CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Top-seeded Boston College utilized a big performance from its top-scoring unit, including a four-point performance from junior Johnny Gaudreau, to force a deciding game three after downing eighth-seeded Notre Dame, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
The Eagles and Irish will square off tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m. for a trip to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden. Sunday's matinee will be broadcast live on NESN.
Gaudreau's two-goal, two- assist performance pushed his season total to 69 points (32-35-69). Head coach Jerry York has not had a skater turn in 69 points on The Heights since Marty Reasonser did so during the 1997-98 season. Reasonser, one of York's first recruits, scored 73 points that year. Gaudreau turned in his 10th power play goal, counting for his sixth in the last seven games.
Seniors Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold regained their scoring touch, each with multi-point performances. Hayes netted the game-winning goal, his sixth of the year, while Arnold doled out a pair of helpers. Senior captain Patrick Brown logged his fourth power play marker of the season while rookies Scott Savage and Adam Gilmour each charted an assists.
First-year goaltender Thatcher Demko bounced back from Friday's outing with a 19-save victory.
The Eagles outfired Notre Dame, 37-21.
Notre Dame's Bryan Rust tried to set the early precedent with a goal 39 seconds into the contest.
After the Eagles won the opening draw, the Irish wrestled it away, cycled in BC's zone and took the 1-0 lead. Andy Ryan took the feed from Shayne Taker at the top of the zone and Ryan relayed it down to Rust for the deep wrister.
Brown negated a Thomas DiPauli call (7:24) at 8:20 of the first period with a hold, but BC killed it off and as he exited the box, tied it up on a great play from Gaudreau.
Arnold sent the puck out of Boston College's end to Gaudreau on the halfwall. With Brown flanking down the center, Gaudreau raced the puck to the goal line extended, baited his defenseman and sent a perfect pass through the crease to Brown for the equalizer at 10:28.
The Eagles kept their foot on the gas and drew a pair of penalties on ND's Mike Voran and Peter Schneider, respectively, at 15:40 and 16:50 of the opening frame.
With one second remaining in Voran's cross-checking call, Gaudreau tied it up, finishing off a perfect tic-tac-toe play from Hayes and Arnold at 17:39.
Arnold quarterbacked the play, finding Hayes below the net with a sharp pass through the Irish's three penalty killers. Gaudreau slid out to the right dot and Hayes sent the one-time pass over to score with the 5-on-3 advantage to make it a 2-1 game.
Notre Dame posed a couple more threats than BC in the second stanza, but after the Eagles killed off an early Steven Santini call (00:55) to start the third, Boston College made it a two-goal game at 5:58.
Arnold's forechecking created the play by ripping the puck out from behind the net on Notre Dame's clearing attempt. Arnold rimmed it around to Gaudreau, followed by a dish up to Savage on the right dot. Hayes darted behind the play on the far side and Savage kicked it over to Hayes for wide-open lay-up and a 3-1 advantage.
Moments later, Gaudreau scored at 7:29 of the third on his patented backhand maneuver to ice the contest for Boston College.
Gilmour and Hayes generated the play by breaking up Notre Dame's cycle and Hayes pitchforked it off the boards to Gaudreau. With just one defenseman in his path, Gaudreau blazed by the Irish blueliner and slipped the backhand attempt five-hole on Summerhayes to up the Eagles' lead, 4-1.
Vince Hinostroza cashed in on the power play at 16:18 after Santini was sent off for boarding late in the third, but the Eagles held on to force a game three, 4-2.
- Johnny Gaudreau tied Paul Kariya for the longest single-season point streak in Hockey East history, scoring a point in 31-consecutive games this season. Over the course of Gaudreau's streak, he has accounted for 59 points (28-31-59) with a +31 plus/minus rating. Kariya's streak spanned from Oct. 23, 1992 to March 2, 1993. Gaudreau's streak started against Northeastern on Nov. 1, 2013, and has not stopped since. The Carneys Point, N.J., native has been held scoreless only once this season, starting the season with a four-game streak.
- Johnny Gaudreau has turned in the most points in a single season in 16 years. Gaudreau's 69 points (32-37-69) through 36 outings is the most since Marty Reasonser's 73-point campaign during the 1997-98 season. Gaudreau's 69 points are the most for one season in college hockey since Michigan's T.J. Hensick turned in the same figure.
- Johnny Gaudreau's 69 points are ninth-best all time for a single season mark at Boston College. The gold standard on The Heights is Craig Janney's 83-point campaign in the 1986-87 sesaon. Amongst all junior skaters at BC, Gaudreau's aggregate is third-best all-time.
- Johnny Gaudreau scored his 10th power play goal of the season and 21st of his career. Gaudreau has scored a power play tally in six of his last seven outings.
- For his career at Boston College, Johnny Gaudreau is tied for 15th all-time in scoring. The Carneys Point, N.J., native has collected 164 points (74-90-164) in 115 games (1.43 ppg) and is tied with Brian Gibbons (2007-11) and Bill Army (1976-80). Gaudreau's career clip of 1.43 points per game ranks third all-time at Boston College. Both Reasoner and Ben Eaves averaged 1.46 points per game for their careers.
- Sunday will be Boston College's first deciding game three contest in the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East playoffs since 2004. Since Hockey East switched to the "best-of-three" format in the quarterfinal round, Sunday marks just the Eagles' second-ever game three of the quarters. BC lost to Boston University on March 13, 2004.