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Boston College 3, Northeastern 0: Mission accomplished for Eagles on banner night

CHESTNUT HILL – After raising the 2012 national championship banner to the Conte Forum rafters, the third-ranked Boston College Eagles turned in a complete performance en route to a 3-0 victory over the visiting crosstown rival Northeastern Huskies on Saturday night.

With the victory, the Eagles improve to 2-1-0 on the season after dropping their season opener to the Huskies by a 3-1 count last week at Matthews Arena. The loss was Northeastern’s first of the season through three games. It was an ugly game from start to finish for the Huskies, despite holding a disadvantage in shots on goal by just one overall, at 27-26.

NU was unable to cash in on any of its eight power-play chances, despite registering eight shots on goal during those 18 minutes.

Senior Parker Milner was brilliant between the pipes for the Eagles as he posted his first shutout since pitching his squad into the Frozen Four with a 33-save effort over Minnesota-Duluth on March 25. The performance also marked the first time this season that the Pittsburgh native allowed less than three goals.

BC took a 1-0 lead on the power play at 6:16 of the period as junior Kevin Hayes netted his first goal of the season. Freshman Teddy Doherty, a Hopkinton, Mass. native, picked up the primary assist to register his first point as an Eagle. Hayes took the pass on the right side and beat Northeastern senior Chris Rawlings with the wrist shot.

The Eagles increased that count to 2-0 at 10:06 as senior captain Pat Mullane sprung star sophomore Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway for his second goal in as many games, beating Rawlings under the five-hole.

Things were quiet for the majority of the second period but the Eagles were able to extend their lead once again, equaling the final 3-0 score, at the 18:32 mark. Gaudreau, who has scored at least a point in each of the first three games, including Friday’s overtime winner, fed senior Steven Whitney for the pretty wrist shot through a screen, resulting in the second goal of the season for the Reading, Mass. native and Lawrence Academy product.

NU’s golden chance of the game came with just over 11 minutes remaining in the second as Milner flashed the leather on a solid wrist shot from senior Garrett Vermeersch, snatching away his second goal of the year and in as many games.

The Huskies were very strong in the third period, out-shooting the hosts by an 8-4 margin, but could not scratch anything past Milner, who made 26 saves in the victory and his first-ever shutout of Northeastern.

With the loss, NU snaps its first two-game winning streak to open the season since 1999 and will drop from its current No. 14 ranking in the national poll before hitting the road to open a home-and-home set with New Hampshire, which begins on Friday in Durham.

The Eagles will be back in action on Friday as they hit the highway for a date at UMass-Lowell, looking to avenge a road loss to the River Hawks last December.

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