BOSTON, MA – Think of any great rivalry that involves Boston sports teams and one that may immediately come to mind is Red Sox-Yankees. Yet, despite that historical rivalry that takes place on a diamond of dirt and grass, there happens to be another one that occurs on a sheet of ice and features the Boston College Eagles [20-6-0] and Boston University Terriers [13-8-7] men’s ice hockey teams.
On Monday, the annual Boston Beanpot tournament occurred for the 59th time and yet again, it was another classic chapter between these two schools, but also, an exciting finish, as Eagles defenseman Tommy Cross netted the game-winning goal in overtime to send Boston College to yet another tournament championship game.
“It feels really good, just for our team and it is such a huge win. I just put the puck on net [and] it was a great screen,” said Cross.
The game began as any Boston College vs. Boston University contest does, with a lot of physicality. Both teams combined for 23-shots on net during the first period, but the Eagles were able to score first when Bill Arnold and Patrick Wey connected with Philip Samuelsson.
The early goal electrified the entire TD Garden, as well as the entire Eagles fan and student sections too, but nearly 45-seconds late, Boston University scored its first goal of the game, as Garret Noonan and Adam Clendening found Wade Megan to tie the game.
Entering the second period, Boston University seemed determined to earn their first lead of the game. So, after 2:17 into the second period, the Terries got what they wanted when Corey Trivino recorded the team’s second goal of the game.
Boston College struggled to put the puck toward the net throughout the second period, but they made up for their lack of scoring during the first few minutes of the third period when Jimmy Hayes tied the game.
Following the Eagles tying goal, the intensity skyrocketed and Boston University tried to take advantage of their three power plays, which were all unsuccessful during the final few minutes of the third period.
“I think that we had a great night on special teams. Huge kills at the end of the third [period]. It really gave us a boost going into the overtime and scoring on the power play like we did was great for us as well,” said Boston College’s John Muse.
“I think we did a nice job on those last two kills in the last five minutes to go,” said Boston College assistant coach Mike Cavanaugh. “It got a little bit of a ‘helter skelter,’ BU had us running around. Probably in a thirty-second swing there, we couldn’t get our guys off the ice. Cam [Atkinson] and Brian [Gibbons] were out there, and we couldn’t get them off. They probably got most of their shots on the two power plays right then, but Johnny [Muse] did a great job holding us down.”
While it seemed that 60-minutes was what both of these two teams needed, an additional overtime period allowed for extra excitement, which ended quickly when Boston College scored and punched their ticket to yet another Beanpot Championship.
“Well, it certainly was an exciting hockey game. I was really pleased with how well our team played,” said Boston University head coach Jack Parker. “This team is growing up right in front of me. I am pleased with their effort tonight. Hopefully we can continue to play this well down the stretch here and get us into the Hockey East Playoffs and into the championship.”
“This is a playoff game, and we came up short. It stings,” said Boston University’s Joe Pereira.
Overall, this is clearly what college hockey is all about, two great teams, two great schools, two great coaches and one “wicked” awesome game. This is Beanpot hockey and Boston College and Boston University never seem to fail on a gigantic stage, but certainly, they gave the fans what they wanted to see, an exciting matchup and another epic chapter in this particular Boston sports rivalry.