By: Jake Resier
It’s already tough enough to beat No, 7 Boston College twice during the regular season. It’s certainly another to do it a third time, and even more to do it on one of the biggest stages in regular season play. No. 3 Boston University did just that.
On Monday night, the two schools faced off for the third time this season, this iteration of the Comm Ave Rivalry traveling across the city to TD Garden in the second game of the first Beanpot Monday. With two wins in hand already against the Eagles this season, the Terriers, in part due to a lackluster BC first period, got out to an early lead and wouldn’t let it go the rest of the game, taking home a 3-1 victory.
Just under five minutes into the game, Patrick Harper came streaking up the wing, skating past Eagles net-minder Joseph Woll, and wrapping the puck around the net. Woll went down, not controlling the puck, and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson capitalized quickly on the rebound, netting his 11th goal of the season and giving the Terriers a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles had trouble generating offense early in the game and never really established an offensive zone presence. Casey Fitzgerald got the first Boston College shot on net, only a dump in from center ice, with 1:50 left to play in the period. After one, Boston University held a decisive 12-2 shots on net advantage.
The firepower came from the Eagles to start the second period, but the Terriers nabbed the next score. On the power play, a Chris Calnan roughing call, Bobo Carpenter and Dante Fabbro drew BC penalty killers to one wall, then slid the puck over to Chad Krys. With a clear lane to shoot in, he rifled a wrister past Woll to grow the BU lead to two goals.
BC struck back when Matthew Gaudreau, falling backwards at the net, flipped a pass to Austin Cangelosi, who had an easy slam dunk past Terriers goaltender Jake Oettinger.
The Eagles gained confidence, as Forsbacka-Karlsson’s holding penalty at the midway point of the period gave BC a chance to tie the game. However, the Terriers swung the pendulum that is momentum back their way with a shorthanded goal by Clayton Keller.
“Charlie [McAvoy] made a great play,” said BU Head Coach David Quinn. “They dumped it in, probably a little harder than they wanted to, Charlie was able to get it, slither through the neutral zone, he makes a great pass to Clayon. It’s funny, Clayton is really good on breakaways when he’s got pressure but when he’s got some time, he’s not as productive. I felt good because I knew he had that guy chasing him.”
Keller approaches a Terrier legend, Jay Pandolfo, in two separate categories. The shorthanded tally was Keller’s fourth of the season, one behind Pandolfo’s franchise leading five man down markers. Keller also tied Pandolfo’s record of 15 consecutive games with a point, now longer than Jack Eichel’s longest streak at BU. For Keller, his first taste of the Beanpot was certainly memorable.
“It was pretty special, especially playing Boston College,” said Keller. With that atmosphere, it was similar to the World Juniors. It was great to get the win tonight, and now we’re focused on Friday and then, the next game on Monday and I think we’re just going do the right things and prepare for that game.”
It was thought that Ryan Cloonan had scored his first goal of the season in the third frame as well, but it was waived off because Woll had possession of the puck, and Cloonan pushed Woll, resulting in the puck rolling over the goal line.
“That could be deflating, especially when I still don’t understand why it was called off,” Quinn said. “You just have to keep playing. I think our guys were surprised but I thought we handled it well, you can’t let it get you down, you have to keep playing. I thought we did a good job of that.”
For the whole game, both teams played tough, physical hockey, but in the end, it came down smart play in the third by the Terriers to hold onto a win.
“I thought the third period was a little bit of give and take, and we played smart hockey in the third. Obviously, we would have wished our power play would have been able to put the game away, make it 4-1,” Quinn said. “Just got some great goaltending, I thought our defense did a good job getting the puck out of our own end, any time you can beat Boston College, you’ve played pretty well. Just a good night for us overall.”
There’s one more game before the Beanpot championship game next Monday, a matchup at Tsongas Arena at 7:15p.m. on Friday against the University of Massachusetts Lowell Riverhawks. No. 4 Harvard University beat Northeastern in the first semifinal game, setting up a BU-Harvard championship game next Monday evening.