Boston College senior captain Patrick Brown only has 15 career collegiate goals, but when the Eagles needed a boost he had the magic touch, lifting the Eagles over Northeastern, 4-1, in the 62nd annual Beanpot Championship at TD Garden in Boston, MA.
“Tonight it was back and forth and every puck possession seemed to be important,” BC coach Jerry York said. “The winning goal came late in the third period, Patrick Brown tipped in the winning goal and that is a skill he works on.”
The Eagles set a school record, winning their fifth consecutive Beanpot title and coach York’s eighth Beanpot Trophy.
“We (weren’t) thinking about the streak,” Brown said. “It’s not about winning five in a row, it’s about winning one. The key is not to change your game.”
With the game tied 1-1 late in the third, Brown found an unorthodox way to get the game-winner. Lying on his side after being knocked down by Northeastern’s Braden Pimm, Brown was able to get a stick on a point shot from Issac MacLeod. The puck redirected and fooled Northeastern goalie Clay Witt, who was sliding in the opposite direction.
“[I have] never scored one like that, a few tips, but nothing like that,” Brown said. “Issac MacLeod works really hard shooting for sticks, and I was just trying to find a spot in the slot where he could hit my stick. I was getting mauled a little bit, fell down and was able to get a stick on it because he made a great tape-to-tape pass.”
York went on to say it was one of the top goals he has seen scored in the Beanpot Tournament during his time at BC.
“He was on his knees and back and he just reached out,” York said. “He redirected the puck; it was an amazing goal for us. I need to see the replay, but I think it is going to be a highlight reel goal.”
Brown scored two goals, also tacking on BC’s final goal with 50 seconds remaining, labeling the puck top shelf past Witt.
Clay Witt stood on his head, making 37 saves, and simply gave Northeastern a chance to win. If the junior goaltender wasn’t on the NHL’s radar heading into the Beanpot, he certainly should be now. Witt has a 14-8-2 record, 1.99 goals-against average, and a .945 save percentage on the season.
“He played fabulous,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “ He gave us a chance to win, it was 1-1 after two periods. I’m really proud.”
At the other end, freshman goalie Thatcher Demko was able to outduel Witt, stopping 29 of 30 shots.
“It was a really fast paced game and a fun game to be a part of,” Demko said. “They had that one goal against us, but after that we just regrouped and stuck to the game plan.”
Eagles forward Kevin Hayes took home the MVP honors, scoring a goal, his second of the Beanpot, in the first period. Johnny Gaudreau flipped Hayes a nifty backhander in the slot and Witt had no chance.
Gaudreau finished strong, adding another multi-point night to his resume with an assist and putting the game away late with an empty net goal. Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau now has 58 points in 29 games and is running away with the chase for the Hobey Baker Award.
Northeastern’s lone goal was scored by freshman pivot John Stevens, who cashed in a rebound from a Kevin Roy shot.
Highlights from Beanpot Championship (courtesy of NESN) can be viewed below.
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