Mass. College Hockey: BC Tops UML, Advances To 2014 Frozen Four

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston College men’s ice hockey team netted a pair of goals in the final frame, which helped the Eagles defeat UMass Lowell, 4-3, on Sunday in the NCAA Northeast Regional Final at the DCU Center in Worcester.

With the win, BC advances to the Frozen Four and will face-off against Union College, which captured the East Region with a 3-1 win over Providence College last night.

Trailing 3-2 in the third period, BC rallied with back-to-back strikes from Ryan Fitzgerald and Ian McCoshen to secure a one-goal lead. The River Hawks tried to net the equalizer, but the Eagles’ defense, along with goaltender Thatcher Demko shut the door on their opponent’s attempts. Demko turned away 29 of 32 shots, while UML’s backstop, Connor Hellebuyck, finished with 25 stops.

Both teams swapped goals in the first and second period before UML earned its first and only lead in the third with an Evan Campbell unassisted tally.

Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold also scored goals from BC, while UML’s Michael Kapla and Josh Holmstrom each located the back of the Eagles cage.

UML converted on one of three power plays, as well as outshot the Eagles, 32-29.

BC (28-7-4) will return to the ice on Thursday, April 10 when they take on the Dutchmen, while UML concludes its season 26-11-4).

62nd Boston Beanpot: BC, Northeastern To Square Off In Beanpot Championship

By Matt Noonan 

Boston College will look to capture its fifth straight Boston Beanpot championship this evening when they meet Hockey East foe Northeastern University at the TD Garden at 7 p.m.

The 62nd Beanpot Final will be a rematch of last year’s championship, which saw the Eagles claim a 6-3 win. BC also defeated Northeastern in the 2011 title match, 7-6 (OT).

The 62nd Boston Beapot begins this afternoon with Harvard vs. Northeastern followed by Boston College vs. Boston University. (Photo Credit: BeanpotHockey.com)

The 62nd Boston Beapot Championship is the evening between Boston College and Northeastern University. (Photo Credit: BeanpotHockey.com)

Northeastern hasn’t hoisted the coveted trophy since 1988, the same year the Denver Broncos lost in the Super Bowl. Prior to the Huskies’ first contest last Monday against Harvard University, the Broncos lost to Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII, 43-8 (maybe that’s a good omen for the Black and Red?).

The Huskies have won four tournament championships, but this particular squad might be able to provide the university with its fifth.

Against the Crimson, the Huskies were able to net six goals from six different skaters, while goaltender Clay Witt did his job between the pipes, stopping 27 shots en route to his 14th win of the season.

Northeastern ranks second in the Hockey East in scoring offense. They’ve netted 91 goals this season. 34 of their strikes have been recorded in the final frame. The Huskies have also recorded one goal in the extra session, which came off the stick of Braden Pimm against Providence College on January 7.

Kevin Roy leads the Huskies in point scoring with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists). He netted one goal last Monday in his team’s 6-0 win over Harvard, which ended his scoring drought. He hadn’t located the back of his opponent’s cage since scoring one goal against UMass on January 4.

Boston College isn’t new to the title game. In fact, this will be their 34th appearance in the championship. The Eagles have faced the Huskies four times prior to this evening’s clash and have won three of those meetings.

Eagles head coach Jerry York has guided Boston College to seven tournament championship titles, including the unit’s last four championships.

Boston College ranks first in the conference in scoring offense (123 goals), as well as first on the power play (24/108) and penalty kill (117/128). They’re second in scoring defense (60 goals).

Johnny Gaudreau leads all Division 1 skaters in points (56), goals (24) and assists (32), while Kevin Hayes ranks second in points (47). Hayes’s classmate, Bill Arnold, is fourth in the country in assists (30).

The Eagles and Huskies have faced-off twice this season with Boston College winning both contests.

Prior to BC-Northeastern, Boston University and Harvard will skate in the consolation match. Both teams met in this game last year with the Crimson claiming a 7-4 victory. The Terriers rebounded and earned a spot in the conference championship, but fell to UMass Lowell, 1-0. That game was the final contest that legendary head coach Jack Parker coached.

Follow updates from this evening’s Beanpot Championship on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog). Matt Noonan is the head editor/founder of NoontimeSports.com. He can be reached at NoontimeSports@gmail.com

Mass. College Hockey: 62nd Boston Beapot Preview

The 62nd Boston Beapot begins this afternoon with Harvard vs. Northeastern followed by Boston College vs. Boston University. (Photo Credit: BeanpotHockey.com)

The 62nd Boston Beapot begins this afternoon with Harvard vs. Northeastern followed by Boston College vs. Boston University. (Photo Credit: BeanpotHockey.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The 62nd Boston Beanpot is set to commence this afternoon with Harvard and Northeastern facing off in the late afternoon contest, which will be followed by Boston College and Boston University.

The Eagles will attempt to defend their title by skating into their fifth straight Beanpot championship. As noted on the BC athletic website, if the Eagles were to capture their fifth straight crown, they’d be one title shy of matching BU’s six straight championships from 1995-2000.

Yet, before we drop the puck, let’s meet all four teams that’ll be competing this afternoon and evening.

Boston College (19-4-3, 12-1-1) – Since falling to Holy Cross in November, the Eagles haven’t dropped a single contest. They have skated to a few ties, though, but have won various conference (Hockey East) and non-conference tilts.

On Friday, the Eagles defeated Providence College on the road, 2-0, thanks to Thatcher Demko, who earned his first-career shutout by stopping 30 shots. Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 21-straight contests by netting her 23rd goal of the season. Gaudreau leads the Hockey East in point scoring with 23 goals and 28 assists. Behind Gaudreau are Kevin Hayes (19 goals, 26 assists) and Bill Arnold (eight goals, 28 assists), two players that skate on the same line.

