CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College handed Army a shellacking on Sunday afternoon, lighting the lamp 11 times in an 11-0 victory.
It was the first time in the 20-year Jerry York era at BC that the Eagles have scored 11 goals in a game. The last time the Eagles scored 11 or more goals was January 20, 1985, the first year of Hockey East, in a 15-6 victory over the University of Lowell.
The 11-goal win was the largest margin of victory for Boston College (6-2-1) since November 11, 1976, an 18-0 win over Boston State to open the 1976-77 season.
Fourteen of BC’s 18 skaters registered points on Sunday and six players posted multiple-point games.
Goaltenders Brian Billett (15 saves) and Brad Barone (15 saves) combined for BC’s first shutout of the season.
The 11-goal outburst, combined with five goals on Friday night against Boston University, is a welcome sign for York.
“It’s just like hitting your driver [in golf],” said York. “You start hitting some fairways. All of a sudden you feel, ‘I’m going to hit the next fairway.’ It’s good for all our players. It’s confidence. They don’t hold the sticks so tight.”
While the main story may have been the play of BC phenom Johnny Gaudreau, who finished the game with two goals and two assists to close the weekend with seven points, the game’s subplot had everything to do with another man named Gaudreau.
Freshman Matthew Gaudreau, younger brother of Johnny, playing in his first career game, scored his first goal for the Eagles, making the 5,492 in attendance at BC’s Kelley Rink wonder if they are witnessing the brilliance of yet another player named Gaudreau.
“It’s almost as exciting for me as scoring a goal,” said Johnny of his younger brother. “Him being a freshman and it being his first game and getting to score in front of all my family members who came up [from New Jersey] to see him play, it was a special experience.”
Not surprisingly based on the final score, the Eagles put this game away early behind the offensive power of its top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold and Austin Cangelosi.
The elder Gaudreau buried two breakaway goals, one on a power play and one at even strength, at 4:11 and 8:40, respectively, to open the scoring. The goals were Nos. 50 and 51 of Gaudreau’s career.
At 11:48, Johnny Gaudreau started a rush that Arnold finished off with a tap in at the left post for a 3-0 lead. And less than two minutes later, rookie Ryan Fitzgerald scored his fourth goal of the season one-timing a pass glove side past Army goalie Rob Tadazak on the power play for the 4-0 lead.
BC outshot the Cadets by a lopsided 21-3 margin in the opening period.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second. After Even Richardson buried a no-look pass from Fitzgerald at 2:38, it was Gaudreau again – this time rookie Matthew – poking home a rebound at 14:21 for the 6-0 lead.
Army coach Brian Riley relieved Tadazak (25 saves) after the sixth goal, allowing freshman Parker Gahagen (13 saves) to make his second relief appearance of the weekend after playing the final 28:29 against Holy Cross on Friday night.
The Eagles hardly put out the welcome mat, though, as a strange bounce of the back glass allowed BC’s Adam Gilmore to push the first shot Gahagen faced into the back of the net.
It is the second time this season BC has opened up a 7-0 lead, accomplishing the same feat in a 9-2 win over Wisconsin at home on October 18.
In the third period, Michael Matheson, Ian McCoshen, Cangelosi and Kevin Hayes all got in on the goal scoring, forcing the Kelley Rink scoreboard to reach 11 for the first time in the building’s history.
While 11-0 seems like a difficult beating to take, Riley stayed positive of what this game meant to his team.
“Going up against [BC] is a huge challenge,” said Riley. “But our guys would welcome this opportunity any time. I just wish it would’ve been better.”
Army falls to 0-6-0 on the season.