NOTE: Grant Salzano was unable to watch the game live tonight, so his usual GIF recap will be up some time tomorrow. But here's a brief recap to hold you over. -JG
We're running out of things to say about the exploits of this year's Boston College hockey team.
The fact that they are 21-4-3 is almost low on the list of things that's impressive about this squad. With tonight's latest cruise - a 6-1 demolition of Merrimack, featuring a hat trick by Billy Arnold - the Eagles improved to 13-1-1 in Hockey East play, and remain unbeaten since Black Friday.
-Tonight's 6-goal output actually reduced BC's average goals scored per game at Conte Forum, now sitting slightly under 6.1 goals per game.
-Johnny Gaudreau's two assists in the first period extended his point streak to 23 games.
-BC's goals scored at home since the Holy Cross game: 6, 5, 6, 7, 6.
-The Eagles have not been held under 4 goals at home since scoring 2 against UMass in November -- the only time this year that's happened.
-The Eagles' overall goals per game is now 4.39, pulling further away from #2 Quinnipiac at 3.76. The gap from BC to Quinnipiac in goals per game is equivalent to the gap between Quinnipiac and #19-ranked offense Bowling Green.
-BC's goals allowed per game - after being mired in the middle of D-1 for the early part of the season - is now solidly in the top 5 with 2.14 GA/gm.
-Hockey East is, for the most part, a tight, parity-filled conference. It's also the nation's strongest conference, with the best out-of-conference record of any league, and has 8 teams in the top 20 of the Pairwise Rankings. And yet, BC is just blowing everyone away, to the tune of 13-1-1 league record.
-And most astounding of all, BC can lock up the Hockey East regular season title on Valentine's Day weekend if they sweep Vermont (or go 1-1 and Lowell loses to UMass).
So here we go. The Eagles can win two trophies next week... not bad.
Tonight was sort of a ho-hum 6-1 win, as much as such a thing is possible. Billy Arnold potted the first two goals of the game on beautiful setups by Gaudreau; throughout the entire first period, the Warriors simply could not handle BC's top line, who basically set up shop in the attacking zone and never relented. Arnold added another in the third for his hat trick.
Steve Santini continued his highlight reel of perfect hits with another shoulder-to-chest beauty in the third period. Fellow blueliner Teddy Doherty continued to be an offensive presence, picking up another two assists.
The power play took a while to get an opportunity, as they didn't go on the man advantage until midway through the third period, but they ended the game with a pair of power play goals.
Brendan Silk picked up another goal, his second in three games. Adam Gilmour and Pat Brown rounded out the scoring.
Thatcher Demko appeared between the pipes again and made 23 saves on 24 shots. The final shot total was 24-24.
The Eagles hit the ice again on Monday at 7:30 PM for the Beanpot final against Northeastern. We'll have you covered throughout the weekend.