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Lucky Number Seven

BC Crushes Northeastern In Beanpot Opener

Assoc. Sports Editor

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


Graham Beck / Heights Editor

The No. 5 Boston College men's ice hockey team had played Northeastern three times this season prior to Monday night's semifinal Beanpot matchup. Each game had a one-goal differential in favor of the Eagles. Monday saw head coach Jerry York's boys make a huge offensive stride, outscoring the Huskies 7-1 in TD Garden.

The Eagles came out firing early, as senior captain Paul Carey began the game's scoring at the 14:46 mark. Freshman Johnny Gaudreau gave him the perfect pass as he cut across the right circle. Carey took the feed home easily for his eighth goal for the season. Line mate Pat Mullane was also credited with an assist on the play.

The key to the play was truly communication from the veteran captain, as well as solid instinct from the freshman.

"Pat Mullane made an awesome effort to make the first [defenseman] cough the puck up in the middle of the zone, and fortunately the puck didn't get out for them," Gaudreau said. "I cut towards the middle, and Paul was just screaming, and I knew where he was. Thankfully, he called my name, or else I would have never known where he was. Nice little drop pass, and he ripped it in."

The Huskies responded with two close scoring opportunities, but junior goalie Parker Milner came up with some outstanding saves to keep them scoreless. The first came when forward freshman Ludwig Karlsson tried to tap in a goal just in front of the net. Milner shot out his glove at the last second to make the stop. The second came when fellow freshman Joseph Manno slid on his knees across the net, shooting in the center of the right circle. Milner slid to his left to make the stop.

At the other end, BC continued its offensive output when Gaudreau intercepted a pass from Huskies defenseman Luke Eibler, and turned around quickly. He was able to outhustle his opponent on the one-on-one, challenging Huskies goaltender Chris Rawlings with the five-hole score.

Penalty trouble allowed the Huskies to make a comeback try—first Kreider was called for roughing at the 11:09 mark, and shortly after Steve Whitney was hit up for roughing as well. With the 5-on-3 advantage, Northeastern finally got a point on the board with a score by defenseman Anthony Bitetto. The first period ended with a close 2-1 contest.

"I thought the first period, certainly, Northeastern had the edge in play," said BC head coach Jerry York. "We were back on our heels a little bit and were very fortunate to come out of that up 2-1. They scored a really well executed 5-on-3 goal on us. I thought our team came out and did very well in the second and third period."

The second period saw the Eagles take their game to a new level. The team scored three goals, two of which were short handed, while holding the Huskies to none.

The first goal came when Whitney took a pass across the front of the net from senior Barry Almeida. The setup gave Whitney enough space to beat Rawlings to his right. This score came with BC down a man in the box.

The second came on a quick breakaway down the ice from the Eagles. Patch Alber took a hard shot while driving down the center of the ice. Both Gaudreau and Mullane appeared to get a piece of the puck, as they moved on front of net, causing the puck to ricochet to the back of the net. The score was given to Gaudreau for his second of the night, putting the Eagles up 4-1.

The final score of the period came when Whitney caused a turnover, and began to take the breakaway, down a man. He attempted to pass the puck across the ice to Almeida, however a defender knocked it back to him. Whitney collected the puck, and set up for a slap shot. The puck went top shelf and over the left shoulder of Rawlings to put the Eagles up 5-1.

The most impressive part of this high-scoring period was BC's ability to make plays despite being down men. Not only was the penalty kill successful, but the team managed offensive production as well. York pointed out that the team's goal in games like this is to "not to let the other team do what they like to do."

Furthermore, York pointed out that this period was undoubtedly the game changer for his team.

"I thought that was the breaking point, that really got us going, the two short-handed goals in the second period," he said. "Our team came out and played very well in the second and third periods."

The final stanza began with sophomore Clay Witt taking over in net for Rawlings. The Eagles were unfazed by this change, adding two more goals in the period.

The first score came when Almeida sent back a rebound off a shot from Whitney. It was the Eagles' first power-play goal of the night. The score gave Whitney his third point for the night.

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