The No. 7 Boston College Eagles (11-4-2, 6-1-1 Hockey East) got the second half of the season off to an impressive start on Friday afternoon, pounding the Bowling Green Falcons (8-9-4, 6-6-2 WCHA) with five goals in the opening game of the Three Rivers Classic at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center.
Junior Johnny Gaudreau, as he so often does, led the offensive ways for the Eagles with the opening goal of the game just 1:19 into the proceedings.
The Carney's Point, N.J. native assisted on BC's other two scores in the first, including one from sophomore Pittsburgh city native Travis Jeke just more two minutes later. Gaudreau upped his point-scoring streak to 12 consecutive games with the three-point effort, which ties a career watermark.
With freshman Thatcher Demko away representing Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championships, third-year Brian Billett (Brunswick, Maine) seized an open opportunity at the starting position by posting his first-career shutout and seventh win of the season, making 27 saves, including 13 in the second period.
First-year Eagles Ian McCoshen and Steve Santini are also part of the World Junior squad, which opened tournament play by defeating the Czech Republic on Thursday morning in Malmo, Sweden. The tournament continues through Jan 5.
The game marked BC head coach Jerry York's seventh reunion with his former club as he spent 15 years at the helm of the Falcons, guiding them to the first of his five career national championships in 1984.
On Saturday night at 7:35, the Eagles will vie for their seventh holiday tournament title since York took the reigns of his alma mater in 1994 as they go up against Penn State, which scored twice in the third period to down Robert Morris, in the championship game.
Yale 6, Russian Red Stars 3
The Bulldogs (6-3-3, 3-2-3 ECAC Hockey) shook some rust off and returned to action with an exhibition victory at Ingalls Rink. 14 different players scored points for the Elis, while sophomore Stu Wilson scored a goal and added an assist. Each Yale goaltender saw a period of action in the game and recorded double-digit saves, including 17 saves in the third from rookie Patrick Spano.
At Frozen Fenway
Bentley (8-7-1) and Holy Cross (4-9-2) will take to the ice for the first game of this winter's Citi Frozen Fenway events on Saturday at 6:30, but members of the media got an opportunity to break in the fresh ice and skate in the first Citi Frozen Media Scrum game on Friday afternoon.
The Hockey Journal's own Jesse Connolly and Andy Merritt took their talents to the ice, joining forces once again on a team captained by NESN commentator Tom Caron. Despite suffering a 6-4 loss to Steve Silva of Boston.com's team, Merritt and Connolly did the NEHJ proud with an assist apiece for Team Caron.
Following the media contest, the Falcons and Crusaders took their strolls around the Fenway rink in preparation for Atlantic Hockey's debut on Yawkey Way.