February 11, 2014

BC maintains Beanpot supremacy with win over NU

By Joshua Kummins

The Eagles celebrate their fifth consecutive Beanpot title. (Photo by Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)

Final: Boston College 4, Northeastern 1

Recap: At first glance a few minutes in, it looked as if the Huskies had taken a 1-0 lead as freshman Ryan Belonger knocked a loose rebound behind BC's Thatcher Demko. The goal was waved off as the puck crossed the line after the net was dislodged from its moorings so the score remained tied at zero.

BC took a 1-0 lead at the 8:40 mark of the first as senior Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) took a backhand feed from Johnny Gaudreau for a wrister by Clay Witt.

The Garden erupted in the closing minute-plus of the second as Northeastern freshman John Stevens backhanded a rebound by Demko to knot the game 1-1. Sophomore Kevin Roy had his initial try on goal saved, but the Jersey native knocked the loose puck in for his third point of the tournament.

With how Witt was playing all night long, it would take a special play to beat him to take the lead in the third period. The Eagles found it at the 14:30 mark as captain Patrick Brown put out an impressive deflection while lying on his back at the legs of NU's Stevens defending the goal.

Gaudreau banked BC's fifth 'Pot in a row with an empty-netter with 1:16 left, before Brown lifted his second of the night over Witt at 19:10.

Records: Boston College 22-4-3 (13-1-1 Hockey East), Northeastern 16-10-3 (8-6-1 Hockey East)

Key Play of the Game: Again, it was a special play off the stick of a lunging Brown that turned out to be the difference. Game, set, match for five in a row.

Kummins’ Commendations: The whole game was certainly extremely commendable, but the top spot goes to excellent goaltending. Witt and Demko have been two of the best crease men in the nation on the season, but it was an unbelievable show to see them together on the same ice for a second time.

Kummins’ Critiques: The Huskies were unable to capitalize on any of their three power-play chances, so that would certainly be the biggest negative. ... Other than that, besides the possibility of having cardiac arrest somewhere in the middle stages of the game, I've got nothing. 

Notes: The Most Valuable Player was awarded to Hayes for his two goals in the tournament, while the Eberly Award for the goaltender with the highest save percentage in the tournament was Demko (.966). ... These two teams had met in four previous 'Pot finals (1980, 1983, 2011 and 2013) and this year's marked the first that did not see nine or  more combined goals scored. ... Gaudreau, the leading scorer in Division I, now has points in his last 24 games and has 50 points in that stretch.  ... BC scoring the first goal this season has proved to be vital. When lighting the lamp to take a 1-0 lead, the Eagles are now 17-0-1 this season.

Final Thoughts: This one went up and down, back and forth. What an amazing hockey game between two of the top players in the Hockey East postseason race. Entering the night, it was a matter of which trend would be broken - a five-peat or the ending of a 25-year drought - and the former turned out.

Next: Both teams hit the road for their next action. Northeastern has Friday off for skating out to UMass for a league contest the following night, while BC heads north to Vermont for a weekend pair.

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins
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