Monday, February 10, 2014

No. 1 with a bullet: BC beats Northeastern for fifth straight Beanpot

Thanks to USCHO
Boston,  MA -- Patrick Brown  scored twice, including the game  winner late in the third period, and Thatcher Demko stopped 29 shots, as Boston  College topped  Northeastern, 4-1,  in the  final of  the 62nd  annual Beanpot from TD Garden.

Johnny  Gaudreau extended his  point streak to 24 games with a goal and assist for the Eagles, who celebrated their selection as the new No. 1 program in the country by claiming their fifth consecutive tourney title.

Kevin  Hayes  took home the tournament  MVP thanks to scoring in each contest, while  the  freshman Demko earned the  Eberly Award for best goaltender with a .966 save percentage.

BC also extended its unbeaten streak to 15 games (14-0-1), and crept one off the record of six straight championships, set by Boston University under Jack Parker from 1995-2000.

"No question. Once you have 'em, you want more," said BC head coach Jerry York when  asked if  his club  is using  Monday's victory  as a  motivator for  the remainder of the season.

With the win, York tied Snooks Kelley, who also racked up eight Beanpot titles as head coach on the Heights.

John  Stevens provided  the  lone  offense for  the  Huskies,  winless in  the February  tournament since  1988. Senior Clay Witt played well until the final minutes, eventually making 37 saves in a bitter defeat.

"I like the way our team played," Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. "We battled for the whole game, and through two periods I liked where we were. If you can be 1-1, or up a goal or down a goal going into the third period, you've got a chance to win."

Brown finally snuck one home with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation and BC held a 2-1 edge. He was on the ice in front of the opposing net and facing the point when he managed to redirect a left-point offering by Isaac MacLeod between the pads of Witt.

"I was thinking deflection the whole way, but I was lucky enough to get a piece of it and it went in," Brown admitted of the trick shot that turned the tide.

Gaudreau potted an easy empty-net score to lock up the victory, then Brown broke in alone once Witt was back in his net and scored with 49.5 seconds remaining.

Northeastern saw the game's first goal wiped out near the 6 1/2-minute mark of the first period due to the net being dislodged seconds before Ryan Belonger flipped it over Demko. The Huskies were given a power play, but failed to convert and BC jumped on top shortly thereafter.

Gaudreau was able to carry the puck from the right wing behind Witt and dished back into the slot for a waiting Hayes, who slid it home at 8:40.

Witt kept it a one-goal margin in the waning seconds of the frame, when he stayed square in his crease and stopped a Hayes breakaway.

Both teams flew at each other in a spirited second period, forcing both goaltenders to make acrobatic saves. The underdogs finally drew even when Stevens followed up a Kevin Roy rebound with 1:24 remaining.

Demko's glove stop on Torin Snydeman, who chased down a dump-in through the BC zone, kept things even inside the first minute of the third. Though the freshman netminder slid back into his net before the whistle blew, a review to determine whether the puck crossed the goal line was inconclusive.

Catch the highlights below:

Earlier Monday, Luke  Esposito posted  two  goals and  one assist, as Harvard knocked off Boston University by a 6-2 count in the Beanpot consolation game.

Kyle  Criscuolo  added a score and  two helpers for the Crimson, slotted third for the fourth consecutive year. Jimmy  Vesey  contributed a goal and  one assist, while Steve Michalek stopped 25-of-27 shots.

Evan  Rodrigues  and Ahti  Oksanen  provided  offense  for the  Terriers,  who finished fourth for the second straight season and haven't won since 2009.

Sean  Maguire  allowed four goals  on 35 shots  in defeat. Anthony Moccia also surrendered a score in relief.

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