BC Claims Hockey East Regular Season Title

(Photo by John Quackenbos)

By AJ Pottle

The No. 1 Boston College Eagles (25-10-1) were able to secure the regular season Hockey East Championship this weekend with a pair of victories over the Vermont Catamounts (6-27-1), including a 4-0 victory Saturday night. The Eagles put together a total team effort to secure the 12th overall championship in school history, six of which have come under head coach Jerry York. The top performers of Saturday night’s game included Parker Milner, Destry Straight, and Pat Mullane.

Milner had a night to remember for the Eagles, picking up right where he left off on Friday. The junior goaltender finished the night stopping all 26 shots he faced to pick up his third shutout of the season.

“Our team has really developed into a solid team, and we’re all really excited to watch Parker develop as a goaltender,” York said of his top goaltender. “He’s taken us to 11 straight wins and he’s been instrumental in almost every one of the wins he had.”

Milner was able to stop 55 of 56 shots he faced over the course of the weekend series with the Catamounts. Entering Saturday’s game he was able to maintain a 1.27 GAA and .950 save percentage during the team’s winning streak, which is the longest active streak in college hockey.

York has been very impressed with Milner’s progression into a premier college goaltender, and knows that the team will need him down the stretch to make a serious playoff run.

“He’s more solid position wise,” York said. “He was inconsistent with so much early in the season. He’d play really well then he would not be on top of his game … You need an ‘A’ goaltender to win a championship and he’s stepped up and become one of those.”

Saturday night’s second star of the game, Destry Straight, was a little more under the radar. The freshman forward, hailing from West Vancouver, BC, was moved up to play the left side of the second line with Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider and finished the night with a goal, assist, and a plus/minus rating of +2.

Straight scored the eventual game-winner in the last minute of play in the first period. After a turn over by Vermont forward Connor Brickley in the neutral zone BC defensemen Patch Alber poked up the puck to Straight. He fired a shot labeled for the top left corner that beat UVM’s Rob Madore.

York will be looking for the young forward to have an impact as they move towards the Hockey East playoffs.

“I thought Destry Straight has really been one of our most improved players and I wanted to get him even more ice time by moving him with Kevin [Hayes] and Chris [Kreider],” York said. “They scored two goals, that line, but he’s come on an up path this last three or four weeks. That was a terrific goal tonight to start us off. He’s going to be a real key player down the stretch here.”

Pat Mullane rounded out Saturday night’s three stars with one goal in the win. Mullane scored on a beautiful wrap around feed from freshman forward Johnny Gaudreau, which gave him an open net.

BC will look to build off the strong hockey played this past weekend when it takes on UMass Amherst in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs starting Friday. UMass took two of three from the Eagles during the regular season.

“As we prepare for [UMass], it’s not going to be a typical 1 vs. 8 matchup,” York said of the upcoming series. “It’s a team that took two of three from us during the regular season. A team that’s playing very strong hockey these last three or four weeks.”

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