BC hockey takes care of business against BU

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BC hockey takes care of business against BU

As much as things didnt go right for Boston College on Friday night in losing to Boston University in unfriendly territory, things all went the Eagles way in a 5-2 victory over the Terriers at Kelley Rink on Saturday night.

Needham native Bill Arnold potted a pair of power play goals for Boston College in a second period barrage, and BC head coach Jerry York matched the NCAA all-time record for wins with his 924th victory behind the bench. The four power play goals for the Eagles and the 36 shots on net to only 23 for Boston University revealed a pretty one-sided effort that turned into a special teams contest after a tightly played first period.

I think we were a little smarter and we worked a little harder, said York, comparing Saturday nights winning effort to the loss at Agganis Arena 24 hours earlier. Last night it was a battle of wills and BU had an edge on us in a lot of different categories. We were just that much better than we were last night whether it was loose pucks, goaltending or special teams. We were just that much better.

It looked like it might be a first period of frustration for Boston College when a Johnny Gaudreau sniped shot to the top corner was waved off because a BC skater bumped into Terriers goalie Matt OConner in the crease. But the top-ranked Eagles didnt let it throw them off.

Minutes later Eagles defenseman Teddy Doherty scored his first career collegiate goal on a rebound after power forward Kevin Hayes had drawn the BU defenses attention with a drive down the slot. Two minutes later it was BUs turn with Gaudreau in the box for hooking, and Terriers forward Wade Megan turning on the highlight reel machine.

Megan dangled through three Eagles skaters before dropping a pass to Sahir Gill at the doorstep. Gill found a wide open Cason Hohmann on the backdoor, and he tapped in the tying goal to leave things even after one period.

It was all Boston College after that. Arnold sandwiched a pair of rebound power play strikes around a Mike Matheson blast from the point, and the Eagles had a commanding 4-1 lead headed into the final 20 minutes. Wakefield native Brandon Silk and Evan Rodrigues traded goals for BC and BU respectively in the third period, and gave the Eagles the feel-good victory they were seeking in the home-and-home weekend series.

GOLD STAR: Bill Arnold is one of the lead forwards as a junior thats won some big games in his collegiate career, and he was a major factor in a giant win for Boston College. Arnold slammed home a couple rebound power play strikes in the second period by crashing the net, and won 12 of his first 15 draws in the face-off circle. While the Johnny Gaudreau, Steve Whitney and Pat Mullane top line for the Eagles rightly gets all the credit, Arnold now has six goals and 12 points in 13 games this season. Not too shabby at all for the 2010 fourth round pick of the Calgary Flames.

BLACK EYE: Matt Grzelcyk was sensational on Friday night in BUs win, but he was barely noticeable against the Eagles in Kelley Rink on Saturday night. The Bs third round pick had a pair of shots on net, but wasnt able to generate offensive chances like he did for his BU teammates 24 hours earlier. Grzelcyk also finished as an even defenseman, but was part of a Boston University defensemen corps that got manhandled around their own net by the big, strong determined Eagles forwards.

TURNING POINT: Boston University skaters Garrett Noonan and Alexx Privitera were whistled off for successive penalties in the second period with the Eagles holding a slim 2-1 lead, and BC blew the games doors off by cashing in on both ends of a 5-on-3 PP advantage. Michael Matheson whistled a point shot through traffic that eluded Matt OConnor and Arnold drilled home the carom of a Patrick Wey shot that didnt hit its mark. The quick power play barrage essentially ended the game before the third period had even begun.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 the number of power play goals for both teams in a special teams extravaganza.

QUOTE TO NOTE: He has obviously changed everybody on the teams lives, so to be able to give something back to him and help set this record for him is something that we obviously wanted to do. Bill Arnold talking about making sure Jerry York got his NCAA record-tying 924th victory on home ice at the Heights.

Acciari nearing a return for Bruins after missing a month

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Acciari nearing a return for Bruins after missing a month

BRIGHTON, Mass. – He hasn’t been cleared to play just yet, but fourth line energy guy Noel Acciari is closing in on a return to the Bruins lineup. 

Acciari joined in for a Bruins morning skate for the first time in 14 games at the end of last week, and practiced with the team again Monday for a morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. The 25-year-old has missed almost exactly a month with a lower body injury, and said he can thankfully now see the light at the end of the injury tunnel for a healthy return to the B’s lineup. 

“It was getting lonely with all the guys on the road, and with me just skating with Frankie [Vatrano] and Zee [Chara],” said Acciari. “It’s great to be back out there with the guys, and it’s good to be back. Each skate I feel a lot better out there and just trying to get my conditioning back. Just being back with the guys is a great feeling, and it’s a big help.”

The fourth line has been okay in Acciari’s absence, but it seemed to be lacking the same kind of energy and hard edge the Providence College standout provided when he was healthy. That was part of what led the B’s to call up the similarly rugged Anton Blidh from Providence at the end of last week, and could provide some interesting energy line options when Acciari is ready to return. 

“I’ve played with [Blidh] before, I’m used to him and I know what he brings to the table just like he knows what I can do,” said Acciari. “So it would work out well [if we played together] I think.”

Acciari has two assists and a plus-1 rating along with four penalty minutes while averaging 10:01 of ice time in 12 games this season, and proved to be very good at unnerving opponents simply by playing all-out all the time.