CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Boston College's early-season struggles were a bit unusual, but turning up the gas pedal to begin the second half is anything but.
The Eagles extended their unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2) on Saturday afternoon, using a two-goal spurt late in the first period to finish off a three-point Hockey East weekend with a 4-2 win over Northeastern.
Sophomore goaltender Thatcher Demko made 31 saves in the Eagle net to earn his tenth win of the season, while classmate Chris Calnan scored twice.
"I thought, similar to last night, Thatcher gave us a great base to win the hockey game with," BC head coach Jerry York said. "Last night, we just couldn't dent; we stayed at one. But he gave us that chance to win the hockey game. Tonight was the exact same."
The Huskies actually took a 1-0 lead just 8:40 in as Torin Snydeman made a great individual effort for his fourth goal of the season. The Groton, Mass. native drove wide around the net, fed the puck out front and got it back from sophomore Mike Szmatula for a rebound.
BC scored twice in quick succession in the 19th minute to take a 2-1 lead after being outplayed for much of the period.
"By scoring the first goal, it might have been a false hope of impression that we were playing well," Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. "We were just average. We didn't go on the attack and then breakdowns at the end of the first period gave them two goals."
At 18:03, junior Michael Matheson strode down the wing and knotted the score with a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Northeastern senior goaltender Clay Witt. The goal was Matheson's first goal since Oct. 18 at RIT, but his fifth point in seven games.
Calnan jammed away at a loose puck through a sea of bodies at 18:55, getting the ultimate rebound to beat Witt.
The Norwell, Mass. native scored his second straight goal and tenth of the season 8:43 into the second, banking a shot from behind the net off Witt's pad on his right side after taking a feed from freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin.
"He's approaching 18, so he's going to be a little better," York said of Hanifin, who posted two assists, with a laugh. "He has showed improvement right from the first practice here. ... He's benefitted by (the World Junior experience) and he's come back really elevating his game."
BC took further control of the game in the third period, despite the teams trading goals at 13:26 and 14:40, respectively.
First, the Huskies cracked the board for the first time since taking a 1-0 lead as sophomore Ryan Rosenthal collected a loose rebound in the center of the slot for his first goal and point of the new year.
The latter goal in the final frame came off the stick of BC sophomore Adam Gilmour as freshman Zach Sanford caught Witt leaning the wrong way before feeding the Hanover, Mass. native for a pass and goal down low on the power play.
After last night's 1-1 tie at Matthews Arena and the series-clinching win, BC sits at 12-7-2 on the season. "That's what you look for in these home-and-homes," York said. "You want to hold serve in your home game and try to get a point in the away game, and we accomplished that."
The loss was Northeastern's first since Dec. 3 against Providence as the Huskies saw their six-game unbeaten streak come to an end. They finish up this current three-game road trip with a weekend series at Vermont next Friday and Saturday.
"I didn't think we had a lot of energy to start the game," Madigan said, and we just couldn't get it going on the power play (0-for-6). ... I thought the difference in the game was that (Demko) was really good. We had a lot of shots and he made some really good saves."
On the flip side, the Eagles head down Commonwealth Avenue to face archrival Boston University to conclude the season series at 7 p.m. next Friday.