BC downs Northeastern 6-3 to earn fourth straight Beanpot championship

By DJ Powers

Parker Milner - Boston College

Photo: Boston College goaltender Parker Milner is one of a handful of BC seniors to have been a part of four consecutive Beanpot Tournament chamionships (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

The Eagles of Boston College won their fourth consecutive Beanpot Tournament championship with a thrilling 6-3 victory over the Northeastern Huskies on Monday night at the TD Garden in Boston, MA.

Northeastern freshman phenom Kevin Roy (ANA) was named the tournament MVP after posting a hat trick in last week’s semi-final win over Boston University and chipping in a pair in the championship game. It marked the first time since 2004 that the MVP did not go to a member of the winning team. Roy’s five Beanpot goals were the most by one player in the tournament since 1973.

Boston College senior Parker Milner was named the winner of the Eberly Trophy, given to the goaltender with the best save percentage (.907) in the tournament playing in both games. Milner allowed four goals in this year’s tournament.

The opening period was fairly evenly played period despite Northeastern being outshot by Boston College, 10-5. Both senior netminders Milner and Chris Rawlings made several outstanding saves to keep the game scoreless in the opening stanza.

Much of the second period belonged to Boston College, but Northeastern did have their moments.

The Eagles drew first blood at the 10:53 mark when junior Bill Arnold (CGY) finished a nice give-and-go play with fellow junior Kevin Hayes (CHI). The play happened as a result of a neutral zone turnover by Northeastern that was picked up by BC senior Steven Whitney, who fed Hayes going up the ice with Arnold.

Just a minute and 15 seconds later, sophomore Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) extended the Eagles’ lead to 2-0 on a terrific individual effort on a wraparound chance. Gaudreau did an excellent job of staying with the play despite having a Huskies defender draped all over him before being able to slip the puck under Rawlings’ pad for the score.

Roy would get Northeastern on the board at the 15:04 mark. Senior Vinny Saponari (WPG) took the puck from the sideboards, making a nice cross-ice feed to a streaking Roy. The Lac-Beauport, QC native flew down the ice, cutting in and beating the Boston College defense along the way before wristing a shot past Milner, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 2-1.

Roy’s goal gave the Huskies a huge lift and allowed momentum to shift in their favor, but it would be short-lived.

That’s because junior Patrick Brown would restore Boston College’s two-goal lead at the 18:37 mark. Brown deflected junior defenseman Isaac MacLeod’s (SJS) shot from the point that looked to have bounced off of Rawlings’ arm before trickling into the net.

The Eagles extended their lead to 4-1 at the 19:59 mark on a great play by Arnold. The Needham, MA native picked up the loose puck just to the left of Rawlings and cycled the puck before spotting and dishing off to senior Steven Whitney in the slot, who finished the play. The goal would eventually hold up as the game-winner.

While Northeastern may have been down by three goals to start the final period, they weren’t about to go quietly.

The Huskies got off to a quick start when Roy netted his second of the game just eleven seconds into the final frame to cut the Eagles’ lead to 4-2. Roy took a nice feed from senior Garrett Vermeersch, then beat Milner with a shot that went under the netminder’s arm for the score.

Northeastern continued to ride their wave of momentum early in the period and at the 3:56 mark junior Braden Pimm would cut Boston College’s lead to just one. Pimm deflected Saponari’s shot that found its way past Milner for the score.

As the period progressed the tide slowly began shifting back in Boston College’s favor. At the 14:37 mark, Gaudreau would post his second tally of the game, finishing a great play that was made possible by freshman defenseman Michael Matheson (FLA). After taking a feed from Whitney, Matheson put on a nice dipsy-doodle move through the Huskies defense before feeding it to Gaudreau, whose one-timer would make it 5-3 for the Eagles.

Freshman defenseman Mike Gunn’s holding the stick penalty at the 17:52 mark couldn’t have come at a worse time for Northeastern. Already down two goals and shorthanded, the Huskies opted to pull Rawlings to even things up five-on-five. But shortly thereafter at the 18:32 mark, senior Pat Mullane put the frosting on the cake and sealed the win for Boston College with an empty-netter.

The Beanpot championship was Boston College’s 18th overall and it marked the first time in school history that the senior class has won the tournament in each of their four years.

In the Beanpot consolation game earlier in the day, Harvard took down Boston University in convincing fashion by the score of 7-4. Senior Luke Grenier netted his first career hat trick to lead the Crimson to a third place finish. Fellow senior Marshall Everson chipped in two goals and senior defenseman Danny Biega (CAR) added a goal and an assist for Harvard. This year marked the second time in three years that Boston University finished fourth in the Beanpot Tournament, and coincidentally that loss also came against Harvard. The seven goals that the Terriers surrendered to the Crimson in the Beanpot Tournament were the most they've surrendered in a Beanpot match since 1962.

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter via @DJPowersHF