BOSTON — Boston College’s first goal, from freshman Steven Whitney, with assists by Cam Atkinson and Brian Gibbons, extended a hot streak by the two assist-men. In the seven games before tonight, Gibbons has a total of 14 points, and Atkinson 13.
Steven’s older brother Joe, who is linemates with Atkinson and Gibbons, isn’t doing so badly, either, as he has 11 points in the last seven games.
Ten different Eagles ended up on the scoresheet.
“Anytime you win, it’s not four, five players that do well,” said Boston College coach Jerry York, who was very pleased with the balanced scoring. “You have to have a whole team of players playing well. You can’t win a championship with just the Gibbons line playing well.”
Even Strength While A Man Down
The short-handed goal scored by BU’s David Warsofsky was his fourth goal on the penalty kill this season, and second in as many games. He has twice as many short-handed goals (4) a power-play goals (2) this year. Both power-play goals came against BC.
“He’s just a great skater, he has great skill,” said Jack Parker, his coach. “This one, he got to his backhand and flipped it in. The last one he stole a pass. He’s got a lot of different skills. He’s one of the most gifted players in all of college hockey, not just among defensemen.”
The Puck Stops Here
This year’s Beanpot MVP and Eberly Award winner was BC netminder John Muse. The Eberly Award is given each year to the goalie that has the highest save percentage in the two Beanpot games.
Muse stopped 64 of 67 shots, good for a 0.955 save percentage, which narrowly beat out Northeastern’s Chris Rawlings’ 0.953 save percentage.
“He wants to win, he wants to get those games, he wants to play those minutes,” said BC captain Matt Price. “I thought he did really well. Especially coming off that surgery, he worked really hard last summer and put in those extra hours, working on all those things that he needed to do to get back to that shape he wants to be in.”
The award was especially sweet for Muse, who won a national championship as a freshman two years ago, but has been recovering from hip surgery performed in the offseason. Muse struggled to start the season, but has been consistently getting better as the season progresses.
“Muse tells me all the time, ‘I feel great. I feel flexible,’” said York. “So hopefully we’re past the worst of it.”
This year, the Travis Roy Foundation and the Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation are matching all donations made to Matt Brown, up to $20,000, given between February 6th and February 14, 2010.
Brown, a high school hockey player from Norwood, Mass., received a serious neck injury after crashing into the boards earlier this year. A similar injury led to the paralyzation of BU’s Travis Roy back in 1995.
To donate, visit the Beanpot Charity Challenge website, www.beanpotchallenge.org.
Let’s Put On A Show
Tonight’s Beanpot Championship was the 250th meeting in the storied rivalry between BC and BU. Despite losing tonight, BU leads the all-time series 125-108-17. The TD Garden sellout crowd of 17,565 got to see a battle between the last two National Champions, and the season series already has seen each opponent win in the other’s rink, and a game for the ages played at Fenway Park.
“We certainly put on a show for the Garden faithful,” said Parker.
“Just this season, we’ve seen one-goal games, short-handed goals, overtime games, outdoor hockey,” agreed York. “I bet these two teams run into each other somewhere down the line.”
The season series is over between the two, but they could meet in the Hockey East playoffs, or in the NCAA Tournament.
What Can Brown Do For You?
The National Anthem was sung by Ayla Brown, a senior from Boston College. Brown, who plays on the Eagles basketball team, was a standout on American Idol in 2006, and is the daughter of Scott Brown (no relation to the USCHO.com editor), who was elected Massachusetts State Senator in a special election in January.
In the Beanpot consolation game, Northeastern defeated Harvard by a 4-1 score, the last goal coming via an empty net.
Due to Harvard’s league scheduling, including this game, the Crimson had to play three hockey games in four nights, with a Friday game against Brown, Saturday against No. 8 Yale, and then against Northeastern on Monday night.
The extended action was evident on the ice in the latter stages of the early Beanpot game.
“Half of it was from Northeastern running us around,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato. “The other half is that we just ran out of gas in the third period.”
Hockey East, the league of Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern, always arranges the league schedule so that the three schools only have one weekend game, on Friday night, before each Beanpot Monday.
In the past, however, Harvard has had trouble arranging a similar schedule in the ECAC. This year, Harvard had just one Friday game before the first round of the Beanpot, but two weekend games prior to the second round.