CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Seven different goal scorers, including career firsts for three freshmen, helped No. 4 Boston College overpower No. 15 Rensselaer in the Eagles' home opener on Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum.
First-year skaters Ryan Fitzgerald, Chris Calnan and Steve Santini all netted their first tallies as Eagles while seniors Kevin Hayes (1-2-3) and Bill Arnold (1-2-3) and junior Johnny Gaudreau (1-2-3) led the way with three points apiece. Junior forward Quinn Smith (1-1-2) and freshman defenseman Scott Savage (0-2-2) joined Calnan (1-1-2) as BC's other multi-point scorers.
Boston College's special teams was perfect in victory, scoring on both man-advantage chances (Hayes, Gaudreau) while stopping all seven Engineer power play opportunities.
First-year goaltender Thatcher Demko earned his first-career victory in as many starts, steering away 25-of-27 RPI attempts. RPI's Jason Kasdorf surrendered five goals before Scott Diebold entered in relief, allowing the game's final two goals.
Boston College capitalized early on in the first after RPI's Jimmy DeVito was whistled for a slash at 1:11 of the first period.
After the Eagles reset in their end, Savage gathered the puck off the half wall and scooted it out to a streaking Gaudreau. Gaudreau flew through a pair of Engineers on the blue line, kicked the puck up to his stick and shifted over to Hayes on the far side. In stride, Hayes collected the puck and maneuvered around Rensselaer Kasdorf for the early power play strike at 2:03 and the 1-0 lead.
The BC penalty-killing unit was tested in the first stanza as the Eagles staved off a pair of sophomore Michael Matheson infractions at 3:29 and 14:59, but RPI wore down Boston College and tied it up at 17:05.
The Engineers cycled in BC's end and Milos Bubela banged home a loose carom from Matt Tinordi. Mike Zalewski quarterbacked the play from behind the net and made the initial pass to Tinordi on the far post.
Even though the Eagles spent the early portion of the second stanza a man down, BC's penalty kill kept RPI off the board and fueled Boston College's offense to two quick strikes.
RPI committed one of its two penalties on the day as Gaudreau drew a slash from Mike Zalewski out in front at 6:16 of the second period.
On the ensuing draw, Hayes won the battle and chipped it into the corner. Arnold won the one-on-one scrap in the corner and managed to cycle the puck back out to Hayes in the slot. Gaudreau wheeled around the far side of the net and positioned himself perfect to bury Hayes' pass on the far post at 6:24.
The power play unit's efficiency energized BC's forecheck on the next play as the Eagles built their lead to two goals, 3-1, nine seconds later at 6:33.
Calnan intercepted the Engineers' clearing attempt at the red line and motored back towards Kasdorf. Smith flanked to Calnan's left and beat a defenseless Kasdorf with a backhand move to his blocker side.
The Engineers cut the deficit to within one after Curtis Leonard needled a long pass from RPI's blue line to a wide-open DeVito at 11:02. As Leonard was cradling the puck skating into his own end, DeVito broke free and corralled the long feed and beat Demko on a backhand deke to make it a 3-2 affair.
The Eagles regained their two-goal cushion on a crisp play started by Savage once again on BC's blue line. Hayes grabbed the puck from Savage and relayed it into the far corner where rookie Austin Cangelosi parked himself behind the far pipe. Fitzgerald came tearing in through the slot and Cangelosi provided the disc right on Fitzgerald's tape to make it a 4-2 game at 15:29 of the second period.
The third period was no different for Boston College. Eighteen seconds in, Gaudreau managed to finagle the puck off of two RPI defensemen on the Engineers' blue line and whack the puck out to Arnold on the near side. Arnold zeroed in on Kasdorf without anyone in sight and roofed the puck after a series of stick fakes to make it a 5-2 lead, after which RPI coach Seth Appert opted for Diebold.
The Eagles piled it on towards the end with Calnan and Santini netting their first-career tallies in the final frame. Smith took advantage of a misplayed puck behind RPI's net and bumped it out to Calnan in the slot. Calnan calmly roofed the backhander over Diebold's glove for the four-goal buffer at 3:04.
Santini capped the scoring at 12:03 of the third period. The Eagles inhabited RPI's end for an extended period of time before Arnold initiated the play. Arnold kicked it back to Savage on the blue line where the first-year defenseman blasted a shot off the leg of an Engineer. The puck trickled out to Santini on the right dot where a crisp pop shot sealed it for the Eagles, 7-2.
In the early goings, Boston College spent a significant time on the penalty kill, allowing RPI to rack up the shots. The Engineers outshot BC, 13-2, in the first period before the overall count evened out to, 27-23, in favor of Rensselaer.
Boston College returns to Kelley Rink at Conte Forum for a Friday night showdown with No. 3 Wisconsin on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.
- Johnny Gaudreau is now one point away from reaching the 100-point plateau for his career. The Carneys Point, N.J., native has scored 43 goals and 56 assists in 81 games played.