Freshmen fuel Boston College past archrival Boston University
BOSTON -- No. 17 Boston College's freshmen propelled the Eagles past archrival No. 2 Boston University 4-2 on Friday night at Agganis Arena to stretch their unbeaten streak to eight games (6-0-2). After the victory, Boston College touted the nation's longest unbeaten streak.
All three BC freshmen scored as first-year forward Alex Tuch offered up a slew of career firsts, including a two-goal performance, power play tally and game-winning goal. Rookie blue liner Noah Hanifin scored his first-career power play goal early on while Zach Sanford added an insurance marker with the empty net to seal victory for Boston College.
Second-year backstoper Thatcher Demko has not allowed more than two goals in his last six starts, spanning back to the Eagles' unbeaten string that commenced on Nov. 29. The San Diego native steered away 31 shots as the Eagles outfired the Terriers, 41-33, in triumph.
Sophomore blue liner Ian McCoshen offered up his first-career two-assist outing, doling out helpers on both BC power play goals. The Eagles scored a pair of 5-on-3 goals on Friday night, finishing 2-for-7 on the power play.
Sophomore Adam Gilmour assisted on Alex Tuch's first tally, extending his point streak to a career best six games.
The first period started with a bang in the physical sense as both teams combined for eight penalties. Once everything subsided, the Eagles ended up with a quick 5-on-3 and Hanifin capped it with a blast from the right dot at 6:41.
Tuch and McCoshen worked the cycle down low as the Eagles swirled with two extra men. Hanifin broke free up top and buried the one-timer dish from McCoshen to grab the early 1-0 edge.
The Eagles continued to apply pressure in BU's end throughout the opening stanza and Tuch capitalized in transition at 17:43.
Gilmour relayed the puck off the half wall where Hanifin gathered it and sped around his defender and back around the net. With plenty of room to dispense the pass, Tuch streaked in from the right side and smoked it past O'Connor at 17:43 of the first to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Boston University did its best to hold off the buzzing Eagles to start the second, but a Matt Grzelyck slashing call (12:36) and a Robbie Baillargeon high-sticking infraction (12:46) opened the door for another BC 5-on-3 tally.
The Eagles scored in similar fashion from their previous 5-on-3 goal as Tuch freed himself in the slot and zipped sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald's dish to the back of the net at 13:23 for his second of the night at a 3-0 Eagle advantage.
Boston University got one back right out of the chute to start the third period on a wrister from Danny O'Regan at 1:17. Jack Eichel found the open O'Regan on the near side and he curved it up to the top of the left circle and beat Demko with traffic up front to make it a 3-1 affair.
The Terriers stirred the hometown crowd late with 3:23 left in regulation after Matt Lane slipped Nikolas Olsson's rebound past Demko to close the deficit to 3-2, but after a late BU timeout with 1:17 left, Sanford iced the game.
With the extra skater, Evan Rodrigues attempted to drive it on net from a top the zone, but Sanford had other ideas. Sanford stepped in front of the shot and was able to fling the puck towards BU's unguarded net. After BU coach David Quinn lifted O'Connor after the timeout, Sanford's long attempt from behind BC's blue line stayed the course and found the back of the net with 33 seconds left to ice the Eagles' 10th victory in their last 12 outings at Aggains Arena.