CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The rivalry between Boston College and Boston University has been known to bring out the best in both teams.
Not this time.
The BC Eagles needed less than eight minutes to take a 3-0 lead and were never seriously challenged after that, defeating their archrival, 6-2. Nathan Gerbe recorded a hat trick, including two shorthanded goals. John Muse stopped 33-of-35 shots.
For Boston College (4-4-5, 3-3-4 HEA), the win allowed the Eagles to at least finish a tough month on a high note. It was the Eagles’ only November win.
“The key to any successful team is to play as a unit,” BC coach Jerry York said. “We weren’t playing as well as a team. I don’t care how good your individuals are, you’ve got to use the other players on the ice whether defending or on offense.
“Tonight, we [played] more as a unit. All parts of our game were better. We worked really hard, we were physical, and we were smart. Sometimes we’d been smart and not very physical and other times we’d been physical and not very smart. Tonight we had a good medium.”
Gerbe had gotten off to a slow start this season after scoring 25 goals last year but was a difference-maker. “We’re just looking to get back on track and start playing our game and get our team’s confidence back,” he said.
Boston University (4-8-2, 3-4-1 HEA) had been hoping to build some momentum after a weekend win over Cornell in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd, but instead suffered bad turnovers and ineffective goaltending.
“I was embarrassed how our team played tonight,” BU coach Jack Parker said in comments to the press that lasted all of 34 seconds. “We gave up the first three goals, we made a little bit of an effort in the second half of the period to make it 3-1, then we played worse at the beginning of the second period.
“Before they got the goal to make it 4-1, it’s pathetic how we sat back on our rear ends and watched them come at us.
“I don’t have anything good to say about anybody on my team. I thought BC played real well.”
Boston College all but put the game away in the opening minutes, scoring three times within 2:17.
Gerbe got his first goal at 5:10 on the rebound of a Brian Gibbons backhander from the slot.
Just a minute and a half later, Pat Gannon made it 2-0. BU goaltender Brett Bennett gave up a bad rebound into the low slot off an innocuous Nick Petrecki shot, and Gannon roofed it blocker side.
A BU power play gave the Terriers the opportunity to get back into the game, but instead Gerbe’s first shorthanded goal proved a backbreaker. He deflected to center ice a lazy BU pass from the right boards to the left point, outraced the defense to the puck, and took off on the breakaway. Gerbe deked Bennett and stuffed it five-hole.
BU gained some life at 12:09. On a four-on-three man advantage, the Terriers worked the puck around to Brandon Yip inside the left faceoff circle where he ripped a shot, beating John Muse five-hole.
BC regained the three-goal lead at 4:48 of the second period. After a BU turnover behind the net, the puck sat nestled against the left post. Ben Smith won the struggle with Bennett and stuffed it in.
With 1:15 left in the second, Andrew Orpik scored a power-play goal to make it 5-1, beating Bennett short side.
Karson Gillespie replaced Bennett for the third period, at least until the 16:29 mark when he was assessed a 10-minute misconduct and sent to the penalty box. Bennett replaced him.
Gerbe completed the hat trick early in the third with another shorthanded goal. He skated down the right wing, put a shot on net and then roofed the rebound. BU disputed the goal and for a time the officials appeared poised to take it off the scoreboard.
BC prevailed on that note too, however, and the 6-1 remained until Peter MacArthur scored a carbon copy of Yip’s earlier power play goal.
The two rivals face off again in a Saturday night rematch at BU.