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College hockey roundup: Lowell, Northeastern, Providence, Harvard, Dartmouth complete sweeps 03.12.16 at 10:27 pm ET
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LOWELL — What was supposed to be the marquee series of the Hockey East tournament came to a rather anticlimactic end thanks to a dominant performance from UMass Lowell. The fourth-seeded River Hawks never gave fifth-seeded Boston University a chance to force a Game 3, as they took control of Saturday’s game right from the get-go, scored three times in the first 31 minutes and went on to win 5-0 to complete the series sweep and advance to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden on Friday.

Kevin Boyle stopped all 24 shots he faced to pick up his seventh shutout of the season, breaking Connor Hellebuyck’s program record for most shutouts in a season. That’s a remarkable accomplishment in and of itself for the senior, but it’s made even more remarkable by the fact that Boyle was cut from UMass three years ago after his sophomore season before transferring to Lowell and totally reviving his career under head coach Norm Bazin and assistant coach Cam Ellsworth, who works with the River Hawks’ goalies.

“I think it’s loud and clear when a kid ends up first in Hockey East in goals against and save percentage,” said Lowell coach Norm Bazin. “I think he’s a first-team all-leaguer, and he’s a Hobey Baker candidate. He’s a poised kid. He’s continued to develop over his two years here. We’ll be sorry to see him leave.

“I think Kevin’s been our difference-maker this year. When you’re first star now 10 times, you break the single season record for shutouts, what else can you say? He lets his play do the talking. We’re extremely proud of Kevin. The goalie coach, Cam Ellsworth, has done an outstanding job with him.”

Jake Kamrass opened the scoring 3:07 in when he took a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that somehow beat Sean Maguire glove-side. Lowell continued to control play and extended its lead to 2-0 6:26 into the second when Joe Gambardella snuck a shot under Maguire’s pads from the right side, leading to Maguire getting pulled.

C.J. Smith got behind the BU defense and made it 3-0 four minutes later, and then scored again early in the third. Smith finished the series with two goals and three assists. John Edwardh closed out the scoring with 11:30 remaining on a backhand finish after making a nice move around Charlie McAvoy.

BU had controlled 5-on-5 play for much of Friday’s Game 1, a 3-2 Lowell win, but that wasn’t the case Saturday. They couldn’t generate much of anything in terms of great offensive chances, struggled to execute even some easy breakouts and just seemed pretty flat in general.

The River Hawks will be looking to reach the Hockey East championship game for the fourth year in a row. They won the tournament in 2013 and 2014 and lost to BU in the final last year. The Terriers, meanwhile, will have a week off to regroup before the NCAA tournament, which they’re more than a 99 percent lock to make.

“I’d like to congratulate Lowell on a great series,” said BU coach David Quinn. “They’re a real good team. They certainly know how to play playoff hockey. And they’re a better hockey team than we are right now.”

Elsewhere in Hockey East…

-After falling behind 2-0, Vermont scored four straight to stun top-seeded Boston College with a 4-2 win and force a decisive Game 3 Sunday at 4 p.m. at Conte Forum. Liam Coughlin had a goal and two assists, Brian Bowen and Rob Hamilton each had two points, and Packy Munson stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced. BC was playing without top defenseman Ian McCoshen and Vermont was missing forward Brady Shaw, both due to one-game suspensions. The Catamounts will be looking for a repeat of last year’s quarterfinals, when they pulled off a two-games-to-one upset at BC.

-Northeastern continued to role, beating Notre Dame 6-4 in South Bend to complete a series sweep and improve to 18-1-2 over their last 21 games. The Huskies turned a 1-1 game into a 4-1 lead with goals from Kevin Roy, Garret Cockerill and Dylan Sikura just 3:20 apart early in the second. Northeastern eventually built up a 6-2 lead before two late Notre Dame goals made the final score line look closer than the game was. Roy had two goals and two assists on the night and now has 10 goals and seven assists in his last 11 games. The Huskies last reached the Hockey East semifinals in 2011 and haven’t won the tournament since 1988. Notre Dame is pretty much locked into an NCAA tournament spot despite the sweep.

-Providence beat Merrimack 2-0 to complete the series sweep and advance to the Garden for the fourth time in the last five years. The game was scoreless through 50 minutes, but Garrett Gamez broke the deadlock with 9:21 remaining and Kevin Rooney added an empty-netter in the final minute. Nick Ellis made 20 saves in picking up his fourth shutout of the season.

And in the ECAC…

-Harvard smoked Rensselaer, 8-2, to complete a series sweep and advance to the ECAC semifinals in Lake Placid on Friday. The game was tied 2-2 after one, but then the Crimson scored twice in the second and four more times in the third. Jimmy Vesey had two goals and an assist and Sean Malone had a goal and two assists to lead the way. Harvard is looking to defend its ECAC tournament title.

-Charles Grant stopped 46 of the 47 shots he faced to lead seventh-seeded Dartmouth to a 2-1 win and an upset sweep over second-seeded Yale. After Yale opened the scoring, Tim Shoup and Kevin Kilistoff scored five minutes apart late in the first to give the Big Green a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, despite getting outshot 47-15 in the game. This is Dartmouth’s first trip to the ECAC semifinals since 2011.

College hockey roundup: Special teams lift Lowell to Game 1 win over BU 03.11.16 at 11:13 pm ET
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LOWELL — Boston University dominated 5-on-5 play Friday night, but UMass Lowell dominated special teams, and that’s what wound up deciding Game 1 of their Hockey East quarterfinal series. The River Hawks scored a pair of power-play goals, the second of which proved to be the game-winner, while shutting down BU’s two power plays en route to a 3-2 victory.

