Gaudreau’s Pair Leads Boston College Past Maine To Capture Third Consecutive Hockey East Championship
BOSTON– (#4) Maine Black Bears 1 @ (#1) Boston College Eagles 4 – FINAL
Power-Play: Black Bears (0-5 / 0 %) — Eagles (1-3 / 33 %)
Penalty-Kill: Black Bears (2-3 / 67 %) — Eagles (5-5 / 100 %)
Shots: Black Bears (42) — Eagles (43)
Recap: Things got out to a fast start for an Eagles squad looking to lock down it’s position as the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Boston College threw twenty first period shots towards Maine goaltender Dan Sullivan in the first, scoring on a pair of them to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room after twenty minutes of action. Both goals came off the stick of phenomenal freshman Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames) , who picked up his 18th of the campaign after a defensive zone turnover by Nick Pryor (Anaheim Ducks) and his 19th only seven seconds into his team’s first power-play chance of the night when he capitalized on a net-front scramble created by a wrist shot from the point by Chris Kreider (New York Rangers).
Near the mid-point of the middle frame, Black Bears’ senior captain Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, MA) would cut the Maine deficit in half with a top-shelf backhander just over the blocker of Eagles’ goaltender Parker Milner.
Unfortunately for the hoards of “Mainiacs” that made the trip down to TD Garden for Saturday’s contest, the Eagles would swipe the momentum right back with just over a minute to go in the middle period when Gaudreau found a wide open Pat Mullane in front for his ninth tally of the season. Barry Almeida would later add his 22nd tally of the season into an empty Maine goal with just over a minute to play in the game.
The Eagles used some solid penalty-kill work and some timely stops from junior backstop Parker Milner to hold off the Black Bears in the third period to claim their third consecutive Hockey East Tournament Championship and their fifth in the past six seasons. The win all but assures the squad from Chesnut Hill the number one overall seed in the NCAA Hockey Tournament which is set to kick off next weekend.
— The Eagles’ superstar freshman looked like a man amongst boys on Saturday evening, picking up his 18th and 19th goals of the season during an excellent first period effort. Gaudreau nearly turned the trick twice during the middle frame, before setting up Pat Mullane in front for BC’s third goal of the night.
Black Star: University Of Maine Power-Play Unit
– Entering Saturday’s Conference championship in possession of the nation’s top-ranked man-advantage, the Black Bears were once again expected to dominate in the special teams department after knocking home four power-play tallies in Friday’s win over Boston University. Unfortunately for Maine, the power-play unit just wasn’t the same on Saturday, posting a dismal 0-5 (0.00 %) mark on the night.
What’s Next?: With tonight’s victory, the Boston College Eagles have secured themselves an automatic bid in the NCAA Hockey Tournament. The official selection show is slated to be broadcast on Sunday afternoon on one of the many ESPN Networks.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.