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BC runs past UMass in Hockey East opener, 7-0

A six-goal onslaught in the second period was more than enough for No. 3 Boston College to coast to a 7-0 win over UMass on Tuesday night at Kelley Rink.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Boston College junior Thatcher Demko saw one shutout streak end on Friday night against Denver, but didn't waste much time starting another.

Demko stopped all 26 UMass shots he faced and six different goal scorers supported him as the third-ranked Eagles coasted to a 7-0 win in their Tuesday night Hockey East opener at Kelley Rink.

"We certainly want to do very well in the non-conference because it's implications for NCAA Tournament and PairWise, but once you get in your conference, this is the most important," BC head coach Jerry York said. "I thought our team responded very well tonight."

The win completed BC's first stretch of four shutouts in five games in program history. In addition, six different BC players scored goals in the second period, the program's first such effort in nearly 20 years.

BC held the territorial edge in a big way in a scoreless first, holding a 12-5 shooting advantage and 21 of the period's 30 total offensive chances.

The Eagles drew first blood 1:33 into the second period and built a lead that could not be touched with four goals thereafter before the game's second horn sounded.

"The first period was hotly contested with good physical play, a lot of good passing," York said, "and then we kind of broke it open in the second period and had a chance to finish plays."

Junior Adam Gilmour scored the opening goal, keeping the puck all the way into the crease on a 2-on-1 try. With classmate Ryan Fitzgerald coming down the other wing, Gilmour cut inside and tucked his third goal of the season between UMass goaltender Nic Renyard's legs.

Travis Jeke got in on the scoring act for the first time since his sophomore season two years ago, taking a beautiful cross-crease pass from freshman Christopher Brown for the easy, slam dunk-like finish at 6:45.

"He's been kind of out of the lineup all four years, playing sporadically generally during the World Juniors and Christmas when we've lost players," York said. "He's hung in there and it's great to see him with the effort tonight."

Junior defenseman Scott Savage became the second straight Eagle to score his first goal of the season, firing a wrist shot from the high slot through Renyard for a 3-0 lead at 8:11.

The Eagles showed off speed and skill en route to scoring the game's fourth goal at 11:16 as freshman Miles Wood fed Fitzgerald for another easy finish on a three-on-none with Renyard.

Fitzgerald assisted White as BC increased its lead to 5-0 at the 11:27 mark. The North Reading, Mass., native streaked through the slot for a shot that ended Renyard's night and saw him pulled in favor of junior Alex Wakaluk.

Madness ensued after BC's fifth goal as Fitzgerald was caught in the middle of a scrum with UMass' Ben Gallacher that handed both major penalties and game disqualifications. Disqualifications also carry a one-game suspension to the penalized player.

"We certainly like everyone available for our next game, but it is what it is," York said.

In the midst of an abbreviated BC power play that resulted from the slew of penalties, the Eagles added to their lead at 15:10.

After taking a feed from White, senior captain Teddy Doherty let a wrist shot go from just outside the left circle. It looked like Wood tipped home the shot from in front of the net, but Doherty was given credit for the goal without a redirection.

Doherty finished the BC onslaught with his second straight goal at the 13:01 mark of the third period, firing home an off-angle wrister from the left circle.

UMass saw its best offensive chances in the third period as it held a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal, but Demko stood tall in his sixth win of the season.

"Thatcher, of course, had a very strong night in goal," York said. "He just looks so much more confident this year. He's playing his angles better, his glove's better. You can really build a hockey team from the goal out, and I think we've got a great goaltender."

Freshman Joseph Widmar nearly broke the shutout bid in the final four minutes of the game as he fired a shot high on goal that was snatched out of mid-air for likely the flashiest of Demko's saves on the night. The Canucks prospect collected 11 of his saves in the second and ten more in the third.

The win was an emphatic opening to BC's Hockey East schedule, which continues with a weekend pair against Maine beginning on Friday night.

It's safe to say York is pleased with his team's present state as winners five consecutive times out and in six of seven games to begin the season.

"Certainly, two points in our league is critical for us," York said. "I thought the team did a lot of outstanding things tonight. I feel good about where the Eagles are."