Eagles Eat Catamounts Over Ice

Boston College’s Tony Voce scored a hat trick as the third-ranked Eagles held off a late Vermont comeback and defeated the Catamounts, 5-3, in front of a sold-out Gutterson Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.

Boston College took a 4-0 lead early in the third, only to have the scrappy Catamounts claw back in it with two goals in less than a minute and three in less than five minutes late in the third period.

“I thought we were really tentative in the first period,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said. “But we saw some real good stuff as the game went on. Boston College is a terrific hockey team, and they showed why they are ranked so high in the country. Jerry York is a tremendous coach, and we have to give credit where credit is due.

“I challenged our guys before the third period, and they responded to the challenge,” Sneddon continued. “I wish there were 10 more minutes to play.”

The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the opening period on Tony Voce’s power-play goal from the slot. After Vermont’s Travis Russell had made two saves, on David Spina from in close and Greg Lauze from the point, Voce pounced on the puck in the slot and beat Russell for his 62nd career goal.

Spina and Lauze assisted.

Russell was very sharp early on, making a number of tough stops on the swarming BC offense. His best of the period might have come late when he stopped Ty Hennes after the Boston College senior broke in alone on an odd-man rush.

“Travis Russell played a heck of a hockey game,” Sneddon said. “He kept us in the game, and he didn’t let the goals that he let in affect him. I’m very proud of him.”

BC added to its lead early in the second period when Voce redirected a centering pass from Ben Eaves and put it through Russell’s legs for his second of the game and 63rd of his career.

One of Vermont’s best chances to score came midway through the second when Tom Collingham and Baron Becker had a few chances from in close that were smothered by BC goalie Matti Kaltiainen. Jeff Corey, one of the team’s best skaters, then broke in down the right side and fired a shot that Kaltiainen deflected away with 9:58 remaining in the second period.

The Eagles made it 3-0 with 55 seconds left in the second when Dave Spina scored off a feed from Ryan Shannon. Peter Harrold also got an assist on the goal, Spina’s 31st career tally.

Boston College took a four-goal lead early in the third period on freshman Joe Rooney’s first career goal. Rooney beat Russell from the slot after taking the puck from a Vermont defender. Vermont avoided the shutout at 15:28 of the third on Tim Plant’s goal from Brady Leisenring.

Senior captain Jeff Miles then scored his first of the year on the power-play, banging in a rebound of a shot by Phil Youngclaus. Joey Gasparini also assisted on the goal, the 33rd in Miles’ career.

The Catamounts made it 4-3 after pulling Russell for an extra skater. Jeff Corey scored, with Miles and Leisenring getting the assists at 19:04, before BC added the final goal on Voce’s unassisted tally into the empty net.

Russell finished with 36 saves for the Catamounts, while Kaltiainen stopped 19 for Boston College.

“We’ll be a better hockey club Monday than we were tonight,” Sneddon said. “All in all, I saw some pretty good things from every player.”

-Athletic Communications