CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Boston College came in as the better team on paper in Friday night’s men’s hockey game with the University of Maine.

The Eagles looked even better on the ice.

Top-ranked BC routed No. 20 Maine 5-1 at the Conte Forum.

The Eagles improved to 8-1 overall, 6-0 in Hockey East. Maine dropped to 3-3-1 and 3-2.

Besides having an advantage in five-on-five play, the Eagles enjoyed special-teams superiority, scoring first while short-handed, then twice on their first three power plays. Maine was 0 of 4 on power plays.

“BC was clearly the better team in all facets,” Maine Coach Tim Whitehead said. “They defeated us soundly.”

BC dominated the early part of the first period, with Maine goalie Dan Sullivan making some solid stops on point-black shots, then on a deflection from the slot.

Maine picked up its play briefly. Even when the Eagles got their first power play, the Black Bears continually cleared the puck.

Then Maine got its first power play and it went downhill from there.

The Black Bears had trouble controlling the puck at the blue line. Instead of dumping it, Maine lost possession and BC took off, resulting in a Chris Kreider breakaway. He beat Sullivan at 11:33.

“That’s deflating, especially when special teams was a strength of ours,” Whitehead said.

Maine’s power play ended with a penalty, making it four-on-four for 25 seconds. When the Eagles got the advantage, they pounced. Kevin Hayes gathered the puck outside of a scrum in front of the crease and scored through a crowd at 13:26.

“They came out pretty hard and we were back on our heels,” said Maine forward Jon Swavely.

If the Black Bears had thoughts of a comeback in the second period, BC made it tough when Bill Arnold scored just 28 seconds in..

Maine got on the board a minute later after creating a turnover in the BC zone. Swavely buried a crossing pass from Klas Leidermark to make it 3-1.

But the Eagles got their three-goal lead back at 2:16 when Steven Whitney roofed a goal. That ended the night for Sullivan, who was replaced by Martin Ouellette.

“It obviously wasn’t (Sullivan’s) best night,” Whitehead said. “But it’s not like we were carrying the play. It’s not his fault.”

The Eagles got a power-play goal from Barry Almeida at 10:14 for a 5-1 lead after the second period.

“Disappointing, but we have to put it in the books,” Whitehead said. “We have a big game (tonight) against our arch-rival.”

The Black Bears conclude their trip tonight at New Hampshire.

NOTES: One of Boston College’s backup goalies for Friday’s game was freshman Brian Billet, a Kennebunk High graduate. New Hampshire (3-4-1, 2-3) won its third straight game Friday, beating Massachusetts 7-3. The largest applause in the third period came when Bobby Orr was shown on the video board, taking in the game.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: [email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases