Boston College captured its fifth straight Beanpot title on Monday at TD Garden with a 4-1 triumph over Northeastern. This is a familiar outcome, as it is the third time since 2009 that Northeastern has dropped the Beanpot final to BC.
Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub helped spread the word of the Eagles' latest Beanpot triumph, and Marly Morgus of Boston College's independent student newspaper shared a quote from Eagles coach Jerry York:
Boston College Wins 5th Straight Beanpot http://t.co/UR05rhQ0ae— 98.5 The Sports Hub (@985TheSportsHub) February 11, 2014
"There's so much excitement about the Beanpot in our locker room. It's something we strive for." - Head Coach Jerry York— Marly Morgus (@MorgusHeights) February 11, 2014
For York and his Eagles, this is just the latest triumph in a string of fabulous play. The Eagles are the No. 1 team in the nation and 14-0-1 in their last 15 games.
Things are not looking as rosy for No. 12 Northeastern. That program now finds itself in the midst of a rough stretch. It was on Friday that the Huskies were embarrassed 3-0 on their home ice by UMass.
Now, they can add this lopsided loss to their recent resume.
That is not to say Northeastern was dreadful in this game. That is far from the case. This was a well-played and thrilling game until the final moments when BC was able to stretch its lead.
ESPN's John Buccigross certainly was riveted:
What a game this Boston College/Northeastern game is. Everyone selling out. Speed, hits, big crowd. Shaping up to be classic #cawlidgehawkey— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) February 11, 2014
Northeastern was the first team to find the back of the net in this contest, but it didn't stand. Ryan Belonger found a loose puck in the slot and delivered it home, but it occurred as Tanner Pond took out BC goalie Thatcher Demko. As a result, the goal did not stand.
Less than halfway through the first period, Boston College provided a goal that would stand. Winger Kevin Hayes exploited the five-hole after a strong feed from Johnny Gaudreau to net the opener:
This was another fine effort from Gaudreau, who is turning in a marvelous season. FlamesNation's Ryan Pike and Buccigross explain:
Gaudreau extends points streak to 24 GAMES, sets up Kevin Hayes to make it 1-0 BC.— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) February 11, 2014
Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau is playing at a level no one else is at in College Hockey. We are giving him love on @sportscenter tonight.— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) February 11, 2014
Although that shot got through for Boston College, nothing else was slipping past Northeastern goalie Clay Witt. He was outstanding and made several spectacular plays to close out the first period, which helped his side capture a bit of momentum.
Thanks to the the similarly outstanding play in goal by Demko, it was not easy for Northeastern to wrestle any control of this contest:
Great goaltending from BC's Thatcher Demko(16 saves) and NU's Clay Witt(10 saves) in 1st period of Beanpot title game. 1-o BC— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) February 11, 2014
Witt's outstanding efforts were not limited to the first period, either. He wasted no time keeping his hot glove going in the second:
Witt was saving shots coming at him from all angles. At one point, he batted a puck into the boards like he was David Ortiz waiting for a hanging breaking ball from CC Sabathia.
Hockey writer Joshua Kummins helps explain:
Clay Witt should get a look from Neil McPhee and the NU baseball team. #Beanpot— Joshua Kummins (@JoshuaKummins) February 11, 2014
Meanwhile, Northeastern was finally able to crack Boston College's defense.
Kevin Roy fired a shot at Demko, but the goalie was able to make a kick save. That kick save found a waiting John Stevens, who managed to get a backhand effort past Demko.
This had the close contest heading into the third period tied at one.
The third period saw the continuation of the back-and-forth play and excellent play in goal that defined the first two periods.
As the period progressed, however, Boston College began to turn up the heat. The Eagles were getting good looks and controlling the puck. Witt was able to keep them at bay for most of the period, but Patrick Brown managed to net a score at the 16-minute mark, and at that moment, it was all over.
As Northeastern began to scramble for a goal of their own, Boston College took advantage of the vulnerability this created in the back.
Gaudreau added a goal to bring the score to 3-1, and Brown, the captain, added his second goal of the night and the game's final score.
It was a well-played game, but ultimately served as just another testament that Boston College is one of the clear favorites to emerge as champions in April's Frozen Four.
Meanwhile, Northeastern has to reverse its recent trend of losing just to keep themselves in position to earn an appearance in the regionals.