WHITNEY HAT TRICK HELPS BOSTON COLLEGE PAST NORTHEASTERN, 9-3
Senior forward Steven Whitney posts hat trick and assist for Eagles
In the first 20 minutes of the Northeastern - Boston College affair on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, the two teams skated to a heated 3-3 tie before the Eagles flew away with a 9-3 triumph after dominating the final two periods.
Senior Robbie Vrolyk, junior Braden Pimm and sophomore Adam Reid all scored goals in the affair and each netted a goal in both contests this weekend.
BC's Steven Whitney headlined with a hat trick and a helper for a four-point night while Johnny Gaudreau also attained four points, all assists.
Senior goaltender Chris Rawlings started the contests and stopped 10 shots on 16 attempts before classmate Bryan Mountain came in relief. The Bryn Mawr, Pa., native saved 12 shots and surrendered three in 31:08 of work.
Boston College outshot Northeastern, 31-24, while all 12 goals scored came in 5-on-5 play.
Boston College quelled the Huskies fans early by capitalizing off a turnover in NU's zone. Bill Arnold stripped the puck along the far corner and pitched out to Kevin Hayes between the circles. Hayes hesitated, waited until Arnold looped back around and hit him with the puck the right post as Arnold put the Eagles up 1-0 at 1:34 of the first stanza.
Danny Linell was called for interference at 2:38 but actually benefitted from the call because as he exited the penalty box, Johnny Gaudreau made a great play and set him up with the goal-scoring play. Gaudreau made a shifty moved, split a pair of defensemen from behind the net and connected with Linell in front for the 2-0 lead at 4:47.
On the following exchange, Northeastern inserted itself back into the contest on a Pimm marker at 5:09. Senior Steve Morra chipped a puck into the corner, rimming it over to junior Cody Ferriero behind the net. Pimm popped between two defenders on the crease and batted a crisp pass from Ferriero to the back of the net to cut BC's lead in half, 2-1.
Just over a minute later, Vrolyk netted a goal in similar fashion as Pimm to lock it up, 2-2. Senior captain Vinny Saponari and rookie Mike McMurtry won a scrum in the far corner of Boston College's zone and worked the puck behind Milner. As a pair of Eagles chased behind, Vrolyk emerged with the puck after Saponari worked it out from behind and smoked the puck up high past Milner at 6:11.
Boston College recouped the lead on a Destry Straight strike at 6:37 of the first frame. Working the puck out of NU's end, Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes worked their magic and set up Straight with the goal to push BC ahead, 3-2.
Reid capped the six-goal first period flurry with a beautiful wrister at 10:28. Senior Garrett Vermeersch tipped the puck up to rookie Colton Saucerman and the defenseman let a rip loose towards Milner. The stop was made, but Reid swooped in and maneuvered around Milner and roofed it to tie it again, 3-3.
Once the first period concluded, Boston College dominated the rest of the way.
On the second draw of the middle stanza, Steven Whitney slipped the puck five through Rawlings' pads to take back the lead, 5-4. At 1:16, Gaudreau notched his second assist of the night after relaying the puck to Whitney in front of the net for the easy tally.
Moments later, the Eagles regained their original two-goal edge after Isaac MacLeod pounced on a loose puck on the crease. Rawlings originally had it covered, but Linell jarred it loose and MacLeod was the beneficiary of BC's fifth strike of the night at 2:31.
Pat Mullane piled it on at 8:52 to push BC ahead, 6-3, after managing to sneak a shot past Rawlings' outstretched pad. Mullane gathered a Gaudreau rebound and threw it at the net and the disc trickled across the goal line to boost the goal differential to three.
Mountain jumped over the boards and relieved Rawlings of his duties and kept BC off the board for the rest of the second stanza.
Whitney finally beat Mountain off a set play 58 seconds into the third period. Mullane won the draw out to Whitney and he was able to push it through Mountain's pads to make it a 7-3 affair.
Quinn Smith scored his first goal of the season at 10:42 and Whitney capped off his hat trick at 11:41 to close out the 9-3 affair.
Northeastern stays strong on its Hockey East crash course next weekend with a home-and-home against UMass Lowell. On Friday night, the River Hawks invade Matthews Arena at 7 p.m. before the Huskies return the favor at the Tsongas Center to close out the season series on Saturday night (7 p.m.).