BOSTON COLLEGE EARNS FIFTH STRAIGHT BEANPOT TITLE WITH 4-1 WIN OVER NORTHEASTERN
Freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko stops 56 of 58 shots over two games for Eagles
BOSTON, Mass. - Senior captain Patrick Brown scored two goals, including the game winner, and freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko made 29 saves to lead No. 1 Boston College to a 4-1 victory over No. 11 Northeastern and its fifth consecutive Beanpot title at the TD Garden Tuesday night.
The victory marked the Eagles' 19th Beanpot title and eighth under head coach Jerry York. The championship victory gives seniors Bill Arnold, Brown, Kevin Hayes, and Isaac MacLeod a perfect 8-0 record for their collegiate careers.
Brown broke a 1-1 tie at 14:30 of the third period to give Boston College a 2-1 lead before Johnny Gaudreau added an empty netter to secure the win. Brown tallied his second goal of the game 26 seconds later to conclude the scoring.
Kevin Hayes lit the lamp for BC at 8:40 of the first period to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead. Johnny Gaudreau started the play when he skated down the right side of the ice and sent a backhanded pass to the front of the net from the red line. Bill Arnold tipped the puck to the middle of the slot where Kevin Hayes held off a Husky defender and buried the puck five-hole for his 21st of the season.
The opening stanza ended with a hectic last minute, as both teams had golden opportunities to score. Northeastern's chance came first as Mike Gunn blasted a slap shot from the top of the slot that Demko was barely able to shift back into position to kick aside to the boards. The save set up BC for its own opportunity as Hayes broke free behind two NU defenders but Clay Witt made the stop after Hayes' double move at the crease to send the teams into the locker room at 1-0.
Northeastern led the first period in shots 16-11 and had two power play chances while BC had none.
The Huskies had a chance to knot the score at 15:16 of the middle stanza but Szmatula was unable to backhand a tough-angle shot from the goal line into the open net. Adam Reid took the initial shot from the inside edge of the left faceoff dot that skittered off Demko's pads to Smatula, but the freshman center hit the outside of the right pipe and Demko dove on the puck to force a faceoff.
The Eagles turned up the pressure late in the second period, but Witt made several acrobatic saves to keep BC off the board long enough for Northeastern to net the game-tying goal at 18:36 of the second frame. Kevin Roy skated through the slot and took a shot from in close that bounced off Demko's pads to John Stevens who lifted a backhanded shot just inside the right post to even the score at 1-1.
Brown's game winning goal was set up by Austin Cangelosi who fed the puck from the left corner to Isaac MacLeod along the blue line who fired a shot toward the net that Brown was able to tip as he was lying on his back, redirecting the puck past Witt just inside the far post.
Gaudreau pocketed an empty netter at 18:44 of the third period, his 25th goal of the season, before Destry Straight intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and found Brown on a breakaway, putting him in position to lift a shot into the top of the net, beating Witt glove side.
Demko made 29 saves and improves to 11-1-2. Witt made 37 saves and falls to 14-8-2.
Final shots were 41-30 in favor of BC.
Boston College (22-4-3, 13-1-1) will be back in action for a two-game series at Vermont Feb. and 15.
NOTES: Boston College improves to 34-9 all time against Northeastern in Beanpot play, and 4-1 against the Huskies in the Beanpot championship.... With the victory, Jerry York ties Snooks Kelley for most Beanpot titles as a BC head coach with eight ... Demko won the Eberly Award for highest save percentage in the tournament ... Hayes was named MVP of the tournament with two goals... With an assist in the first period, Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 24 games... Each member of the Gaudreau-Arnold-Hayes line has now scored at least one point in 13 of their last 15 games... BC is now 17-0-1 when scoring first on the season.