CHESTNUT HILL — They’re the best team in college hockey for a reason.
Boston College blitzed Merrimack, 6-1, last night at Conte Forum, sweeping the Warriors in the season series and outscoring the Warriors a total of 10-2 in the two games.
The Eagles, who are ranked second in both polls, are the top-ranked team in the Pairwise rankings, which is the model the NCAA uses to select teams to the NCAA tournament.
The Eagles extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games since a Nov. 29 loss.
“Our guys had their legs tonight,” said BC associate head coach Greg Brown, filling in for head coach Jerry York who was battling a lost voice. “Merrimack puts a lot of pressure on you with their forecheck and it was hard breaking out. They kept us in during the first period but after that we did a better job.”
Bill Arnold scored his first of three goals just 1:18 into the game, taking advantage of a shorthanded 2-on-1. He scored his second goal 13 minutes later and completed the hat trick in the third period.
“We’re on the power play and we have a guy cheat down with two guys coming at him and end up going by him, with a forward who hasn’t played back there very long. That’s a bad decision, to give up a 2-on-1 to Arnold and (John) Gaudreau, that’s not great,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said.
“On the second goal we lose a puck battle just inside our blue line, the puck goes back in and they score again. We fight for that two feet and there’s the second goal. The third goal, we have the puck on the wall, we passed it back, it bounces over a stick and there’s another 2-on-1. The fourth goal goes off a skate.
“But you get those breaks when you work hard enough long enough. But this is the second game in a row where I felt our effort is where it needs to be, still off on execution, obviously.”
Shots were even, 24-24, and the Warriors actually out-attempted the Eagles, 47-46. The Warriors also won more faceoffs, 33-28.
“We generated some chances,” Dennehy said. “What you can’t do against a team like that is have brain farts, and we had some early. But I refuse to get discouraged and I refuse to let (the players) get discouraged.”
Merrimack is off until next week when it travels to Maine for a two-game weekend series.
No. 2 BC 6, Merrimack 1
at Conte Forum
Merrimack (7-16-3, 2-10-2 HE): 0-0-1–1
BC (21-4-3, 13-1-1 HE): 2-1-3–6
First Period: 1. BC Bill Arnold 9 (Johnny Gaudreau, Michael Matheson), sh, 1:18; 2. BC Bill Arnold 10 (Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes), ev, 14:03.
Second Period: 3. BC Patrick Brown 7 (Ryan Fitzgerald, Austin Cangelosi), ev, 6:22.
Third Period: 4. BC Adam Gilmour 6 (Scott Savage, Teddy Doherty), pp, 6:00; 5. Bill Arnold 11 (Johnny Gaudreau, Michael Matheson), pp, 10:46; 6. Brendan Silk 3 (Teddy Doherty, Danny Linell), pp, 14:44; 7. MC Chris LeBlanc 6 (Justin Mansfield, John Gustafsson), ev, 15:46.
Shots: Merrimack 5-8-11–24; Boston College 8-5-11–24
Saves: MC Tirronen 18-24; BC Demko 23-24
Power Play: Merrimack 0-4; Boston College 3-4
Penalties: Merrimack 7-14; Boston College 7-14
Next: at Maine Friday, 7