Mass. College Hockey: Bentley’s Weinstein Named A Finalist For Walter Brown Award

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s today’s release about junior defenseman Steve Weinstein, who was named one of three finalists for the 62nd Walter Brown Award:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University junior defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) was named one of three finalists for the 62nd Walter Brown Award, given to the best American-born college hockey player in New England, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Wednesday morning.

While naming three finalists from a group of 16 semifinalists that was announced in early February, the Gridiron Club also named Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau as the winner. Weinstein finished third in the voting behind Gaudreau and his BC teammate Bill Arnold.

Weinstein was named first team All-Atlantic Hockey after a stellar junior season that saw him rack up 38 points on one goal and 37 assists. He leads the nation in points among defensemen, and is tied for second nationally in total assists with Gaudreau.

Weinstein’s former teammate Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms), who was also named a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award this year, became the first Bentley and Atlantic Hockey player to win it in 2012.

Mass. College Hockey: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 14 -16)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With another weekend quickly approaching, it is time to unveil our five games to watch this weekend. As always, make sure to circle back for updates. You can also follow along with in-game updates on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog), too.

Men’s Ice Hockey

No. 1 Boston College @ No. 14 Vermont (Friday, Feb. 14 / Saturday, Feb. 15) – The Eagles will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to Vermont for a weekend series.

BC is coming off their fifth-straight Boston Beanpot title as they defeated Northeastern, 4-1. Johnny Gaudreau, who netted one goal during his team’s win against the Huskies, is averaging 2.00 points per game. He currently leads all Division 1 skaters with 25 goals and 33 assists for 58 points.

Army vs. Bentley (Friday, Feb. 14 @ Army/ Saturday, Feb. 15 @ Bentley) – With three weeks of Atlantic Hockey remaining, the Falcons will look to keep pace Mercyhurst, the top squad in the conference.

The Falcons returned to the win column after dropping back-to-back tilts to the Lakers and UConn by finishing last weekend’s series with a 4-1 win over the Huskies. Jared Rickord, Justin Breton and Brett Switzer each netted one goal in the opening frame to provide Bentley with the lead for good.

Army and Bentley have met once this season with the Falcons claiming a 5-2 victory in West Point, New York. Similar to their last contest against UConn, Bentley used a 2-0 lead to secure their second victory of the season against the Black Knights.

Army will look to snap an 11-game skid, while the Falcons will attempt to end the weekend with back-to-back victories.

According to the weekend preview, Bentley needs just one more point to clinch a top-eight spot and a home series for the first round of their conference’s tournament.

No. 3 Babson @ No. 9 Norwich (Friday, Feb. 14) – Since falling to the Cadets at Frozen Fenway, the Beavers have won eight of nine contests. Their non-win was a 3-3 tie against Castleton State.

Babson is currently the top squad in the ECAC East with a 19-3-1 overall mark and leads Norwich by three points. The Beavers, who’ll travel to St. Michael’s tomorrow, needs to win one of their final two contests to secure their first conference regular-season crown since the 1989-90 season. Babson, though, has secured the right to host a quarterfinal and semifinal matchup.

Mike Driscoll currently leads the Green and White in points (23) and goals (11), while Nik Tasiopoulos is second in goals (10).

Women’s Ice Hockey

Boston University vs. Providence College (Saturday, Feb. 15 @ BU/ Sunday, Feb. 16 @ Providence) – The Terriers will look to bounce back following their two Beanpot losses with a weekend series against Providence, a squad that defeated BU earlier this season.

BU’s Sarah Lefort ranks first in Hockey East in point scoring (47), goal scoring (27) and assist scoring (20). Lefort’s teammate, Louise Warren, is second in point scoring (37) and goal scoring (22).

Trinity (Conn.) @ No. 7 Amherst (Friday, Feb. 14/ Saturday, Feb. 15) – With two more weekends remaining, the Lord Jeffs will look to earn a weekend sweep, along with some points, too. Amherst is currently third in the conference, one point behind rival Williams, which has 18 points.

Since the calendar turned, the Lord Jeffs are 2-0-1. They finished a weekend series with Connecticut College two weeks ago by defeat the Camels, 3-0, before earning a win and tie against the Ephs last weekend. Anne Gillard and Eileen Harris each potted one goal during their team’s last outing, while Yuna Evans deflected 26-of-28 saves.

Trinity enters the weekend series third in the NESCAC in scoring offense; they’re averaging 3.00 goals per game, while Amherst is four with 2.90. The Lord Jeffs scoring defense (1.70 goals per game) is second behind Middlebury, while Trinity is third (2.10).

62nd Boston Beanpot: BC Claims Fifth-Straight Beanpot Crown, Tops NU 4-1

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the fifth consecutive year, Boston College skated around the TD Garden with the coveted Boston Beanpot cup following their 4-1 victory over Northeastern University.

The win marked the third time in four seasons that the Eagles have topped the Huskies in the tournament’s final and claimed some additional hardware.

“It is something that we strive for and when you accomplish something you strive for it’s a real proud moment,” said Boston College head coach Jerry York, who has guided the Eagles to eight Beanpot championship victories in 15 attempts. “I think a quality we have is we’re happy for other peoples’ success, which is a hard quality to possess.

“Our seniors were talking about how it was great to win four straight as a class, but it was better to look at the freshman and see them win it for the first time. I think that is great that our team can be happy for each others’ success.”

