BOSTON — Boston College soared into the Beanpot championship game for the 30th time with a 6-0 victory over Harvard on Monday.
John Muse made 33 saves, delivering the Eagles’ first Beanpot shutout since 2002 and their ninth consecutive win over the Crimson in the tournament.
“We had a lot of balanced scoring tonight, which is crucial,” Boston College coach Jerry York said. “Your first line isn’t always going to be the one that scores. We are quick as a group of players, but you’re only as quick as the puck moves. One thing we really stress is puck movement, and I think we moved the puck really well.”
With three penalties in the first period, the Crimson fell behind 1-0 when the Eagles reaped the benefit of their second power play. Nearly five minutes into play, Chris Huxley was sent off the ice for an interference call. With 20 seconds to go on the power play, Brian Gibbons snuck around the back of the net, and fed the puck to Ben Smith set up near the right post, who tipped it in past Harvard netminder Kyle Richter.
Both teams started a man short at the beginning of the second period as a result of a dual face-masking penalty called on Louis Leblanc and Cam Atkinson that occurred after time expired in the first.
Eighteen seconds after the puck dropped for the second period, the Eagles went up 2-0 on the four-on-four. Matt Price notched his second goal of the season after he shot the puck from the top of the right circle past Richter with a little help from teammates Carl Sneep and Brian Dumoulin.
BC nearly scored another goal in the same minute when Joe Whitney shot, missed, and tripped over Richter. In an attempt to defend the goal, Chad Morin jumped in front of the net while the puck deflected off his backside into the net. The referees ruled that the puck went into the net after the whistle.
The Eagles didn’t have to wait too much longer for their third goal. Nearly halfway through he period, Pat Mullane raked in his fifth goal of the season as he shot a rocket in the Harvard net while Richter was down.
BC’s fourth strike came six minutes into the third period when Dumolin shot a feed from Mullane toward Chris Kreider, who tipped it in past Richter.
Penalties were the biggest demise for the Crimson, particularly in the third period. Nine of their 16 penalties came in the final 20 minutes of play. Grimshaw and Moriarity both picked up 10-minute game misconduct penalties.
“When you give them [BC] 16 power plays, I don’t like any team’s chances against those forwards,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “Their speed gave us some problems off the rush. They did a good job getting it out of the zone and they have the fastest forwards in the country.”
With eight minutes left to play, Alex Biega and Ryan Grimshaw received penalties for cross-checking and tripping, respectively. With a five-on-three advantage, Brian Gibbons made it a 5-0 game. The final nail in the Crimson coffin came a little less than a minute later when Sneep put it in the net for his seventh goal of the season.
“Boston College was clearly a better team tonight,” Donato said. “They beat us to loose pucks and used their speed to force us to take penalties. We never gave ourselves a chance to win. We were never able to get into what we were trying to do.”
“It was a great disappointment for our team on a national stage,” Biega said. “We will get better as time goes on. We still have nine games left in the season. I have full optimism that we will be that team.”
Muse made up for a 2009 Beanpot semifinal performance in which the Eagles suffered a 6-1 loss to Northeastern.
“Last year’s game was last year’s game,” Muse said. “I wasn’t looking for a shutout; I was looking for a win.”