Under head coach Jerry York, the Eagles are 26-12 in the tournament and have won seven Beanpot crowns.

Boston University (8-14-3, 3-8-2) – The underdog Terries will look to earn their first win against Boston College this season, as well as claim their first title since defeating Northeastern in 2009, 5-2.

First-year head coach David Quinn told BU Today that winning this tournament would provide his squad with a ‘big psychological lift’ heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

As a team, the Terriers rank 10th in the Hockey East in scoring offense (2.48 goals per game), 11th in scoring defense (3.40 goals allowed per game), fifth on the power play (22-for-113), and have scored a majority of their goals in the second period (27). Ahti Oksanen leads the conference in power play points with four goals and nine assists, while first-year Nick Roberto has deposited seven shots and recorded 10 assists.

Harvard University (6-11-3, 3-9-3)It’s been quite some time since the Crimson skated into the championship contest. In fact, their last appearance occurred in 1994 when Harvard lost to Boston College in overtime, 2-1. Harvard’s last victory came a year earlier when they defeated Boston University, 4-2.

Ted Donato’s squad snapped a four-game skid on Friday by topping Princeton, 3-2. Harvard received three first-period goals from Greg Gozzo, Alexander Kerfoot and Jimmy Vesey to secure the win.

In 20 games this season, Harvard has registered 50 goals, 32 in ECAC conference play and 81 assists. The Crimson are averaging 2.50 goals per game.

Northeastern University (15-8-3, 8-5-1): The Huskies have been college hockey’s biggest surprise of the season. Predicted to finish last in the Hockey East, Northeastern is currently tied for second place with UMass Lowell.

Kevin Roy is tied for fifth in the conference in point scoring with 14 goals and 17 assists. He didn’t record a point in his team’s last outing against Notre Dame on January 25, but did register at least one point in the seven games prior to the Huskies’ 3-0 setback. Roy was named the tournament’s most valuable player last year. He was the first Northeastern skater to earn that honor since Bruce Racine did in 1988.

A win over Harvard would punch the Huskies’ ticket to their second consecutive Beanpot title, third in four seasons. Northeastern lost both championship contests to Boston College and haven’t hoisted the trophy since defeating Boston University in 1988.

Mass. College Hockey: News And Notes From This Weekend

By Matt Noonan 

Here are some news and notes, as well as some highlights from this past weekend’s hockey tilts.

QUICK NOTE: We’ll have more hockey news from this weekend, along with the upcoming week tomorrow.

* Boston College’s men’s team earned a weekend sweep as the Eagles soared past Boston University on Friday, 6-4, and Maine on Saturday, 7-2. The Eagles second line, which is made up of Johnny GaudreauBill Arnold and Kevin Hayes combined for 13 points (four goals and nine assists) in their team’s win over the Black Bears. The trio leads all skaters in the conference in points scoring as Gaudreau sits atop the pack with 21 goals and 26 assists, while Hayes ranks second with 16 goals and 26 assists.

* Northeastern University’s men’s team is currently in second place with an overall mark of 14-7-3. In Hockey East play, the Huskies have won 7-of-12 tilts with four losses and one tie. This past weekend, they split with Vermont, which tallied four goals in the final session on Saturday’s contest to earn an important road win. Kevin Roy is fourth in points scoring with 14 goals and 16 assists (30 points). Against the Catamounts, he recorded one assist in each game. His last goal came against UMass on January 4.

* Boston College and Boston University are 1-2 in Hockey East’s women’s conference, as both teams have recorded 16 overall wins. The Eagles, though, own a better conference mark of 11-1-1. BC recently defeated BU last Wednesday, 4-1.

* BU’s Sarah Lefort currently leads all skaters in points scoring with 18 goals and 14 assists (32 points). She recorded one goal and one assist in her team’s 4-3 setback to Providence on Friday.

* Bentley University continues to be the story of Atlantic Hockey as the Falcons are currently second in the conference standings. They’ll look for a weekend sweep this afternoon against Canisius College, puck drops at 12:05 p.m. Yesterday, Bentley defeated Canisius, 4-1, thanks to goals from Jared RickordAndrew Gladiuk, and Max French. Three of their four goals occurred on power plays.

* Finally, congratulations to Amherst College’s men’s head coach Jack Arena, who won his 400th game behind the bench last night as the Lord Jeffs defeated Tufts University, 4-3. Arena, who is in his 31st year with Amherst, now owns an overall mark of 400-303-53, and according to D3Hockey.com, he became the 12th head coach to attain the mark at the Division III level.

Frozen Fenway: Boston College 4, Notre Dame 3 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, Mass. – Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals; Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold each registered two assists as the Eagles defeated Notre Dame, 4-3, at Citi Frozen Fenway on Saturday evening.

Gaudreau secured the win for the Eagles by racing down the nearside wing and potting the go-ahead strike after he received a pass from Hayes on a two-on-one midway through the final session.

Boston College jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to tallies from Gaudreau and Brendan Silk before Notre Dame sliced the deficit with a strike from Mario Lucia, who capped a late first period rush down the ice, which was started by Mike Voran and Robbie Russo.

The Fighting Irish evened the score 23 seconds into the middle frame when T.J. Tynan flicked home a pass from Bryan Rust on the doorstep of Boston College’s cage.

Arnold pushed the Eagles ahead, 3-2, early in the third after receiving a pass from Hayes before the Fighting Irish evened the score with a strike from Rust, his fourth of the season.

With the win, Boston College improves to 13-4-2 overall, while Notre Dame dips to 10-8-1. Both squads will return to the ice next weekend as the Eagles host Providence, while the Fighting Irish will entertain Alabama-Huntsville.