MEN'S HOCKEY: Watch The Throne
BC Seniors Capture Fourth Straigth Beanpot Championship Trophy
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 03:02
From the blue line, Bill Arnold glided into the Northeastern zone midway through the second period. To his left, Kevin Hayes entered the zone as well. With a smooth motion, Steven Whitney flicked the puck into Hayes’s waiting hands, increasing speed, charging at the net. For a moment, it looked like Hayes was going to shoot. Maintaining a solid stance, he glided toward Chris Rawlings, who waited in the Northeastern net. He didn’t take the shot though, and instead sent the puck flying back to Arnold, who was ready and coming up the middle.
With a roar, there was a flashback to last year’s overtime thriller ended by the same hands that scored the first for the Eagles. After 30 minutes of scoreless hockey, Arnold opened the floodgates, leading the Boston College men’s hockey team to a 6-3 victory over Northeastern and the Eagles’ fourth straight Beanpot title.
In the fourth meeting between both teams in the tournament final, the Huskies and the Eagles did something that they had not done over the last 20 periods of play—they held each other scoreless.
Although the first period lacked in scoring, it did not lack intense play. Over the course of the 20 minutes, six penalties were taken, four by Northeastern and two by BC. Both penalty kills did their jobs, however. Despite 12 minutes of penalties, the teams stayed even heading into the first intermission.
BC wasn’t without chances. In the first period, the Eagles attempted 24 shots, 10 of which were on net. The Eagles weren’t disheartened by their lack of follow through on their early attempts, though.
“We knew that the chances were there, which is a positive for us,” Mullane said. “We knew that if we continued to work around the net they would go in.”
Though the scoreboard showed even teams, Northeastern didn’t have a shot on net until more than halfway through the period.
Even as the buzzer rang signaling the end of the period, tensions ran high between the two teams. Hayes and Northeastern’s Mike Gunn lingered behind the net exchanging words, eventually needing to be separated by the referees.
In the second period, the excited energy that had converted into so many penalty minutes persisted, but it was converted into offensive ferocity. The teams traded chances during the first two minutes, but BC failed to put shots on net. The closest attempt was a shot from Isaac MacLeod that clinked off of the crossbar.
Five minutes in, Northeastern was given its third power play of the night when Michael Matheson was put away for tripping, despite protests from the BC bench. This Huskie power play was different. Where BC had been able to control the puck even a man down during the first period, Northeastern managed to maintain the BC zone and create multiple chances. Milner, however, kept the huskies scoreless.
Four minutes after regaining full strength, the Eagles stepped up on offense. The Arnold goal put the Eagles on the scoreboard 11 minutes into the period.
It did not take long for the Eagles to strike again. This time, less than two minutes later, it was Johnny Gaudreau, last year’s Beanpot MVP, whose wrap-around through the crease slipped by Rawlings.
Northeastern did not stop fighting, however.
Soon after the second BC goal, Huskie freshman Kevin Roy took a pass from Vinny Saponari that he brought forward to just inside the goalie’s right circle and fired on net. The shot went just above Milner’s glove, and the Huskies were finally on the board.
Minutes later, Roy had a chance to tie the game on a breakaway, but this time Milner didn’t budge, maintaining the BC lead. Time was running down in the second, and it looked as though the two teams would head into the locker rooms separated by only one, but once again rebounds got the better of Rawlings.
This time, the goalie’s failure to hold on to Patrick Brown’s shot resulted directly in a goal as it trickled off to his left. His last second dive for the puck was not enough, and the Eagles went up by two.
The last 10 minutes of the second half had been an offensive storm, but the Eagles were not done. As the play clock approached zero, Steven Whitney fired another on the shaken Rawlings, scoring with just .4 seconds to go in the period.
Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan thought the last minute crumble was crucial.
“To get out of the second 2-1 I thought we would be in good shape,” he said. “They’re just too good of a team to give goals to and we gave them two at the end of the second period.”
Off of the opening faceoff of the second period, Roy gave the Huskies hope. Saponari won the opening drop, which was scooped up by Garrett Vermeersch who then passed the puck off to Roy. From there, he sped up the left side and just eleven seconds in, he flicked another over Milner’s glove, narrowing the margin to 4-2.
Soon after Roy’s goal, a power play finally paid off. With Whitney in the box on a tripping minor, Braden Pimm, a sophomore center for Northeastern, tipped Saponari’s one timer from inside of the crease, fooling Milner and bringing the game to within one.
Northeastern nearly tied it up when Roy fumbled a pass from Saponari in the crease, but it was the Eagles who were back on the board next.
Matheson held the puck as he entered the Northeastern zone, lingering in the right hand circle as he waited for the play to develop around him. Like clockwork, the Huskie defenders were drawn to him, leaving a gap for him to slide the puck through, rebounding off of Rawlings to Gaudreau who put it away for his second of the night.
BC head coach Jerry York knew that his team would not be disheartened by the Huskies’ sudden surge.