ShareThis Page

Boston College rolls past Penn State to win Three Rivers Classic

| Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, 10:09 p.m.
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
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.

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 or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.