October 7, 2013

Eagles score eight unanswered to trample X-Men

By Joshua Kummins

Final: Boston College 8, St. Francis Xavier 2 (exhibition)

Recap: X's Michael Kirkpatrick scored both goals in the first period, including one off a power-play centering pass to put the visitors ahead by two goals, but the Eagles came alive from there with five goals in the second period to take a commanding lead that would never be relinquished.

Newcomer Thatcher Demko pitched a shutout in his period of work, stopping all seven shots he faced in the second to earn the victory. Come the start of regular season action, the Californian is expected to be the go-to man for Jerry York's Eagles.

On the offensive, BC received scores from two newcomers, including a greasy score by Austin Cangelosi in the final 75 seconds of the second, taking a pass from All-American junior Johnny Gaudreau and skating through traffic to slide the puck beneath StFX goaltender Morgan Clark.

The top unit connected once again for the Maroon and Gold's eighth goal, as Hayes found a streaking Gaudreau gliding in ahead of the defense for the tuck under Clark's five-hole at the 16:13 marker.

Johnny Gaudreau found the goal column for the first time at 16:13 of the third, sliding in ahead of the defense as he does so well and directing a moving puck between the wickets of Clark for the eighth and final tally.

Records: Boston College 0-0-0, St. Francis Xavier 3-3-0 (preseason)

Key Play of the Game: Pulling the trigger with the first goal of the second period was just what the Eagles needed to stake claim on momentum moving forward. Senior Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) received a lucky deflection off a shot from junior defender Danny Linell and beat Clark, beginning the onslaught.

Plus: After junior Brian Billett (Brunswick, Maine) allowed the first two goals of the day, the Eagles offense came alive. Any York team is resilient and BC showed it off once again in their inaugural skate of the 2013-14 campaign.

Minus: The first two X-Men goals were scored off a pair of bad defensive sequences by the Eagles. Kirkpatrick really ripped a hole into the BC back line, forcing the early deficit.

Notable: Despite coming from behind with eight unanswered goals, BC's 2-0 deficit after 20 minutes of play was its first to a Canadian school in an exhibition contest since losing to the University of New Brunswick as part of a two-game series in 2009. Thanks to @BCInterruption on Twitter for the note.

Quotable: "We're moving the puck real well. We were down 2-0 after the first period, but I like how we shared the puck an awful lot. A lot of positives to take out of this game." -BC head coach Jerry York assessing his team's play

Final Thoughts: Things certainly turned in favor of the Eagles in the second period, despite a pretty even offensive game for both sides. Territorially, things swayed a bit further in the direction of the home team with a 14-8 advantage in total chances (45-28 overall). BC will need to maintain their aggressive offensive style on both sides of the puck as the regular season begins with two games next week.

StFX was strong in the first period, but after playing a tough one-goal game at Boston University on Saturday night, their legs certainly started to tire as the contest wore on.

Next: The Eagles will have a short week ahead as they open the regular season on Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Mich. against the No. 10 Wolverines.

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins
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