Boston College has a lot to be happy about, especially after their team’s 22nd win. The Eagles, who’ve now won 19 Beanpot championships, will look to continue their momentum heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

BC is currently the top squad in the country and hasn’t dropped a contest since falling to Holy Cross after Thanksgiving.

“Everyone’s working hard every day in practice, no one is taking days off and no one hiding,” said BC senior captain Patrick Brown, who netted two goals last night, including the go-ahead strike at 14:30 in the third period.

“We’ve got talented guys, but they’ve got to work hard too and the guys with less talent have got to work harder.”

The Eagles worked hard for their team’s eighth consecutive win by setting up scoring chances, while assisting first-year goaltender Thatcher Demko, who finished with 29 saves.

“Each possession was just huge for each team,” said Demkow, who is now 11-1-2 between the pipes. “You never knew what was going to happen with guys going up and down the ice here and there, so it was a really fast paced game and a really fun game to be a part of.”

BC’s Kevin Hayes provided the Eagles with a 1-0 lead from the top of the slot during the first period before Northeastern answered in the middle frame with John Stevens, who redirected a shot attempt from Kevin Roy, which sailed past Demko.

The 1-1 tie concluded during the final minutes of the third period when Brown tipped a shot attempt by Isaac MacLeod from the point into the Huskies cage, which provided the Eagles with all the momentum.

“Isaac MacLeod works really hard and he’s always shooting for sticks, he’s got a great shot pass,” said Brown. “I was just trying to find a spot in the slot where he could hit my stick. I was getting mauled a little bit and I fell down, but just got my stick on it because he made a great tape-to-tape pass.”

Northeastern attempted to even the score and force an extra session, but a turnover in the neutral zone with less than two minutes to play resulted in an open net goal by Johnny Gaudreau, which sealed the win.

Brown scored his team’s final goal literally 30 seconds after Gaudreau’s strike when he raced down the nearside wing and flipped the puck past Northeastern goaltender Clay Witt.

“In the third period we just couldn’t match their speed in that third and they came at us and we didn’t have a quick enough response to that,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “I thought we did a good job actually on their winning goal in tying up Brown down at the net and he was falling and he had a stick and somehow he got a stick on it and scored the winning goal.

“So, congratulations to (Boston College) and we’ve got another rabbit to chase – we’re chasing a Beanpot rabbit and we’re chasing a Hockey East playoff opportunity. So, we’ll take a day off and then get ready for UMass on Saturday.”

While Northeastern will have an additional day to prepare for the Minutemen, a squad that recently defeated them 3-0, Boston College will get back to work on Friday when they travel to Vermont for a weekend series with the Mountaineers.

Both teams aren’t schedule to face-off again this season, but could meet in the Hockey East playoffs.

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

62nd Boston Beanpot: BC 3, BU 1 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – Boston College punched its ticket to its fifth straight Boston Beanpot championship as the Eagles defeated archrival Boston University, 3-1, in the tournament’s semifinal on Monday evening at the TD Garden.

With the win, the Eagles advance to next Monday’s championship against Northeastern, a squad they defeated last season, 6-3. BC also defeated Northeastern in the 2011 championship, 7-6 (OT).

Ryan Fitzgerald, Kevin Hayes and Johnny Gaudreau each netted goals for the Eagles, while Thatcher Demko deflected 27 of 28 shots between the pipes.

“He’s been a good goaltender for a lot of years,” Boston College head coach Jerry York said of his team’s netminder. “I don’t think it was a surprise that he could handle something like this (game).”

The shot Demko was unable to defend, though, was a strike from the top of the slot by BU’s Robbie Baillargeon at 6:43 in the third period, which was assisted by Danny O’Regan. That tally sliced the deficit and brought the Terriers within one point, but it didn’t spark any additional strikes as the Eagles defense turned away potential scoring chances before Gaudreau sealed the win by flipping the puck into an empty net with 30 seconds remaining.

Gaudreau, who entered the contest with a 21 game point-streak, extended it the streak to 22 games. He currently leads the Hockey East in point scoring with 53 points (24 goals and 29 assists), as well as all Division 1 hockey players in goals and points.

“It’s fun to watch Johnny G.,” said York with a big smile. “If you like hockey, see what he does with the puck, (especially by) the plays he makes.

“Sometimes he even shocks us with some of the things he does with the puck and he certainly was a catalyst for us tonight.”

BC, which has now defeated BU three times this season, will look to earn its third straight win over the Huskies this season. In their prior meetings, which took place in November, the Eagles defeated the Huskies, 4-2 and 4-3.

Yet, despite two early season victories, York knows Northeastern will provide challenges for the Eagles.

Jim (Madigan) has done a terrific job with his club,” said York. “There’s no surprise that they’ve won so many games this year. They’ve got a really good club.”

As for BU, they’ll look to bounce back in the consolation match next Monday, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. They’ll be facing Harvard, a squad that defeated them in the same game last season, 7-4.

“We certainly understood the challenge we had tonight and I can’t tell you how proud I am of our team. I thought we were ready to play from the get-go,” said Boston University head coach David Quinn. “We competed from the drop of the puck until the whistle blew.

“I said to them, ‘We’ve still got a lot of hockey left.’ There was nothing I was going to say that was going to make them feel better, but the season isn’t over, we need to build on this, we’ve got nine games left I think and we’ve set the bar a little bit higher than we’ve been playing lately, so we’ve got to make sure that we take this approach, not only during the Beanpot when we’re playing BC, but for the rest of this season. If we do that we’re going to crawl back into this thing and put ourselves in a good position.”