The Boston College men’s hockey team survived a pesky Northeastern effort 6-3 Monday night behind a strong second period and two goals from Hobey Baker candidate Johnny Gaudreau to capture a fourth-consecutive Beanpot title, the 18th overall in school history.
In the waning moments of the 61st annual meeting of Boston-area schools, the sea of maroon and gold at the TD Garden chanted “four more years!” in recognition of a historic night. For the first time, a BC senior class will graduate having won four Beanpot titles.
Pat Mullane, Steven Whitney, Parker Milner, Brooks Dyroff, Patrick Wey and Patch Alber each add four Beanpots to two National Championships, making the class of 2013 one of the most successful ever. The Eagles’ roster now contains 58 Beanpot Championship rings in total.
The victory was lengthy, hard-fought, high scoring, and often times left to bounces. Northeastern brought an effort that quickly erased memories of the last meeting between the teams, when BC defeated the Huskies 9-3.
In the first, the game lacked flow as six penalties were assessed. BC held an advantage in shots and chances, most notably Bill Arnold’s ringer off the crossbar on a breakaway. The power play units were silenced on three opportunities.
Things heated up quickly during the second frame. Whitney flew into the Huskies zone, and the puck bounced to the top of the right circle where a reaching Arnold scooped it up. Arnold moved it across to Kevin Hayes, who then quickly gave it back to Arnold for an easy 1-0 BC lead.
Just a moment later, Gaudreau stole the puck from an NU defender behind the net, worked his way to the front and jammed the puck past the goaltender Chris Rawlings. Then, Huskies freshman phenom Kevin Roy cut the lead in half, putting a sneaky wrist past Milner on the left wing.
Isaac MacLeod, whose earlier shot rang off the post, took a wrister from the point that was deflected down to the ice by Patrick Brown. The puck dribbled past Rawlings and just over the line, giving BC back its two goal lead at 3-1.
With the second appearing nearly done, Gaudreau dumped the puck harmlessly into the Northeastern zone. But a careless misplay by Rawlings left the puck right on Arnold’s stick in front.
Whitney took Arnold’s pass and buried his Hockey East leading 18th goal of the season on a rebound. Official review showed the puck crossing the line with only 0.4 seconds left in the period. The play left BC up 4-1 to enter the third.
Roy yet again converted on his chances as he fired a wrist shot past Milner on the blocker side on the first shift of the third period. Roy earned Beanpot MVP honors in the losing effort, having scored five goals in the tournament.
With the score 4-2, the Huskies immediately started to push, getting pucks behind BC defensemen for several breakaway chances. The march to the penalty box continued for BC, and Northeastern struck again on a one-timer from the left side. The game was within one, and it seemed as though Milner was fighting pucks.
But that was all Northeastern would get from the experienced Eagles. Mike Matheson maneuvered through several defenders and slipped a pass for a Gaudreau tap-in, making the highlight of the game. Mullane added an empty netter, sealing the championship.