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Eagles Soar Over Pioneers, Into Elite 8

Saturday, March 29, 2014

 

The opening round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament was not played in Boston, but it essentially was a home game for the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles made the 38.9-mile drive down the Mass Turnpike to the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts to take on the Denver Pioneers. The end result was not pretty for the Pioneers, as the Eagles won 6-2.

The top-seeded Eagles had not played since losing to Notre Dame in the Hockey East Tournament on March 16, but showed no ill effects from the layoff, especially not Johnny Gaudreau.

The scoring started in a familiar way for the Eagles, as Johnny Gaudreau got on the board with his team-high 33rd goal just 25-seconds into the game. Gaudreau was set up on a great feed from Kevin Haynes with Scott Savage getting the secondary assist. And that would not be the last time Gaudreau got on the board.

The Eagles offensive onslaught continued just five minutes later when Kevin Haynes lit the lamp off the feed from Bill Arnold and Johnny Gaudreau making it 2-0 Eagles. The goal marked the 25th of the year for Haynes.

The Eagles were not done scoring in the 1st Period either. Gaudreau put the Eagles up 3-0 at 9:34 of the period with his second of the night coming off a Michael Matheson assist. The goal gave Gaudreau three quick points in the 1st Period with two goals and an assist.

The 2nd Period was much of the same for the Eagles as they got on the board again at 5:29, making it 4-0. Haynes scored again, making it 26 goals on the season, with Bill Arnold and Johnny Gaudreau assisting.

Less than three minutes later the Eagles attack continued as Gaudreau capped off a hat trick with a blast from Michael Matheson and goalie Thatcher Demko, making the score 5-0. The goal gave Gaudreau an astonishing five-point night and was the second time Matheson had set up Gaudreau in the game.

The Eagles put in another goal at the 15:35 mark of the 2nd Period, this time Bill Arnold finished off a beautiful Kevin Hayes pass with Gaudreau getting the secondary assist. With Arnold scoring, the entire Eagles starting-three forwards had scored and gave Arnold 13 goals on the year. With the secondary assist, Gaudreau added to his impressive night and made it an amazing six-point night. The starting-three for the Eagles stood at a plus-six rating on the night while many of the Pioneer players sat at minus-two or minus-three.

The Pioneers were finally able to get their offense going when Trevor Moore put in his 14th of the year on an assist from Ty Loney. The goal came on just the 9th shot of the game for the Pioneers, making it 6-1 Eagles.

For much of the 3rd Period the Eagles sat in prevent mode, putting only seven shots on new goaltender Evan Cowley after peppering starter Sam Brittain with 26 in the first 40-minutes. The Pioneers were able to get one more back with time winding down in the game with Evan Janssen lighting the lamp with Emil Roming and Joey Laleggia assisting. When the final horn sounded the Eagles took the 6-2 win and advanced to the Elite 8.

For the Eagles, Johnny Gaudreau finished with three goals and three assists and a plus-five rating. Kevin Hayes finished with two goals and two assists and a plus-five rating and Bill Arnold finished with one goal and two assists and a plus-five rating. Goalie Thatcher Demko finished the night with 16 saves on 18 shots.

The Eagles will face the winner of the UMass Lowell-Minnesota State-Mankato tomorrow in the Elite 8, once again in Worcester.

 

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