It’s definitely “trophy season” now.
The #4 Boston College Eagles hockey team, having suffered through a bad January, is officially back on track. In the championship game of the 61st Beanpot at the TD Garden on Monday night, the Eagles defeated the Northeastern Huskies, 6-3. BC has now won its fourth-straight Beanpot title, meaning that the current senior class has never lost a game in this local tournament and never will. For Northeastern, their drought will reach at least 26 years as they still have not won since 1988.
The Eagles, now winners of three games in a row for the first time since November, are 17-7-2 on the season and are quickly recovering momentum they lost in the previous month.
To start the game, neither team scored though there were abundant opportunities, particularly those for Boston College. In spite of BC outshooting Northeastern, 10-5, the first period ended in a 0-0 tie.
As a matter of fact, much of the second was scoreless, though the Eagles made a habit of creating loud clanking sounds off of the crossbar. Those near-misses soon became goals for Boston College in the second period, and when BC started getting them, they came in bunches. Bill Arnold, the hero of the 2012 Beanpot in overtime, got the party started at 10:53 by making it a 1-0 BC lead (assists Hayes, Whitney). The floodgates opened just one minute, fifteen seconds later as Johnny Gaudreau tipped in an unassisted goal to double the lead to 2-0.
Northeastern did not want to be left out of the action. Kevin Roy, eventually the tournament MVP, halved BC’s lead to 2-1 at 15:04 (assists Saponari, Lauwers). They’d pay for that, however: Boston College hit back with two more goals in the second period thanks to Patrick Brown (18:37; MacLeod, Smith) and Steven Whitney (19:59; Arnold) right before time expired.
The Huskies put a scare into BC to start the third, notching two quick goals: Kevin Roy just 11 seconds into the period (assists Vermeersch, Saponari) and 3:45 later thanks to Braden Pimm on the power play (assists Vermeersch, Saponari). From then on, the game was tense for the Boston College faithful who wanted badly to see their team win for a fourth-consecutive year — that is, until Johnny Gaudreau made his presence felt once again. With 5:23 left in the game, Gaudreau’s second score of the night put the contest out of reach for the Huskies (assists Matheson, Whitney). To cap off the action, captain Pat Mullane scored a power-play empty-netter at 18:32 to make the margin a comfortable 6-3 (assists Gaudreau, Milner).
It’s a good night for Boston College when you’re winning trophies and your goalie, who was named best goaltender in tournament, is getting assists. The Eagles played a very good game overall and have finally started once again to establish consistency. This tournament victory will help them going forward, and even from the perspective of an outsider, one would have to marvel at how BC can always find another gear at this time of the season, no matter how forgettable the middle of the year was. There is much to be decided in the months to come and anything can happen, but this is a movie we’ve seen before, and it typically has a happy ending for BC.
The Boston College senior class is to be congratulated once more for being a perfect 4-for-4 in Beanpot tournaments, but team efforts have gotten them this far, and team efforts will eventually get BC to the promised land again.
The Eagles return to the ice on Friday night in North Andover, MA against Merrimack in a Hockey East conference game.