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Boston College rolls past Penn State to win Three Rivers Classic

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Chris Calnan and Penn States' Dylan Richard (left) fight for the puck in the first period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Chris Calnan and Penn States' Dylan Richard (left) fight for the puck in the first period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Isaac MacLeod (right) and Penn State's Jonathan Milley fight for the puck during the first period of the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Isaac MacLeod (right) and Penn State's Jonathan Milley fight for the puck during the first period of the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Robert Morris goaltender Terry Shafer makes a third-period save on Bowling Green's Bryce Williamson during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Robert Morris goaltender Terry Shafer makes a third-period save on Bowling Green's Bryce Williamson during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Bowling Green goaltender Tomas Sholl makes a third-period save on Robert Morris' Colin South during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Bowling Green goaltender Tomas Sholl makes a third-period save on Robert Morris' Colin South during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Robert Morris' Jay Llewelyn scoops up the puck from Bowling Green's Brett Mohler in the third period during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Robert Morris' Jay Llewelyn scoops up the puck from Bowling Green's Brett Mohler in the third period during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Robert Morris goaltender Terry Shafer makes a third-period save on Bowling Green's Camden Wojtala during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Robert Morris goaltender Terry Shafer makes a third-period save on Bowling Green's Camden Wojtala during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Robert Morris' Brandon Denham defends on Bowling Green's Camden Wojtala in the third period during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Robert Morris' Brandon Denham defends on Bowling Green's Camden Wojtala in the third period during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Robert Morris' David Friedmann is defended by Bowling Green's Kevin Dufour in the third period during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Robert Morris' David Friedmann is defended by Bowling Green's Kevin Dufour in the third period during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Robert Morris goaltender Terry Shafer makes a second-period save on Bowling Green's Camden Wojtala during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Robert Morris goaltender Terry Shafer makes a second-period save on Bowling Green's Camden Wojtala during the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau makes a centering pass past Penn State's Luke Juha in the second period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau makes a centering pass past Penn State's Luke Juha in the second period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff makes a second-period save on Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff makes a second-period save on Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penn State's Jonathan Milley centers a pass in the first period past Boston College's Bill Arnold during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State's Jonathan Milley centers a pass in the first period past Boston College's Bill Arnold during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Ryan Fitgerald gets off a second-period shot in front of Penn State's Casey Bailey during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Ryan Fitgerald gets off a second-period shot in front of Penn State's Casey Bailey during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff makes a second-period save on Boston College's Austin Cangelosi during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff makes a second-period save on Boston College's Austin Cangelosi during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College goaltender Brian Billett makes a first-period save against Penn State during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College goaltender Brian Billett makes a first-period save against Penn State during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff looks back as Boston College's Isaac MacLeod's second-period shot beats him during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff looks back as Boston College's Isaac MacLeod's second-period shot beats him during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penn State's Casey Bailey celebrates his first-period goal against Boston College during the Three Rivers Classic Championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Enrgy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State's Casey Bailey celebrates his first-period goal against Boston College during the Three Rivers Classic Championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Enrgy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Danny Linell (left) and Ryan Fitzgerald celebrate with Isaac MacLeod after MacLeod beat Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff for a second-period goal during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Danny Linell (left) and Ryan Fitzgerald celebrate with Isaac MacLeod after MacLeod beat Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff for a second-period goal during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Brendan Silk takes out Penn State's David Goodwin in the first period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Brendan Silk takes out Penn State's David Goodwin in the first period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penn State's Tommy Olczyk tips the puck away from Boston College's Scott Savage in the first period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State's Tommy Olczyk tips the puck away from Boston College's Scott Savage in the first period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau takes out Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff in the second period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau takes out Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff in the second period during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Boston College's Ryan Fitgerald beats Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff for a first-period goal during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Boston College's Ryan Fitgerald beats Penn State goaltender Matthew Skoff for a first-period goal during the Three Rivers Classic championship game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

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Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, 10:09 p.m.
 

Eventually, one has to figure, the Penn State men's hockey team will settle into a groove.

Something that would help the Nittany Lions find that groove? Not facing a nationally ranked team each time they hit the ice.

Until that point, however, the Lions are stuck fighting uphill battles like the one they faced Saturday against No. 7 Boston College in the championship game of the Three Rivers Classic.

Taking on a ranked team for the seventh time in eight games, Penn State hung with the Eagles for a bit before the bottom fell out in an 8-2 loss before 8,222 fans at Consol Energy Center.

“It's good for us,” Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said. “We like that. The more experiences we can have with top nationally-ranked competition is only going to help in the future.”

Destry Straight had a hat trick, and five others scored for Boston College, which arrived as the highest-scoring team in college hockey and will leave with the same distinction after netting at least five goals for the ninth time this season.

Penn State entered the Three Rivers Classic looking to snap a six-game losing streak — all six to ranked teams in No. 6 Union, No. 10 Massachusetts-Lowell and No. 14 Wisconsin.

The Lions (4-10-1) topped Robert Morris on Friday after fighting back from a 2-1 deficit and getting the game-winning goal from Eric Scheid at 18 minutes, 20 seconds of the third period.

It was the fourth time in five games Penn State scored three or more goals.

For awhile, it looked like that might be the case Saturday, but Boston College (12-4-2) scored three goals in 6:10 during the decisive second period to take control.

“They're a scary offensive team,” Gadowsky said of Boston College.

Perhaps nothing showcased Boston College's strength like Straight's marker at 6:26 of the second.

Ryan Fitzgerald, who scored earlier, cut in on goal from left to right, reached back and shot the puck from between his legs. Straight shoved home the rebound, but it was a spectacular effort from Fitzgerald that made the difference.

The Eagles' top line of Bill Arnold, Johnny Gaudreau and Fitzgerald finished with 12 points during the two-day event.

Gaudreau (15 goals) ranks second in NCAA Division I in points (32) and has scored in 13 straight games.

Casey Bailey staked Penn State to a 1-0 lead at 4:46 of the first period, but Fitzgerald and Kevin Hayes scored 33 seconds apart late in the first to produce a 2-1 edge.

Straight got his second of the game at 10:57 of the second period when he tipped a point shot from Isaac MacLeod for a 4-1 lead before Gaudreau deked his way to a 15th goal and a 5-1 lead.

Danny Linell, Straight and Michael Sit scored in the third period to finish the rout.

There's no sign of Penn State's brutal schedule letting up, either. The Lions and Eagles will get together for a rematch Jan. 25 at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park.

The Lions, who got a late goal from David Goodwin, have four games with No. 1 Minnesota, four against No. 3 Michigan and two versus No. 14 Wisconsin.

Boston College coach Jerry York said he was impressed with what Gadowsky has done at Penn State thus far.

“It's going to take a few more recruiting classes for him to get them where he wants them to be, but they gave us all we could handle,” York said.

In the early game, Robert Morris got a pair of third-period goals from David Friedmann and Zac Lynch, but it was too little too late for the Colonials (2-12-2), who suffered a 3-2 loss to Bowling Green (9-9-4) in the consolation game.

It's the seventh loss in the past nine games for Robert Morris.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jmackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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