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College Hockey:
Gaudreau’s four points lead Boston College to rout of North Dakota

Mullane scores two goals as Eagles claim Icebreaker title

— Who needs an exhibition game?

Boston College did not have that exhibition tune-up like so many other teams around college hockey did last weekend. Nevertheless, the Eagles put together another dominating performance Saturday, finishing off the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, 6-2, in decisive fashion to clinch the Icebreaker championship in front of 9,420 at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.

Heading into this weekend’s tournament, Eagles coach Jerry York said he was simply trying some different line combinations, but his early season experimentation seems to have paid off quickly. The Eagles’ third line of Johnny Gaudreau, Pat Mullane, and Steven Whitney really seemed to click, and the scoresheet reflected as much.

“They seemed to move pucks very well,” York said. “There are a lot of similarities between Pat, Steven and Johnny. I think we’ll keep them there.”

The freshman Gaudreau, from Carneys Point, N.J., put up four points (one goal, three assists) in a breakout performance.

“He’s got some special qualities; we recognized that in the preseason,” York said. “But to do that on this stage was pretty impressive.”

Mullane scored the first of his two goals 2:21 into the first. A taste of things to come, it was a smart drop pass from Gaudreau that made the goal happen.

In the first period however, UND was able to hold serve. Danny Kristo’s quick pass to Corban Knight on a two-on-one short-handed rush evened the score.

Early in the second, sophomore defenseman Derek Forbort gave the Sioux a brief 2-1 lead at 5:23. His first career goal was a power play shot from the point.

The Eagles then overwhelmed the Sioux with their textbook speed, scoring four goals and dominating the balance of second period.

Chris Kreider tied the game back up with a rebound goal off the left post, and six minutes later Gaudreau scored the go-ahead goal at 13:16 to capture the lead and the momentum by tapping in a centering pass from Bill Arnold.

“The puck moves very quickly with us,” York said. “That helps our team speed. It’s not a race from goal line to goal line. When the puck moves and does a lot of the work, we can play at a high pace.”

Mullane added his second goal on a beautiful one-timer from the slot. Arnold followed up with a back-breaker of a goal that was directed past Sioux goaltender Aaron Dell (10 saves) off the skate of North Dakota’s Mario Lamoureux.

That speed was just too much for the Sioux to handle, at least in the passive state that the usually-formidable defense was in Saturday night.

“Positionally, we were around those plays,” said Sioux coach Dave Hakstol. “But you need to be tenacious on sticks and make those plays. We didn’t do that. Our coverage wasn’t good enough for that four-minute span when they scored three goals. That absolutely changed the complexion of the game.”

Dell was pulled after that goal, giving way to Brad Eidsness. Eidsness had seven saves, but gave up the final goal, a snipe from the right circle by Whitney at 15:15 in the third.

Hakstol said he was impressed with the limited play of Eidsness, but whether that has sparked a goalie controversy in Grand Forks remains to be seen.

“I’m not making decisions 10 minutes after a difficult loss, but he probably earned himself some minutes and a start next weekend,” he said.

As for Boston College, York sees the tournament win as a good first step.

“We talked about it: there are six trophies available to us this year, and we won this one,” he said. “It’s kind of a stepping stone. They all get bigger as the year goes on.”

Boston College’s Parker Milner had 22 saves for his second win. Milner, Kreider, Arnold, Patch Alber and Tommy Cross all were named to the Icebreaker All-Tournament team from Boston College, along with North Dakota’s Brock Nelson and Michigan State’s Lee Reimer.

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  • Tenderfeet

    This game was more about the goal tending than BC dominating the game. For a 4 minute time frame in the second BC out hustled and out played ND. They also got same fortunate bounces on two of the goals–which is part of the game. However, that was it. ND out shot BC and BC only had 23 shots on goal. Can’t let 6 get by. But for the 4 minutes these teams were pretty evenly matched. I always hate a writer taking the score and writing an article as opposed to being at the game and writing what actually occurs.

    • BD

      On the biright side I was really impressed with Rocco Grimaldi’s stick handling abilities.  He moved very well for a freshman in his first game at the Ralph.  I wish the rest of UND’s rather young team functioned that well.

