CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - No. 4 Boston College's rookie forwards combined for eight points as the Eagles surged past Merrimack 6-1 for their sixth consecutive victory on Thursday night at Kelley Rink.
The Eagles improved to 22-8-1 overall and 15-6-0 in Hockey East, clinching at least the No. 2 seed for the Hockey East Tournament. BC has a four-point cushion on UMass atop the standings and owns the tiebreaker with three games remaining.
The freshman line of Matt Boldy (2-1-3), Alex Newhook (1-2-3) and Mike Hardman (1-1-2) combined for four goals and a plus-12 rating in the win. Newhook extended his point streak to nine games, while Boldy posted the third multi-goal performance in his last four contests.
Defenseman Jesper Mattila collected his second multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist. His twin brother Julius Mattila had a pair of assists, including a primary helper to Jesper on the third Eagle goal.
Senior captain David Cotton also had a goal and an assist to establish a new career-high in scoring with 38 points.
Spencer Knight stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced to push his personal winning streak to six games. Adin Farhat played the final 2:33 in relief for his first NCAA appearance.
Boston College finished the night with a 40-20 advantage in shots on goal, including a 15-3 edge in the first period.
1:20, BC Goal (1-0) Connor Moore dished a pass down to the right goal line extended for Boldy, who quickly whipped a low-angle shot by Troy Kobryn before the rookie could react.
8:30, BC Goal (2-0) Logan Hutsko held in a clearing attempt along the left wing and fired the puck toward the net. Julius Mattila nudged the loose puck into the slot and Cotton batted it from mid-air with his forehand to double the lead.
0:51, BC Goal (3-0) Julius Mattila threaded a pass to his twin brother skating down the slot and Jesper gently redirected a backhand through the pads of Kobryn.
5:28, BC Goal (4-0) During a 2-on-1, Boldy threw a shoulder fake before setting up Newhook for a one-timer at the edge of the right circle to beat Kobryn glove side.
14:31, MC Goal (4-1) Mac Welsher drifted into the right wing circle during a shorthanded rush and whipped a shot glove side to the right post.
19:31, BC Goal (5-1) Newhook picked up a turnover behind the Merrimack net and slipped a pass to a cutting Hardman, who deked forehand and lifted a shot over Kobryn blocker side.
9:49, BC Goal (6-1) Boldy cut back to his forehand inside the right faceoff dot and picked out the top right corner, inches inside the near post.
With a chance to clinch the regular season title, Boston College faces rival Boston University in the Battle of Comm Ave on Saturday (Feb. 29) at Agganis Arena. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on NESN.