The No. 3 Boston College (BC) Eagles blanked the University of Maine over the weekend, extending their shutout streak to six of their last seven contests. Boston College won Friday 3-0 before a 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon. After the weekend series of Hockey East action, Maine falls to 0-6-3 (0-2-0 HEA) and BC improves to 8-1-0 (3-0-0).
Maine falls in heated Hockey East matchup
Maine played a frustrated style of hockey Friday night, still winless through eight games entering a matchup with No. 3 Boston College. First-year goaltender Rob McGovern earned his third consecutive start for the Black Bears, but his efforts weren’t enough as the Eagles handed Maine their fifth loss of the season, topping the Black Bears 3-0 at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill.
Maine played from behind from the opening frame. The Eagles scored less than five minutes into the first period, and played well enough defensively to keep the Black Bears scoreless for the remainder of the contest. Third-year standout netminder Thatcher Demko, a second-round selection by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2014 NHL draft, stopped all 30 shots he faced in a shutout performance for BC.
Third-year forward Matthew Gaudreau sent a pass to third-year forward Steve Santini as he cut through the slot approaching the right circle. With traffic in front of McGovern, Santini fired a wrist shot glove side on McGovern that beat him to the post, giving BC an early 1-0 advantage.
Neither team could score in the middle period, which ended in bizarre fashion, and exemplified the level of Maine’s frustration. With just under two minutes remaining in the period, a slew of players from each squad began pushing back and forth, which resulted in multiple squabbles on the ice. Punches were thrown after the whistle and each team sent two players to the box with 10-minute misconduct penalties.
First-year forward Colin White buried BC’s second goal of the contest in the third period after missing a penalty shot attempt earlier in the game. White received a cross-ice pass near the blue line and skated towards the right circle with a Maine defender trailing. White sent a snapshot that found its way through McGovern’s five hole, extending the Eagles lead to 2-0.
Second-year forward Alex Tuch contributed with an empty net goal late in the final period to give BC the 3-0 win.
The ugly, physical play on the ice totaled 27 penalties amongst both teams. Each squad failed to tally a power play goal, with both teams going 0-for-6 with the man advantage. McGovern stopped 26 of 28 shots in net for Maine, and moves to 0-3-1 as the Black Bears starter. With the victory, Demko moves to 7-1 in net for BC.
Eagles earn sweep, top Maine 2-0
Maine failed to score again in game two, being shut out again by Demko in a 2-0 victory for the Eagles.
The Black Bears frustrated play continued, and the level of physicality was matched in game two. Both teams combined to commit 25 penalties, including a sequence in the third period that rendered 13 separate penalties, including six 10-minute misconduct calls. McGovern, who earned the start again for Maine, received a 10-minute misconduct penalty on the play and was forced to serve his penalty. Second-year netminder Matt Morris replaced McGovern for the rest of the game after the penalty.
Gaudreau found third-year forward Ryan Fitzgerald, who buried a snapshot from the slot through heavy traffic to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period.
Maine forwards pressured the crease on Demko, totaling 30 shots again in the contest. Demko didn’t budge, however, standing tall in net despite the heavy battering.
First-year forward Miles Wood tacked on the Eagles second goal on the power play in the third period. White found Wood off the faceoff, and Wood sent a wrist shot that beat McGovern to the far side, doubling the Eagles lead.
Maine failed to score with their goalie pulled in the final minutes. As the final horn sounded, Black Bears second-year forward Nolan Vesey was called for spearing, a game misconduct penalty that will keep him out of action next week.
Boston College converted one of its six power play opportunities. Maine failed to convert on any of their three chances. The Eagles outshot Maine 35-30 in the contest.
McGovern falls to 0-4-2 in net for Maine while Demoko improves to 8-1 for BC. Morris stopped the only shot he faced in relief of McGovern.
The Black Bears return to action on Friday, Nov. 13 when they face off against UMass Lowell on the road. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.