BOSTON COLLEGE DEFEATS BOSTON UNIVERSITY AT BEANPOT, 3-1
Freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko makes 27 saves for the Eagles
BOSTON, Mass. - Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau scored one goal and added an assist, extending his point streak to 22 games, and goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots to lead No. 2 Boston College to a 3-1 victory over Boston University in the semifinal round of the 62nd annual Beanpot Tournament on Monday night at TD Garden.
Boston University put the pressure on early but the Eagles were able to answer defensively before taking an early 1-0 lead at 4:04 of the first period.
BC took advantage of a tripping call on BU's Patrick MacGregor, scoring 13 seconds into the power play. First-year forward Ryan Fitzgerald took control of the puck along the right boards and cycled it to classmate Scott Savage on the blue line. Savage sent a cross-ice pass to Teddy Doherty who found Fitzgerald at the right faceoff dot. Savage dropped down and lifted a wrister inside the right post, beating BU goaltender Matt O'Connor glove side for his ninth goal of the season.
The Terriers held a 10-5 advantage in shots in the opening stanza, but it was the Eagles who took a lead into the first intermission.
BC doubled the margin at 1:20 of the middle stanza when college hockey's top line connected for yet another goal. Gaudreau skated into the slot where he was bumped off the puck, but Bill Arnold scooped it up and sent a backhanded pass from the goal line between O'Connor and a diving Terrier defender to Kevin Hayes who buried the puck into an open net for the game winner.
Boston University had its best chance of the first period at 12:10 when MacGregor fired a shot from the top of the slot, but Demko made a kick save and sent the puck wide to the boards to preserve the two-goal lead.
Danny O'Regan and Nick Roberto broke out on a 2-on-1 that proved to be the Terriers greatest scoring opportunity of the second period, but Savage used a well-timed poke check to disrupt the play just enough that Roberto was unable to fire off a shot.
BU nearly cut BC's lead in half after a holding call on Isaac MacLeod at 17:10 of the middle stanza, as the Terriers peppered the net with shots on the power play, but Demko and the Eagles' defense stood strong to keep the Terriers off the board through two periods of play.
Despite not putting a shot on net during a five-minute power play after a hitting-from-behind penalty on Doyle Somerby, the Eagles still outshot the Terriers 15-9 in the second period.
Boston University had a golden opportunity to find the back of the net at 4:09 of the third period when Demko was out of position and the puck skittered loose inside the crease, but neither Kevin Duane nor Matt Lane were able to fire a shot on the open net for the Terriers. Michael Matheson finally cleared the puck to get the Eagles out of danger.
The Terriers pulled within one at 6:43 of the third period with a goal by Robbie Baillargeon.
O'Regan skated behind the BC net and sent a pass that hit Baillargeon in stride, skating left to right from the blue line, and the freshman center ripped a shot from the inside edge of the right circle that found its way past Demko's outstretched glove and into the net to make the score 2-1.
Gaudreau concluded the scoring at 19:29, pocketing his 24th goal of the season into the empty net to settle the score at 3-1.
Demko won his sixth straight game and improved to 9-1-2 on the season.
Boston College (20-4-3, 12-1-1) will take on Merrimack Friday, Feb. 7, at home before facing off against Northeastern in the Beanpot championship game on Monday, Feb. 11 at the TD Garden.