Sunday, January 5, 2014

Boston College Edges Notre Dame, 4-3, at Frozen Fenway

Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals on Saturday night, including the game-winner in the third period, and ran his personal points string to 14 games as sixth-ranked Boston College edged No. 14 Notre Dame, 4-3, in the cold at Fenway Park in Boston.

Brendan Silk and Bill Arnold (shorthanded) also scored for B.C, which led 2-0, after 20 minutes. Mario Lucia, T.J. Tynan (power play) and Bryan Rust connected for UND, which forged ties of 2-2 and 3-3 before Gaudreau scored at 8:21 of the third period to ice it.

Gaudreau, a 2013 Hobey Baker Award finalist, had previously been named MVP of the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh on Dec. 27-28, recording two goals and three assists as the Eagles swept Bowling Green and Penn State. The Carneys Point, N.J. native, who initiated his current scoring string with two goals against Northeastern on Nov. 1, has 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points in his last 14 outings. He leads B.C. with 17-18—35 points through 19 contests this campaign, and in 98 career appearances at the Heights has registered 59-72—131 points.

Steve Summerhays finished with 17 saves for the Fighting Irish on Saturday, while Brian Billet made 20 stops for the Eagles, including one on his doorstep at the final buzzer when Notre Dame thought it had again scored the equalizer. The net came off its posts, the play was reviewed, and replays showed the puck never crossed the goal line. UND finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while B.C. went 0-for-9 in running its winning streak to five games.

It was also the first-ever conference meeting between the Eagles (13-4-2, 7-1-1 HEA) and the Fighting Irish (10-8-1, 3-5-1 HEA), the latter a former member of the now-defunct CCHA, and counted in the Hockey East standings. B.C. is also now 2-1-0 in NCAA games played at Fenway, including a 3-2 loss to rival Boston University in 2010, and a 2-1 victory over Northeastern in 2012. In each of the three games, the Eagles have unveiled commemorative gold jerseys, with the latest model shown above.

B.C. and Notre Dame will next meet on Feb. 28 at Chestnut Hill, Mass. to close out the 2013-14 regular season. The Eagles will host Providence this Friday and head to Brown on Saturday, while the Irish entertain Alabama-Huntsville this weekend.

In a non-conference tilt between Hockey East teams early Saturday at Fenway, former B.C. defenseman Mark Dennehy and his current Merrimack squad skated to a  1-1 tie with Providence. This Saturday, Hockey East returns to Yawkey Way when Northeastern faces UMass Lowell and Maine takes on Boston University.

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