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: Northeastern 6, Harvard 0 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, Northeastern will compete for the Beanpot trophy as the Huskies skated past Harvard, 6-0, in the first contest of Monday’s double-header at the TD Garden.

Northeastern hasn’t claimed the tournament crown since defeating Boston University in 1988. They appeared in the championship game last season, but lost to Boston College, 6-3. They also fell to the Eagles in the 2011 title match in overtime.

“Well, obviously happy with the win,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan.

“This first game is the game that gives you the opportunity to win the Beanpot and I know our guys were really prepared coming in.”

Mike Szmatula registered three points in his team’s win, one goal and two assists. He recorded back-to-back helpers in the second period by setting up both Torin Snydeman and Braden Pimm, two players that helped Northeastern balloon its first period lead into a 4-0 advantage after two periods.

Dalen Hedges provided Northeastern with the lead for good in the opening session by firing home a shot from the far left circle before Kevin Roy doubled his team’s advantage with a power play goal.

Roy, who was the most valuable player (MVP) of last year’s tournament, has now registered six goals in three tournament games, including his first period strike.

“I just thought our guys were really ready to go,” said Madigan. “When you have the confidence that we were playing with because of our goaltending it allows us to do some things offensively and continue to get some pucks to the net, so overall obviously happy with the win (because) it gives us an opportunity to be in the championship against either a good BU or BC team.”

Northeastern finished the contest with 38 shots, while Harvard recorded 27. Both teams combined for 76 penalty minutes, which is the most penalty minutes in a tournament game since BC and Harvard combined for 74 minutes in 2010.

Clay Witt, who has started in 22 games this season for the Huskies, earned his fourth-career shutout by deflecting 27 shots. Harvard’s Raphael Girard finished with 21 saves.

“Give Northeastern credit, they played a simple, strong game (and we) never really (were) able to get anything going,” said Harvard head coach Ted Donato. “We lost battles all over the ice.”

Northeastern will skate against the winner of Boston College-Boston University next Monday at 7:30 p.m., while Harvard will face-off against the losing squad at 4:30 p.m.

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.