The Boston College Eagles have good memories and the University of Maine’s road woes continued.
The Eagles, 5-1 losers to the Black Bears in Orono on Nov. 23 for their only Hockey East setback, erupted for three goals in a span of 1:38 early in the second period en route to a resounding 7-2 triumph at Conte Forum in Boston Saturday night.
Senior right wing Kevin Hayes scored three goals for a hat trick; senior center Patrick Brown scored a pair of goals and junior left wing Johnny Gaudreau, the nation’s scoring leader, had five assists for fifth-ranked Boston College. Hayes and Brown also had an assist apiece.
Bill Arnold had a goal and two assists.
BC extended its unbeaten streak nine games (8-0-1) and improved to 16-4-3 overall, 10-1-1 in Hockey East.
Nineteenth-ranked Maine fell to 11-8-2 and 5-3-2, respectively. It was the most goals allowed by the Black Bears this season.
Boston College scored three power-play goals in seven chances.
“We completely lost our discipline and it cost us,” said Maine coach Red Gendron. “We turned pucks over and it cost us.
“There are no excuses. We did things to help them create momentum. Because we didn’t execute and because we were undisciplined, we lost and we got embarrassed,” added Gendron. “We had been playing solidly for a while and now that we have a game like that, all it does is illustrate how we have to maintain our focus.”
The Black Bears are now 0-7-2 on the road. They do have two wins in neutral site games.
Hayes staked the Eagles to a 1-0 lead just 1:10 into the game by jamming home his own rebound but Jon Swavely answered with nine-tenths of a second left in the first period as he swept in a Dan Renouf rebound.
Swavely has scored four of his six career goals against BC.
Arnold scored at the 4:18 mark to trigger the three-goal flurry before Brown and Ian McCoshen extended the lead. Maine senior goalie Martin Ouellette was then replaced by Dan Sullivan.
“That’s the way the game goes sometimes,” said Maine sophomore center Devin Shore. “Hockey is a game of momentum. We grabbed it at the end of the first period but they grabbed it back in the second and never looked back.
“We didn’t play well and BC played very well,” added Shore.
Stu Higgins gave the Black Bears some life by scoring on the power play with 1:20 left in the second period but the Eagles re-established their three-goal edge when Brown scored on the power play just 1:16 into the third period.
Arnold’s go-ahead goal was set up by Scott Savage.
Arnold skated to the net front and re-directed a Savage pass behind Ouellette.
Andrew Cerretani took a hitting-from-behind penalty and the Eagles scored seven seconds later as Gaudreau’s pass from behind the net was banged home by Brown.
Defenseman McCoshen capped the flurry by joining the rush and converting a Brown pass with a one-timer from the slot.
Higgins scored with a backhander off a Shore rebound to pull Maine within striking distance.
But Conor Riley was called for boarding just 22 seconds into the third period and Brown made it 5-2 54 seconds later when he poked home a Gaudreau rebound.
Maine had a golden opportunity to cut into the lead a few minutes later while shorthanded but Thatcher Demko made a save off Higgins on a two-on-oh with Jon Swavely.
Hayes scored off a two-on-one later in the period and added a power-play goal to complete his hat trick.
BC outshot Maine 32-25.
“You can’t take that many penalties and expect to stay in the game,” said Maine senior defenseman Brice O’Connor. “And our defensive zone coverage was another big thing. We didn’t pick up our guys so we didn’t give our goalies much chance.”
Maine will host New Brunswick for a Tuesday night exhibition before visiting New Hampshire Friday night and hosting UNH on Saturday night.