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BC Beats Northeastern to Win Fourth Straight Beanpot

A sellout crowd of 17,565 packed Boston’s TD Garden on the night of Monday, February 11 to see Boston College beat Northeastern University 6-3 for the 61st Beanpot Hockey Championship. Senior Steven Whitney (1 goal, 2 assists) and sophomore Johnny Gaudreau (2 goals, 1 assist) led the way for the Eagles with three points each while senior Parker Milner made 20 saves in goal to get the win.

The building was vibrating even before the drop of the puck. Competing chants of “Let’s go Huskies” and “We are BC” were screamed from student sections of the respective schools at opposite ends of the arena. The teams had yet to take to the ice, but the atmosphere in the Garden was electric, and it was clear that this game was not going to lack energy.

Both teams came out flying to start the game and each had a number of good scoring chances, but failed to find the net in the opening frame. BC outshot Northeastern 10-5 in the first period, and the Eagles’ defense looked stellar, keeping Northeastern to the outside on the rush and not allowing the Huskies to get to loose pucks. Milner looked sharp, allowing few rebounds slip his grasp.

At the opposite end of the ice, Northeastern senior netminder Chris Rawlings (24 saves) made a number of big stops in the first and kept the Huskies in the game early on. There was nothing he could do on the game’s first goal however. After junior Kevin Hayes made a beautiful move to get open in the slot, he found fellow junior Bill Arnold, who one-timed the pass home to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead at 10:53 of the second period.

The goal took a lot of the energy out of the Huskies and their cheering section, and before you could blink, the Eagles stuck again, just 1:15 later. Gaudreau stuffed home a loose puck in the crease that seemed at the time to be a dagger. The Huskies were not about to go down with a fight however.

Just under three minutes after Gaudreau’s goal, Northeastern freshman Kevin Roy, who had scored all three goals for the Huskies in the semifinals against Boston University the week before, walked into the zone 1-on-2 and fired a wrist shot from about 40 feet under the glove of Milner that cut the lead to 2-1 and brought life back into the Northeastern faithful in the stands with five minutes remaining in the second.

The happy feelings for the Huskies were short lived, as BC junior Patrick Brown deflected a waist-high Isaac MacLeod wrist shot from the point that just squeaked by Rawlings for a 3-1 Eagles lead with 1:23 left in the second. In case things hadn’t gone bad enough for the Huskies in the second period, Steven Whitney added an insurance marker on his own rebound with just .4 seconds remaining in the period to seemingly give the Eagles an insurmountable 4-1 lead going into the third period.

Northeastern came out of the locker room for the third period and made it clear they were not going down without a fight. Just 11 seconds into the frame, Roy walked into the offensive zone and unleashed a wrist shot from the blue line that caught Milner off his guard and found the net high on the glove side to cut the lead to 4-2.

Less than three minutes later, Northeastern forward Braden Pimm deflected a Vinny Saponari point shot into the back of the net in very similar fashion to that of BC’s third goal. After 40 minutes of play, it had appeared that Northeastern was waving a white flag, but with just under 17 minutes to play, it was clear that this game was far from over.

Over the next 12 minutes Northeastern continued to pepper Milner, but could not find the net on a number of opportunities, but at the 14:37 mark of the period, Gaudreau one-timed a feed from Michael Matheson into the net to put the final nail in the coffin. Senior Pat Mullane added a goal with Northeastern’s net empty, sending the game to its final score of 6-3.

The win gave Boston College its fourth consecutive Beanpot title, and its 18th overall. In the loss, Northeastern’s Beanpot drought continued, having last won the Beanpot 25 years ago in 1988. BC’s senior class will graduate as the only class in school history to have never lost a Beanpot. Although Boston University has historically owned the Beanpot, BC in recent years has proven they are worthy of the same accolades and will likely be the favorites to win again next season.

Posted by on February 23, 2013. Filed under Around the Hub,Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.