    • Fan Man

      I agree,  this writer has not a clue as to what actually happened at the game last nite.  Not terrible but no good by any standers goaltending by UND but we did compete and Hak did say himself that the team needs alot of work…   From what I saw I can agree with that.   The team need Cemistry lessons soon

    • Lennyak1

      And UND only had 24.  I guess that is a positive for UND. LMAO!

  • Mike Wurzer

    Boger was at the game and so was I, and watching those goals pour in felt like rout to me.

  • EagleWatch

    ND…just like the other ND, perhaps the biggest pretenders in USCH the past 10 years!

    • BD

      Right, dream on in Southy…..

    • Fan Man

      HUh?

  • SiouxMe

    Tenderfeet: We got worked.  Plain and simple.

    • BD

      Yeah, I wonder if this is going to be a traditional Fighting Sioux patterned year with the team coming out slowly at the start of the year as replacements work their way into the roster.  Then catching on around late December/Early January?

      Or, with only two seniorsand so many freshmen it could just be a bad year.

  • Anonymous

    And if UND starts slow, what about BC?  Has the frosh Gaudreau added to their potent “speed kills” offense?  Not a bad opening weekend for BC.

    • BD

      Agree, they came on strong early.  They even kept up with the physical play of a WCHA team which is a pleasant surprise. 
      Couple that with six returning seniors makes them a force to watch this winter.

  • Lennyak1

    I noticed that the UND television announcers stated Hakstol is 1-5-1 against BC.
    BC is 6-3 against UND in the NCAA Nationals.
    And all time BC & UND are now 11-11-1.

  • Anonymous

    We all knew that the first half would be about transitions, namely how quickly this team can adjust to last seasons departures, and that was on full display last night. However that is no excuse for the defense’s sluggish performance.  Realistically I would only really put one of those goals on Dell.  Grimaldi looked electric out there, and I fully expect him to start finding the back of the net soon.

    Overall we’re a team with tons of upside, it just might take a few weeks to find it.

    • Fan Man

      Dell and the D were sluggish and BC played about as good as they could have.  What was up with the D and not being able to cover in front of the net anyway?  Is our attach offense going to work this year or do the sioux need to start playing the Berenson (michigan 2-0 last year) way?  Something has got to change!!  

      • Sioux Yeah Yeah

        What I witnessed was a debacle.  All those underclassmen and sitting back on their heels.  It doesn’t matter if there are only two seniors, or not.  Someone better step up and become a leader to light the torches under those freshmen feet.  

        I thought Blood played a crappy game.  Ben was burned on two goals by not picking up his assignment; thus allowing goals from 8′ away from the pipes.  If I were Hak, I would have the boys doing ‘lines’ all day on Monday…..    If the captain & assistants don’t wanna step up, there’s nothing wrong with Rocco getting the “C” on his jersey.

        I’m not willing to wait until January to find a couple of wins.  It was more enjoyable sitting next to Chris Chelios and chatting then it was seeing a team ready to play against a team completely on-vacation.  

  • Fan Man

    our attack offense

  • Hockey East Fan

    As a BC fan, I was there in beautiful Ralph Engelstead Arena, and it was COMPLETE BC domination. The Sioux fans are yelling “crunch him”, “hit em”, “welcome to bigtime hockey” when the puck dropped and ND threw a few big checks. But the more and more ND tried to out-body BC … they could NOT keep up with the speedy and crafty BC forwards. **So much for that “Hockey East is a no-check league” sign. BC forechecked the crap out of ND, Johnny Gaudreau had a very impressive dipsy-do-dosey-do behind the net handling the puck, shaking off an UND defenseman and laying a beauty of a pass to Patrick Mullane … who BURIED another goal past the blitzkreiged UND goalie tandem.

    You can talk about a lack of seniors, but in these days, your top players are leaving after their Junior season (if not earlier) so that the NHL teams protect their draft rights.

    Never saw so many Sioux fans … bailing out of “The Ralph” so quickly!

    Enjoyable time in Grand Forks, impressive arena, a “must see”; but glad to be back in Boston!

    Air Force deserved much better in the opener against ND, I think it was a “sketchy” call that put ND on the powerplay that allowed them to tie the game.

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