CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Led by three goals and an assist from tournament MVP Meghan Fardelmann, and a sparkling 26 save performance by the Bertagna goaltending trophy-winner Molly Schaus, Boston College won its second consective Women’s Beanpot title with a 6-1 victory over Commonwealth Avenue rival Boston University.
“I give my kids a lot of credit for what they did tonight,” said BC coach Tom Mutch. “What they did against Harvard last week, and then to defend the Beanpot in our own building? It takes a lot to get here, and it takes a lot to win it.”
It was the second hat trick of the season for Fardelmann and her fourth goal of this year’s Beanpot, and she currently stands at second on the team in goals scored. Schaus finished the tournament with a .961 save percentage, between the win here and the heroic 73-save effort over Harvard in triple overtime in last week’s semifinals. Mutch stressed the importance Schaus played in the tournament.
“To win a Beanpot, you have to have a goaltender,” he said. “Knowing she’s back there makes you feel pretty good. They had a few chances, and she was there to bail us out.
“There’s no doubt that she’s the reason we’re here.”
The BU vs. BC championship game was an oddity for this tournament — Harvard and Northeastern, the two participants in today’s consolation game, are the historical powers in the women’s Beanpot, and they account for 25 of the 29 previous titles.
These two programs would like to think that their Beanpot final appearances will come more regularly from now on. BC currently ranks at No. 9 in the country, and BU, as a second year program, has already clinched a .500 record for the first time as a varsity program.
“It just goes to show that there are four really good teams playing in this tournament,” said Mutch. “We’re not going anywhere. And it is good to see [BU coach] Brian Durocher’s team making the title game in his second year.”
Boston College scored first early in the first period, when Fardelmann backhanded her own rebound past Boston University goaltender Melissa Haber.
Despite the one goal lead for the Eagles, the period was an evenly played one, with a slight edge in shots, 10-7, favoring BC.
The second period saw an offensive attack for Boston College.
BC extended it’s lead to two with a goal from freshman Kelli Stack, her 14th goal of the season. Stack, unattended in front of the BU net, raced across the crease and ripped a shot into the air that clanged off the crossbar and into the net.
As the period wound down, the BU skaters tired, and Fardelmann took advantage.
First was a power-play goal that Fardelmann tipped on a shot from Eagle defenseman Maggie Taverna. Haber got a piece of it, but the puck still managed to find the corner of the net.
“That was an unfortunate goal,” said Durocher. “A clearing attempt on the power play was kept in by their defenseman [Taverna], and the shot bounced off a shinpad and a stick and into the net.”
In the period’s final minute of play, Fardelmann got her second goal of the game on a breakaway. She was kept to the outside by a BU defender, but managed to slip a small-angle shot that squeezed between Haber and the goalpost.
“If you look at Meghan’s goals, you’ll see that they tend to be inside, outside, and around defensemen,” said Mutch.
The hat trick gave Fardelmann 20 goals for this season and four for the tournament.
“Once we get a couple of goals early, I think we can get to the defensemen and goalies,” said Fardelmann. “Then we get a lot of goals. We’ve managed to do that several times this year.”
The two goals sandwiched a power play for Boston University that featured several shots and good looks at the net, but stellar play by Schaus frustrated the Terriers.
In the third period, Boston College got a fifth goal, a sprawling shot by Deb Spillane as she was being dragged to the ice, that all agreed iced the game.
“I wasn’t comfortable until we got that fifth goal,” said Fardelmann. “We were playing a team like BU, that we knew could come back in the game.”
The mood on the BU bench was similar.
“At 4-0, I thought we still had a chance,” said Cara Hendry, senior captain of the Terriers. “But that fifth goal sealed it.”
Boston University finally solved Schaus toward the end of the game as Nicki Wiart lit the lamp. But it was too little, too late at that point.
BC’s Cristin Stuart added a goal in the final minute of play to account for the 6-1 final score.
Boston University was without the services of sophomore Erin Seman, who scored the game-winning goal in the Beanpot semifinal against Northeastern, and who is second on the team in scoring. Seman was a healthy scratch.
“There are team standards that everyone is accountable for,” said Durocher. “I felt that we needed to make a statement.
“I don’t think it had any effect on our offense. I have every faith in my kids to be able to get the job done when it counts. But tonight BC was very good, especially when they had offensive chances.”
Hendry played her last Beanpot game, but despite the loss, was excited about the experience.
“As a senior, this was something we strove for,” she said, after the game. “We would have liked a different ending, but to have a BU vs BC final in the Beanpot — what more could you ask for?”
With this win, BC earned it’s 20th win of the season, which equals last year’s win total. The Eagles still have three games remaining in the regular season, beginning with a home-and home series with Providence this weekend. Boston University travels to Orono to play Maine for two games.