College hockey notebook: Boston College gets its groove back

March 13, 2017 GMT

So where did all the goals come from, Jerry York?

“I think we’ll have to take the prescription back to the pharmacy and ask for a re-fill,” said the Boston College coach, after his Eagles posted seven spots on back-to-back nights to sweep away Vermont in their Hockey East quarterfinal series at Kelley Rink.

“I don’t think we scored 14 goals in the entire month of February,” added York, whose team actually had 16 goals during a seven-game winless run. “The big thing, though, is that we continued to play good defense even through the dry stretch.”

York, who reached the 20-win plateau for the 28th time, including eight straight seasons, said the first-round bye week helped.

“We used the bye week to really emphasize creating more offense, particularly from 2 feet and 3 feet from the net, with jams, stuffs, and rebounds,” he said. “The goaltenders are so good in our league now that you’re not going to be scoring on very many long shots.”

A key York move was to shift forward JD Dudek back to a point on the power play. Dudek entered the season with one career goal but has 13 goals and seven assists after his two man-up goals in Saturday night’s 7-4 win.

That victory, coupled with Friday night’s 7-0 whitewashing, advanced BC (20-14-4) into the Hockey East semifinals at the Garden this Friday, where the Eagles will face archrival Boston University.

Missed opportunity

After his team squandered a 2-0 lead for the second night in a row to get swept from the HE quarterfinals at Boston University, Northeastern coach Jim Madigan clearly let his frustration show.

“My mom told me if you can’t say anything nice about a person, don’t say anything at all and I can’t talk about this series without the two calls that didn’t go our way. For me, that was the difference in this game and in the series. I appreciate your time, but I just don’t want to go there because I don’t want to risk a future suspension,” said Madigan, who was upset that both of BU’s game-winning tallies came during late power-play opportunities, including in overtime in Game 1.

The coach’s abbreviated remarks caught the grizzled scribes a bit off-guard. While I have long respected Madigan’s feisty nature since his hard-nosed playing days, when he earned his “Maddog” nickname, here’s a post-series tact this reporter would rather have seen him take.

Madigan could have used the occasion to admit that while it was a tough, disheartening loss, senior Zach Aston-Reese had a brilliant season, worthy of Hobey Baker Award consideration. He could have tub-thumped how sophomore Adam Gaudette of Braintree and junior Dylan Sikura, both 50-plus point scorers, elevated their games to where both are mentioned among college hockey’s elite.

He could have touched upon how hard the injury-plagued Stevens brothers, Nolan and John, worked to return. He could have praised puck-moving defenseman Garret Cockerill, highlighted the smooth assimilation of freshmen defensemen Jeremy Davies and Ryan Shea of Milton, and the second half development of freshman forward Matt Filipe of Lynnfield, arguably NU’s best player on the weekend. Instead .?.?.

Quiz of the Week

This media member was MVP of the 1989 Hockey East Tournament. Who was he? Answer below.

Slap shots

Harvard (24-5-2) has taken 1,067 shots on net through 31 games and Bruins draft pick Ryan Donato, a sophomore from Scituate, has accounted for 155. Next closest is senior Tyler Moy (113).

Donato and Moy pace Harvard in goals with 18. .?.?.

Holy Cross junior Danny Lopez enjoyed a banner season with 17 goals, including a team-best 12 on the power play. .?.?.

Providence junior Brian Pinho of North Andover reached the 40-point plateau during the Friars’ quarterfinal loss at Notre Dame and leads PC in assists (28). Pinho began the season with a total of 43 points.

Quiz answer

Bruins radio color analyst Bob Beers of UMaine.

Drop the puck!