add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Happy Times in Chestnut Hill: BC Sweeps UVM - BANG.
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Happy Times in Chestnut Hill: BC Sweeps UVM

No. 1 Boston College defeated Vermont in a two-game series over the weekend at Conte Forum. The Eagles dominated game one on Friday night with a 7-1 win against the Catamounts. The next night, they secured a 4-2 victory with key players Gabe Perreault and Eamon Powell missing due to injuries.

In the first game on Friday, defenseman Lukas Gustafsson opened the scoring for the Eagles on Happy Gilmore Night with a beautiful shot off of a rebound at 13:32 of the first period. The Catamounts failed to capitalize on two power plays in the first period and went into the locker room down 1-0.

Despite the relatively slow first period, the Eagles ramped up the intensity in the second period. Forward Cutter Gauthier led a dominant second half, scoring back-to-back goals to give BC a 3-0 lead halfway through the period. Gauthier's first goal resulted from freshman Will Smith's behind-the-back pass to Perreault, who then slipped it to Gauthier. Less than three minutes later, Gauthier added to his NCAA-leading goal tally with his 28th of the year. His goals were followed up by two more from Jacob Bengsston and Andre Gasseau, bringing the Eagles' lead to 5. Vermont managed to get one back shortly after Gasseau's goal, ending the second with a score of 5-1.

However, BC came back strong in the third period as well. Nineteen seconds in, Smith forced a turnover behind the net and passed to Perreault for another goal. Later on in the period, defenseman Aidan Hreschuk also ripped a shot past the UVM goaltender to give the Eagles a 6 goal lead. The Eagles finished the first game in the series with a blow-out 7-1 win. Six different players scored goals, including two defensemen, highlighting the Eagles' versatility that has been so integral to their success this year.

The Saturday night game resulted in a much more even battle for the Catamounts. The Eagles were missing two of their best players, Perreault and Powell, who were left out of the game Saturday night due to injuries. BC had to shift around their lines to adjust for the missing two players. Gauthier took Perrault's place on the "USA" line, typically consisting of freshmen trio Perreault, Smith, and Leonard. Jack Malone then shifted to Gauthier's place. Nolan Joyce also played in senior captain Eamon Powell's absence.

Early in the first period, Ryan Leonard was called for diving, and UVM was able to capitalize on the subsequent power play. However, Leonard quickly made up the deficit, slipping the puck past the Vermont goaltender for the Eagles' first goal of the night. Leonard scored another goal, this time short-handed, in the first period to earn the lead. The Eagles went into the locker room up 2-1.

The second period saw no goals, but the Catamounts regained the tie early in the third period on the power play. However, less than two minutes later, Gauthier and Leonard teamed up yet again on the penalty kill for an odd-man rush goal to regain the BC lead. Towards the end of the period, with the Catamounts pushing, Smith scored an unassisted goal off a strong forecheck for the Eagles' fourth goal of the night. The Eagles held on in the final minutes for a 4-2 victory.

BC will play a home and away series against UNH next weekend, then another game at Merrimack on March 9 before starting the postseason. The Eagles' Friday night win also secured home ice for the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament, which is set to be held at Conte Forum on March 16th.

Cassidy Wichman
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