Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON – Top-ranked Boston College skated past 14th-ranked Vermont 5-3 on Saturday night to sweep a two-game Hockey East series at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts fall to 15-11-3 (7-9-0 HEA), while the Eagles improve to 24-4-3 (15-1-1 HEA) and clinch the league’s regular season title.
Vermont came out strong in the first period with a physical presence but Boston College potted two goals in the final two minutes to grab the lead. Chris Calnan converted a shorthanded breakaway at 18:18 as the Eagles opened the scoring. After a point shot bounced off the end boards, Bill Arnold stuck a high shot into the net from the right doorstep with 36 seconds left.
The Catamounts responded at 2:07 of the second period as Connor Brickley collected the puck in the left wing corner. Brickley delayed and fired a pass to Nick Bruneteau, who out-waited Brian Billett before cutting back above the goal line to stuff in a backhander and get UVM back to within one.
Boston College extended the lead with a pair of tallies later in the period. Mike Santaguida stopped Adam Gilmour’s wrister from the slot, but the rebound caromed off Johnny Gaudreau’s shin at the left post and trickled into the net at 11:41 on the power play. Five minutes later, Kevin Hayes deked into the left circle before beating Santaguida high glove side through a screen for a 4-1 cushion.
Colin Markison drew a goal back for the Catamounts at 5:33 of third, firing a one-timer short side on Billett on a goal line pass from Mario Puskarich. Just 1:27 after the tally, Scott Savage connected on a slap shot from the high slot off the left post as BC restored its three-goal advantage.
Chris McCarthy deflected a Bruneteau feed inside the left pipe at 11:25 of third to cut the Eagles’ lead down to two with his team-high 15th of the season. Vermont pulled Brody Hoffman, who came in for Santaguida to start the third period, for an extra skater with a late power play for a 6-on-4. Billett (35 saves) held on and led BC to its 10th straight victory.
The Catamounts hit the road next weekend for a two-game Hockey East series against Merrimack at Lawler Arena on Friday (Feb. 21) and Saturday (Feb. 22) at 7 p.m. Both games can be heard live on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com , and Saturday’s game will be televised live on Fox College Sports Atlantic and WBIN.