CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Sturdy defense, physical play and a Johnny Gaudreau power play gamw-winning goal propelled No. 1 Boston College to its 11th-straight victory in a 3-0 shutout over No. 7 UMass Lowell on Friday night at Kelley Rink.
Rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko recorded his second shutout of the season with 33 saves, anchoring an imperative five-minute penalty kill midway through the second stanza. Gaudreau's power play strike was accompanied by rookies Adam Gilmour and Austin Cangelosi markers early in the third period. Senior captain Patrick Brown accounted for a pair of assists in the triumph.
With the goal, Gaudreau elongated his point streak to a staggering 27-consecutive games with a point. Gaudreau has been held scoreless just once this season and leads the nation with 1.94 points per game (28-24-62).
The Eagles clipped UML by one attempt in the shot category, 34-33. Boston College's penalty-killing unit upped its rate to 91.7 percent (132-of-144); stopping all three River Hawks' power plays in the victory.
The first period displayed fast-paced action on both ends but a River Hawk penalty opened the door for Boston College to strike first.
Jake Suter was flagged for interference in the neutral zone at 12:29 and Gaudreau attacked on the ensuing exchange.
Gaudreau motored down into the Eagles' end to retrieve the puck and turned it up ice with Brown chasing behind. Gaudreau dropped it off for Brown, grabbed the return pass and beat Connor Hellebuyck from a difficult angle off the far post at 13:01 for the 1-0 lead.
The Eagles doubled up the count at 3:15 of the third frame on a set play to the left of Hellebuyck. Gilmour won the draw and freshman Chris Calnan whacked the puck up to the blue line where classmate Scott Savage awaited the disc. Savage swooped across the zone and hammered the puck into the crease where Gilmour snared the puck out of mid-air for the redirection tally.
Frist-year blue liner Steven Santini's defensive presence deep in Boston College's end led to a 3-0 Eagles' edge after he broke up UML's possession.
Santini bashed the puck off of Lowell's stick and Brown was in place to gather it and send a home run pass up the right wall to Cangelosi. Cangelosi gathered the disc in stride and raced in alone on Hellebuyck. With one quick deke, Cangelosi buried the backhander at 5:08 to seal the River Hawks' fate.
The Eagles' penalty kill staved off senior Isaac MacLeod's five-minute major for contact to the head at 10:15 of the second period. Junior Quinn Smith nearly tallied a short-handed goal with heavy pressure at the top of BC's zone.
Boston College and UMass Lowell close out the regular season series tomorrow night at Tsongas Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.