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BC turns away Northeastern to win Beanpot

Posted By Annie Maroon On February 11, 2013 @ 10:12 pm In General | Comments Disabled

Northeastern made Boston College [1] work harder than the score implies, but the Eagles skated away with the Beanpot championship with a 6-3 win Monday night at TD Garden. It was BC’s fourth consecutive Beanpot title.

Johnny Gaudreau scored twice, including a finish off a nice pass from Michael Matheson late in the third period to give BC a two-goal lead after NU had fought back from a 4-1 deficit to make it a game.

Northeastern’s Kevin Roy was named tournament MVP after scoring twice against BC to go with his hat trick in last Monday’s semifinal vs. Boston University.

BC coach Jerry York [2] said he’s not surprised to see this senior class graduate with four straight Beanpot wins, but that it’s not the only class that could have pulled it off.

“We’€™ve had some very, very good teams,” York said, citing the late-1990s squads featuring players like Brian Gionta as an example. “Luck plays a certain amount [of a role] in winning this many Beanpots in a row for sure, and I think our players understand that.”

The first period of Monday’s game was scoreless, and BC didn’t take its first shot of the second period until more than eight minutes into the frame. Once the Eagles started getting the puck to the net, though, they buried Northeastern in a flurry of four goals in 10 minutes.

Bill Arnold finally broke through for BC 10:53 into the second period. He and his linemate, left winger Kevin Hayes, set up a give-and-go on an odd-man rush and Arnold one-timed the pass from Hayes past goalie Chris Rawlings.

Less than two minutes later, Gaudreau, BC’s leading scorer, stole the puck behind the net and jammed it into the goal to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

Northeastern answered with just under five minutes remaining in the period. Huskies captain Vinny Saponari sent a long breakout pass to Northeastern’s leading scorer, Roy, who drove into the BC zone uncontested and had all the time in the world to fire a wrist shot over BC goalie Parker Milner.

Less than two minutes later, Roy had a breakaway with a chance to tie the game, but he shot low on the backhand into Milner’s glove from inches away.

BC scored next, when Patrick Brown deflected a shot from the point into a Northeastern defenseman’s leg and eventually into the goal. Steven Whitney made it 4-1 for the Eagles when he knocked a puck out of midair and into the net with 0.4 seconds remaining in the second.

Roy wasn’t done yet, though. Eleven seconds into the third, he drove down the wing and fired high over Milner for his second goal of the night, making it 4-2. Then Saponari brought the Huskies within one when his slap shot from the point deflected off the leg of Northeastern center Braden Pimm and into the net, giving NU three goals on just 14 shots.

But despite Northeastern maintaining momentum through most of the third, BC scored twice in the final six minutes of the game (including an empty-netter from captain Pat Mullane) to seal the victory.

“I don’€™t think anyone started to panic,” Mullane said of the 15 minutes or so when Roy threatened to tie the game every time he took the ice. “There was no negativity on our bench. No one hit the panic button.”

In the Beanpot consolation game, Harvard rallied from an early two-goal deficit for a 7-4 victory over BU behind a hat trick from Luke Greiner. Marshall Everson added two goals for the Crimson.

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[1] Boston College: http://media.weei.com/ncaa/boston-college-eagles.htm

[2] Jerry York: http://media.weei.com/hockey/jerry-york.htm

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