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Demko pitches another shutout as BC sweeps Maine

Boston College junior Thatcher Demko pitched his sixth shutout in seven games, making 30 saves in a 2-0 win over Maine on Sunday at Kelley Rink.

Matt Dewkett

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- There's only one way to describe the current shutout streak Boston College junior goaltender Thatcher Demko has in the works: record-breaking.

Demko stopped 30 more shots en route to the Eagles' 2-0 win over Hockey East foe Maine on Sunday. With the win, BC improved to 8-1-0 and has taken all six conference points it played for in the young year.

The victory also marked Demko and the Eagles' sixth shutout in seven games. Head coach Jerry York has not seen anything like it, and neither has his program. He's not sure if the sport ever has either.

"You've got to talk about Thatcher Demko," York said following his 992nd career head coaching victory. "He's playing so well, at the very top of his game. ... He's staying very humble, making sure the whole team knows it's not just him doing this record-breaking streak he's on. It's remarkable. I'm not sure it's happened in the history of college hockey."

Junior Ryan Fitzgerald made a return to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension that accompanied his one-game suspension for a cross checking penalty in Tuesday's 7-0 win over UMass.

Fitzgerald made his presence known, scoring the first goal of the contest at the 11:53 mark of the first period. The Bruins draft pick took a shot from the slot that eluded Maine freshman Rob McGovern through traffic for his fifth goal of the season.

After a first period that saw the Eagles hold a 12-11 shots on goal advantage but only score one goal, the Black Bears turned up the intensity. Demko, however, was there for each and every opportunity.

Maine head coach Red Gendron liked his team's improvements as the game went on and became more crisp, but it remains winless at 0-6-3 on the season.

"We're working our tails off to get over the hump, but we haven't yet," Gendron said. "Battle level was good, but I thought both teams were not really on top of it to start. ... After (the first period), we battled like crazy and competed like dogs."

Junior Matthew Gaudreau and freshman Colin White were credited with assists on the play, extending their point streaks to four games apiece.

The teams each took 11 shots on goal in another even period in the second, but both goaltenders stood tall to keep BC's lead at one goal.

McGovern continued his solid weekend of play, denying the Eagles on several strong opportunities. Eleven of BC's 20 shot attempts went on goal in the frame.

The Weymouth, Mass., native rookie turned aside a nice early shot from White in the slot just under three minutes into the frame before he broke in again, this time by himself, for a chance on the doorstop that was stopped at the top of the crease.

"He's given us a chance to win virtually every game," Gendron said. "It's 3-0 on Friday with an empty netter and it's 2-0 again today, so that's pretty good goaltending. He might have had one night where he wasn't sharp, but other that he's been pretty good. ... If we could support him with some goals, we'd have some wins."

BC held the territorial edge in the third period and doubled its lead on freshman Miles Wood's third goal of the season at the 13:53 mark.

Wood drew a penalty as he was slashed crashing through the slot on a breakaway, but got the last laugh by sneaking a backhanded rebound goal through a sea of bodies a short while later. White had his initial try on goal stopped, but Wood cashed into a vacated side of goal.

"We felt even keeled with a 1-0 game going into the third, which is really key to winning tight games," York said. "You've got to feel comfortable in your own skin, and I thought we did that. We had a good confidence about us."

To say the least, the bad blood shown in Friday night's contest ― which featured a combined 86 penalty minutes ― returned late in the third period with an all-out brawl.

Thirteen penalties were called on a post-whistle scrum, turned brawl, that saw BC freshman Casey Fitzgerald and Maine captain Steven Swavely initially tangled following an odd-man rush towards McGovern.

After a solid night's work between the pipes, McGovern was called for a two-minute roughing minor and a game misconduct. In another occurrence York had never seen in his coaching career, the goalie was sent to serve the penalty himself.

"No, no I have not," York said when asked if he had ever seen a goaltender penalized. "That was pretty interesting. That was good."

It's safe to say there was more "good" about goaltending. His own stopper is hot.