Three-Peat: Arnold Tallies Game-Winner In Overtime
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
In Monday night's 60th annual Beanpot championship, the No. 3 Boston College men's hockey team (19-10-1) inched past No. 2 Boston University (17-10-1) by a final score of 3-2 in a physical, overtime thriller.
"We talked about Beanpot Monday, and how fun it is," said junior Chris Kreider. "And the only thing better is winning. And the only thing better than winning it is winning it in overtime. That's something you dream about growing up."
The victory came off the stick of sophomore Bill Arnold with 6.4 seconds left in the game's first overtime. Arnold's score came on an odd-man rush down the ice. Senior Barry Almeida pushed from the defensive zone, making a nice pass to linemate Steven Whitney. Then Whitney took a look across net and found Arnold cutting across for the score.
"I knew there was under a minute left," Arnold said of the score. "I wasn't exactly sure how much time was left when we were skating up the ice. But you don't want to turn over the puck in that situation. You want to make sure you at least get through the period without giving up a goal. But if you see the chance to skate down the ice and get a shot, you've got to take it."
Eagles head coach Jerry York applauded his players for executing the final drive down the ice so well.
"The pass Steve Whitney made to Billy Arnold at the end was textbook," he said. "We had an odd-man advantage. He found the late guy, and Billy wristed it glove side, which was pretty electric for our bench. That's for sure."
Arnold, for his part, was just excited to help his team bring another Beanpot title to the Heights.
"We won last year, and we won again this year, and that's what it's all about,'' Arnold said. "To score the goal feels nice, but winning is what's important. And that feels much better than scoring the goal.''
The game's first three periods were defined for the most part by penalties. Until Arnold's game-winner, all four goals were scored with either an advantage or disadvantage.
Junior Pat Mullane struck first for the Eagles at the 8:54 mark in the first period. With his team down a man, the forward broke down the ice for a one-on-one. As BU defender Max Nicastro tried to cut off the angle, Mullane swept by him to the left of the net, sending a wrister home for the score.
Throughout the game, both teams appeared evenly matched defensively, limiting each other to very few good looks. In particular, the play of BC goaltender Parker Milner and BU's Kieran Millan was impressive, as both players kept their respective teams alive throughout the contest.
The second period saw a back-and-forth performance from both sides. Strong defense and goaltending kept the Eagles on top 1-0 for the majority of the period. Then, at the 16:11 mark, BU's Garrett Noonan tied the game up with his team on a power play. The sophomore took a pass from Matt Nieto across the front of the net and lifted it just out of Milner's reach.
The Eagles responded moments later when freshman forward Johnny Gaudreau fed a pass to Kreider in the circle. Krieder wound up and launched a slap shot for his 19th goal of the season.
The second period saw a very physical brand of hockey. Both teams combined for eight penalties. Two of these resulted in scores for the opposing team. For the night, the teams combined for 16 penalties. The Eagles finished with seven.
Though the Terriers entered the third stanza down a score, their deficit would not last for long. After penalties to Whitney and forward Paul Carey, BU capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage. The score came off Noonan's stick once again, as he positioned himself in front of the net and tipped in a pass off Milner's pads.
The rest of the period remained scoreless, although both teams had solid opportunities to give their team the lead. Once again, the battle between Milner and Millan proved too strong for either team to overcome.
With Arnold's last-second score, the Eagles' bench erupted, as Terrier players fell to the ice. This victory was BC's third straight Beanpot championship, as well as the school's 17th overall tournament title.
Gaudreau, who finished the tournament with two goals and two assists, was named the tournament's most valuable player. Just as with Arnold, however, the freshman was most pleased with his team's victory.