BC nothing short of dominant
Top-ranked Boston College scored a goal in each of the first two periods and three in the third on its way to a 5-0 shutout of UMass-Amherst last night in front of 6,821 at Conte Forum.
It was the final game for the Eagles (19-6-0, 15-5-0) before Monday night’s Beanpot semifinal against Boston University at TD Garden.
“We’re just trying to stay in this race for the league championship,’’ said BC coach Jerry York. “You’ve got to keep winning because it seems that [New Hampshire] keeps winning also.’’
Despite a bit of a slow start, York said the Eagles weren’t looking past the Minutemen (6-14-4, 5-9-4).
“We’ve been pretty good about that the last few years, trying to really focus on the next opponent,’’ he said. “It’s easy to talk about it, it’s easy to say, but sometimes it’s very difficult because the Beanpot to our players is certainly a very memorable night. But we never talked about the Beanpot, we never really discussed it. We want to win a championship in our league and that’s been difficult for us the last five or six years.’’
BC got into some early penalty trouble. Just 14 seconds after a strong flurry in the UMass end that led to scoring chances for Bill Arnold and Barry Almeida, the Eagles had two players in the penalty box.
At 8:49 of the first, junior defenseman Tommy Cross was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head/elbowing when he delivered a blow to UMass’s Marc Concannon. At the same time, BC’s Steven Whitney was called for tripping, giving the Minutemen a two-man advantage for two minutes.
Their best chance came at 9:18 when freshman defenseman Adam Phillips’s one-timer from the left circle rattled off the right post. UMass lost the latter part of its five-on-three when Michael Pereira was called for hooking, resulting in a four-on-three for 12 seconds.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead at 15:33 when Joe Whitney drove from the left circle into the crease and beat senior Paul Dainton (35 saves) with a backhander for his fourth tally of the season. Cam Atkinson started the play in the BC end with a pass to Brian Gibbons, who in turn relayed the puck to Whitney.
BC nearly had another goal at 4:20 of the second when Dainton was caught out of the crease. Atkinson had the puck in the slot and fired a bullet, but senior defenseman Doug Kublin made a terrific play to block the shot and allow his netminder to get back into position.
At 17:57, the Eagles made it a two-goal lead when sophomore defenseman Philip Samuelsson fired a shot from the left circle that beat Dainton through a screen and over the glove. It was Samuelsson’s second goal of the season and first of two in the game. He finished with 3 points.
At 3:16 of the third, BC cashed in on a power play when Samuelsson beat Dainton from the right point.
Junior left wing Paul Carey potted the Eagles’ fourth goal at 14:18, and Atkinson closed the scoring at 15:43 when he redirected a pass from Joe Whitney past Jeff Teglia, who came on in relief of Dainton for the final 5:42.
Chris Venti played the last 3:06 in relief of John Muse (14 saves) and made two stops.
“We were totally outclassed,’’ said UMass coach Don Cahoon, whose team was outshot, 43-16. “One team possessed the puck and showed a great deal of poise. There’s a reason they’re the defending national champions and ranked No. 1 in the country. They have great poise with the puck. I think our team in general, outside of Dainton, were rattled and we didn’t exhibit much poise. It was two teams in two different development phases.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.