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BOSTON, Mass. - The Northeastern men's hockey team knocked off defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Boston College, 3-1, in front of a sold out Matthews Arena on Saturday night. The Huskies not only curbed a five-game losing skid to the Eagles with the victory, but Northeastern also plugged up Boston College's 19-game winning streak.
Dating back to last year, Northeastern has now topped three ranked opponents consecutively. Including the No. 19 Merrimack and No. 1 BC wins, the Huskies beat No. 4 Boston University in the last game of 2011-12.
Freshman phenom Kevin Roy has accounted for both of Northeastern's game-winners to anchor NU's 2-0 start. The Lac-Beauport, Quebec, native tallied the second goal of the game at 8:06 (first period) to stand as the winning marker. Classmate Ryan Belonger set the precedent by drawing first blood at 5:03 of the first and newcomer Colton Saucerman added the third in unorthodox fashion at 3:42 of the first.
Senior backstopper Chris Rawlings won his second-straight outing with 31 saves in his second-ever victory over Boston College. BC netminder Parker Milner stopped 26 in his first loss of the season.
First-year forward Cam Darcy continued the sturdy play of newcomers with a pair of assists while sophomore Joe Manno assiststed on Belonger's goal to put together a two-game point streak.
Belonger brought the capacity crowd to its feet five minutes into the contest after chipping in a Darcy dish at 5:03.
Manno worked the puck off the near post around the corner out to Darcy on the left dot. Darcy made the aware play by tossing the puck on Milner and after the puck caromed off the poke check, Belonger was in perfect position to lift the rebound over Milner's blocker for the quick 1-0 strike.
Two exchanges later, the Huskies channeled the crowd's energy to make it a 2-0 game on a cross-ice feed from junior Cody Ferriero to Roy at 8:06.
Junior Braden Pimm raced the puck out of the neutral zone out to Ferriero at the top of the right circle. Ferriero juked an Eagle and shifted down to the goal line extended where he connected with a streaking Roy on the far post. Roy clank it off the top corner of the net and put away the Huskies' second goal on five shots.
Boston College cut the deficit in half as the first period drew out by converting on a sophomore Dan Cornell charging infraction at 14:46. Off the first draw in BC's power play, Pat Mullane won the puck back to Johnny Gaudreau on the left dot. Gaudreau quickly shifted to Steven Whitney at the top of the right circle who then buried the low one-timer through Rawlings' five-hole to make it a 2-1 game.
The end of the first and beginning of second yielded its fair share of penalties and caused moments of 4-on-4 action.
Roy offset Bill Arnold's hook with 46 seconds remaining in the first frame, but neither team could convert. Patch Alber was whisteled for cross-checking at 00:46 of the second stanza and Roy hit the pipe on a patient feed from senior captain Vinny Saponari, but that was the only look NU had with the extra skater. After a sophomore Colton Saucerman holding call at 2:02, Rawlings rose to the occasion and stoned Danny Linnell on the goalmouth after a fine Gaudreau feed, but the game remained 2-1 despite all the infractions.
The majority of second period play belonged to both goaltenders. The Huskies peppered Milner in the early goings of the middle session but BC's backstopper thwarted NU's advances. Rawlings matched Milner in the back part of the second period, highlighted by a huge save on Whitney at the 16:30 mark.
The third period started off with another big save by Rawlings on Gaudreau and the Huskies feasted off that momentum with a Saucerman tally at 3:42.
Boston College attempted to clear the puck, but the disc bounced off of Darcy's skate and Saucerman collected it in the neutral zone, just a few feet before the blue line. Milner was out of position and Saucerman knuckled a slap shot to the right side of the net to give Northeastern the two-goal cushion, 3-1.
Northeastern's defense was stable down the stretch and forced the Eagles to call timeout with just 1:01 remaining on the clock. Head coach Jerry York pulled Milner but the extra skater was not enough as Northeastern clung onto the lead for the triumph.
The Huskies have just one game next weekend, but it will be against the same opponent as Northeastern goes across town to reconnect with Boston College at Conte Forum on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. The game in Chestnut Hill, Mass., will be Boston College's home opener.