CHESTNUT HILL - The top-ranked Boston College Eagles spread the wealth on offense as they defeated the No. 11 UMass-Lowell River Hawks on Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink, sweeping the weekend series with a 6-3 victory. With a pair of wins over three days, BC improved to 61-34-7 in the 102-game series between the teams, while Jerry York picked up his 917th-career victory behind the Eagle bench.
After opening the season with a loss at Northeastern on Oct. 13, the Eagles have now won their last four games to improve to 4-1-0 and close the weekend with a solid grasp of first place in the Hockey East standings.
BC jumped ahead just 4:23 into the proceedings as junior Bill Arnold's second goal of the season came off a tipped shot from freshman defenseman Teddy Doherty, who was credited with three assists on the afternoon.
The goal was just the begining of the offensive outburst for the Needham, Mass. native as he established a new career-high with an additional three assists. Last season, he posted three points on two separate occasions, but was unable to eclipse that mark.
Kevin Hayes doubled that lead at 18:41 of the opening stanza, banging a rebound past UML third-year netminder Doug Carr for his second of the season. The junior from Dorchester, Mass. was not done as he made it a 3-0 game with his second power-play goal of the afternoon at 5:33 of the middle period. Hayes also chipped in with the feed to Doherty on Arnold's goal to open the scoring.
River Hawk freshman Michael Colantone scored at 7:40 of the second to get the visitors on the scoreboard and break BC senior Parker Milner's shutout streak at 158:05, dating back to last Saturday night's 3-0 victory over Northeastern.
Junior Derek Arnold brought UML within one goal at 11:14, but the Eagles closed the period with goals from sophomores Johnny Gaudreau and Destry Straight.
UML's Scott Wilson returned to his form from a year ago as he scored his first goal at 4:39 of the third period, bringing his squad back within 5-3 on the power-play, but senior captain Pat Mullane posted his third of the season at the 16:25 mark of the stanza to equal the final score.
For the Eagles, Doherty and fellow freshman blue liner Michael Matheson each recorded their first career multiple-point performances. Matheson, a highly touted Florida Panthers product, had not previously cracked the scoreboard until assisting Hayes in the second period.
Despite seeing his scoreless streak snapped in the middle stanza, Milner posted a solid 25 saves. Carr fell to 1-2-1 thus far, making 13 of his 23 saves in the that same second period.
In the loss, UML was out-shot for the first time on the season and allowed BC to take advantage of three of its five power plays on the afternoon.
The Eagles return to action with hopes of their fifth straight win on Friday night as they make a long jaunt to Orono for their first meeting of the season with the Maine Black Bears. The game will be broadcast live (as is the case with many BC Friday games) on 98.5 The Sports Hub. UML has a week off before a two-game weekend series with the Black Bears at Tsongas Center.
Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.