals," said Appert. "We didn't execute on a faceoff on a penalty kill. That's an execution error by a senior. We won the draw and should have cleared it," explained Appert of the second goal given up.
"As a championship team does, they respond and seize control in the middle part of that game to really take over," said Appert.
RPI's Jimmy DeVito cut the Eagles lead to just one on a breakaway when he lifted a backhander past Demko, but Fitzgerald regained the two-goal lead for the home team before the second intermission. Fitzgerald, a Boston Bruins 2013 draft selection, got his stick on a cross-crease pass from fellow rookie Austin Cangelosi.
Bill Arnold, Calnan and Santini added insurance markers in the final period. Santini, a New Jersey Devils prospect, joked with teammates after the game about the length of time in between today's goal and his last score, according to York.
Demko made 25 stops on 27 shots faced. The former US National Team Development Program goaltender was making his collegiate debut after backing up junior Brian Billett Thursday night in Ann Arbor. "Thatcher made some really key saves for us. RPI had a lot more opportunities early than we did," said York.
Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.