Boston College rolls in Beanpot final
BOSTON -- Boston College coach Jerry York had seen all kinds of goals during his storied career. None of them were quite like Patrick Brown's game-winner that sent the Eagles to their school-record fifth straight Beanpot title Monday night.
Brown scored the tiebreaking goal with 5½ minutes left, tipping a shot while sitting on the ice to lift BC to a 4-1 win over Northeastern in the 62nd annual Beanpot.
"That's a skill he works at in practice and something he's very good at," said York, the NCAA's winningest coach with 957 victories. "But, in the heat of the moment, that's a special play to be able to reach out and tip the puck, and I'll remember that for a very, very long time."
The Eagles (22-4-3) extended their unbeaten streak to 15 games (14-0-1) on the same day they took over the No. 1 spot in the national rankings.
Brown added another goal in the final minute. Johnny Gaudreau, the leading scorer in the country, extended his nation-best point streak to 24 games with an empty-net goal and an assist. Tournament MVP Kevin Hayes also scored for BC.
"It's awesome. It's always nice to bring (the Beanpot) back to campus," Brown said.
John Stevens scored for No. 12 Northeastern (16-10-3), and Clay Witt made 37 saves.
The tournament, which dates to 1952, pits the Boston area's four Division I hockey programs against each other on the first two Mondays in February.
Boston College won its 19th Beanpot, second-most behind Boston University with 29.
Northeastern was seeking its fifth Beanpot title -- by far the fewest among the four schools -- and first since 1988. BC and BU have combined to win every one since 1994.
Boston College's five-year streak is the second-longest in Beanpot history to the run of six in a row by rival BU from 1995-2000.
This was the second straight year BC and Northeastern played for the championship. Boston College won 6-3 last season.
Brown, who was jostling in front of the net with Stevens, tipped defenseman Isaac MacLeod's shot from the point a split second after he fell to his backside, reaching his stick to his right and deflecting the puck with the blade. The puck changed direction and slid inside the right post.
"I thought we did a good job on their winning goal, tying up Brown down at the net," Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. "He was falling. We had his stick and somehow he scored the winning goal."
Brown couldn't hold back a smile when asked if he'd ever scored one like the tiebreaker.
"Probably not as big as that," he said. "Tips, but nothing like that."
Witt seemed surprised Brown was able to get his stick on the shot.
"(Stevens) actually got him to the ground and the guy made a good tip," he said.
With Northeastern trailing 1-0 late in the second period, Kevin Roy intercepted a pass from defenseman Scott Savage near the right circle and broke in alone. BC goalie Thatcher Demko made a pad save, but Stevens backhanded the rebound past his glove inside the left post at 18:36.
Demko made 29 saves.
Boston College grabbed a 1-0 lead 8:40 into the first period when Hayes beat Witt with a wrister between the pads from the slot. Gaudreau broke in down the right wing and centered a pass that linemate Bill Arnold tipped back to Hayes. Gaudreau has 25 goals and 33 assists.
Witt made a couple of stellar stops in the opening period, dropping for a pad save on Hayes' clean breakaway late in the period. He also waved his stick across the crease, knocking Gaudreau's shot just wide at the last second before it appeared to be heading inside the left post.
The Huskies appeared to gain a spark from Witt's strong play, registering 11 of the final 14 shots on goal in the first.
Harvard (7-12-3) won the third-place game 6-2 over Boston University (8-16-3).