By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – Mark your calendar for another edition of Boston College-Boston University hockey, as the Eagles soared past the Northeastern University Huskies on Monday evening at the TD Garden, 7-1, and clinched a spot in the upcoming Beanpot championship for the 21st time in tournament history.
The victory marks BC’s fourth of the season against the men who sport the red and black sweaters, as well as their 17th overall win in the standings.
“I thought our team came on, and played well in the second and third period,” said BC head coach Jerry York.
“They outplayed us, they outcoached us, [and] they wanted more than us,” said a distraught Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan. “Right from the get-go they just took it to us, and we couldn’t get going.”
BC dominated following the opening face-off, as they registered two quick strikes on 15 shots by senior forward Paul Carey and freshman Johnny Gaudreau.
Northeastern answered by cutting the two-goal advantage in half when sophomore defenseman Anthony Bitetto netted a strike at 12:34 in the first period, which marked the Huskies only points of the evening.
“I thought the first period, certainly, Northeastern had the edge in the play,” said York. “We were back on our heels a little bit, and we’re very fortunate to come out of that, 2-1.”
Following the intermission, BC ramped up the intensity and netted three goals in the middle frame, as junior Steven Whitney logged two scores, while Gaudreau tallied his second of the game.
Northeastern then swapped junior goaltender Chris Rawlings. (24 saves) for sophomore Clay Witt, but the goalie switch didn’t exactly jumpstart Madigan’s offense, who once again watched the Eagles add two more points to the scoreboard when senior Barry Almeida and Carey deposited the puck into the Huskies cage.
“They [were] down two really top-end players, [Cody] Ferriero and [Steve] Qualier, so you take those two out of your line-up, and that affects you in a lot of different ways, and that’s probably one of the contributing factors for sure,” said York.
BC’s seven goals against Northeastern matches a first round record that was set back on February 3, 1997, which was when BU beat-up Harvard, 7-1, too.
“We got schooled today, bad,” said Madigan. “They’re the better team, and congratulations to them.”
Northeastern will face Harvard next Monday in the consolation match before BC and BU will tangle for the 60th Beanpot championship.
The Terriers are 12-8 against the Eagles in the tournament final, so expect the championship clash to be another great chapter in this historic Boston hockey rival.
“Every Beanpot final is just as exciting, [but] playing BU is a little bit of a bonus,” said Whitney. “The past two years have been fun, and I know this year is going to be just as intense, and even more fun because it’s BU.”