Tuesday, February 07, 2012

BC, BU to renew hostilities in Beanpot final

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

Steven Whitney tallied twice and Johnny Gaudreau once in a three-goal second-period burst as Boston College subdued Northeastern, 7-1, to reach the Beanpot final for the third straight year.

Gaudreau finished with two scores as did Paul Carey for the Eagles, who will square off against perennial rivals Boston University next Monday in the championship of the 60th annual tournament.

The schools last met in the title tilt two years ago, with BC winning by a 4-3 count. It will be the sixth time in the last decade that these programs will face each other for Boston bragging rights.

Parker Milner made 22 stops for the victory. The Eagles improved to 32-9 all-time in Beanpot games against their Huntington Avenue neighbors.

Anthony Bitetto scored for the Huskies, who have a date with Harvard in the consolation game. Chris Rawlings was tagged for five goals on 29 shots in defeat. Clay Witt allowed a pair of scores on 17 shots in the third period.

Whitney scored shorthanded just shy of the seven minute mark of the middle period for a 3-1 contest, Gaudreau added his second of the contest at even strength before nine minutes elapsed, and Whitney struck again while BC was a man down at 13:11 for a four-goal spread.

Barry Almeida and Carey lit the lamp in the third period against Witt to cap the rout.

Carey gave BC the lead at 5:14 of the opening period on a wrister from between the circles, Gaudreau made it 2-0 just prior to the midway point of the first, beating Rawlings through the five-hole.

Bitetto responded during a 5-on-3 for Northeastern at 12:34, but the Huskies had no answers for Milner thereafter. It was a far cry from the school's run last year, which included a thrilling 7-6 overtime defeat to BC in the final.

In the earlier semifinal, Kieran Millan stopped 29 shots and Wade Megan tallied twice as BU took a 3-1 decision over Harvard.

Matt Nieto also scored for the Terriers, who advanced to the final for the eighth time in the last 10 years. The top-ranked school in the country now seeks its 30th Beanpot crown in their fourth meeting with Boston College this season.

Alex Killorn notched the lone goal for the Crimson. Starter Steve Michalek was pulled after allowing three goals on 17 shots. Raphael Girard stopped all eight shots he faced the rest of the way.

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