Lowell entered Friday’s game just 4-for-43 on the power play over its last 12 conference games, but converted on its second man advantage of the night and then again on its fourth and final one. That last power play, with under six minutes to go in the game, presented the River Hawks with a chance to add an insurance marker, as Michael Louria had given them a 2-1 lead three minutes earlier.

And they did just that. C.J. Smith, who had three assists on the night, made a great cross-slot pass to Adam Chapie in the left circle for a one-time goal that upped Lowell’s lead to 3-1 with 4:38 to go. BU made things interesting with a Matt Grzelcyk goal just 23 seconds later, but the River Hawks held on for the final few minutes. They’ll have a chance to close out the series Saturday night at the Tsongas Center.

“As is usually the case in playoff games, special teams was a huge factor in who wins and who loses,” said BU coach David Quinn. “At the end of the day, that was the difference. Our penalty kill let us down. It’s going to have to get better [Saturday night] if we’re going to have a chance to extend this series.”

The Terriers opened the scoring 6:22 into the second when Bruins second-round pick Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson cut to the front from the left circle and beat Kevin Boyle five-hole for his 10th goal of the season. It was Forsbacka Karlsson’s third goal in the last two games after going 12 games without a goal prior to that.

The River Hawks answered 2:36 later on the power play when Smith made a nice pass to find Joe Gambardella in front. Gambardella made a quick move to his backhand and slid the puck past Sean Maguire for his seventh goal of the season.

“You always like results. The puck movement for a couple of those power plays was pretty strong,” said Lowell coach Norm Bazin. “When you get moving, obviously some lanes open up. Fortunately for us, we were able to execute a couple times.”

The best save of the game came from Lowell’s Boyle 4:57 into the third. He stopped a Bobo Carpenter wraparound, but the puck popped right to Matt Lane in the slot. Lane fired from point blank range, but Boyle made a huge glove save to keep the game tied 1-1. Boyle finished the game with 33 saves, including 17 in the third period alone.

The Terriers were the better team in the first period, opening up a 10-2 edge in shots at one point. Their best chance came with a little under seven minutes left in the frame. Boyle denied a Matt Lane shot from right in front, then turned away Charlie McAvoy’s rebound bid as well.

Elsewhere in Hockey East…

-Adam Gilmour and Austin Cangelosi each had a goal and two assists and Thatcher Demko stopped all 36 shots he faced as Boston College beat Vermont 3-0 to take a 1-0 series lead. Gilmour opened the scoring 4:14 into the first, Cangelosi scored later in the first, and Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald added his 21st goal of the season on a second-period power play. The shutout was Demko’s 10th of the season, three more than any other goalie.

-Northeastern beat Notre Dame 3-1 to take Game 1 and improve to 17-1-2 since Dec. 19. Goals from Lincoln Griffin and John Stevens gave the Huskies an early 2-0 lead, and Tanner Pond tacked on a late empty-netter. With the win, Northeastern jumped up to 15th in the Pairwise rankings (as of 11 p.m.), which are used to determine the 16-team NCAA tournament field.

-Erik Foley scored the go-ahead goal with 6:50 remaining and Trevor Mingoia added an empty-netter as Providence beat Merrimack 3-1 in Game 1. Nick Saracino also scored for the Friars, while Mark Jankowski had two assists.

And in the ECAC…

-Harvard beat Rensselaer 5-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series. Sean Malone (2 goals, 1 assist), Luke Esposito (3 assists), Seb Lloyd (2 goals), Colin Blackwell (goal, assist) and Bruins prospect Ryan Donato (2 assists) all had multi-point games. The Crimson outshot the Engineers 43-27 in the game.

-Connor Yau scored 17:14 into overtime to lift Dartmouth to a 4-3 Game 1 win over Yale, who is the No. 2 seed in the tournament and a top-10 team in the country. Nick Bligh scored twice for the Big Green and Charles Grant made 48 saves. Dartmouth led 1-0 entering the third, but the teams traded goals throughout the period, culminating with Yale’s John Hayden scoring with 2:46 left in regulation to force overtime.

BC women’s hockey beats BU to win Hockey East title, improve to 38-0-0 03.06.16 at 4:29 pm ET
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The Boston College women’s hockey team will enter the NCAA tournament with a perfect record. The Eagles beat Boston University 5-0 Sunday to win their second Hockey East tournament title and improve to 38-0-0 on the season.

The Eagles struck twice in the game’s first six minutes with goals from Haley Skarupa and Alex Carpenter and outshot BU 17-2 in the first period. The game was never really in doubt from there. Carpenter scored again 16 seconds into the second, and Kenzie Kent and Kristyn Capizzano added goals early in the third to cap the scoring.

Skarupa added three assists to go along with her goal, while Carpenter also had an assist in addition to the two goals. Carpenter now has 82 points (41 goals, 41 assists) on the season, while Skarupa has 73 (32 goals, 41 assists). They rank second and third nationally in points, behind only Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne (49-34-83 in 36 games).

The Eagles will be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, which begins next weekend. They’ll go in as the top-scoring team in the country, averaging more than five goals per game. They’ve scored three goals or more in all but two games this season. They’ve also allowed two or fewer in all but six.

If BC can finish off the perfect season, it would become the second women’s hockey team ever to do so, joining the 2012-13 Minnesota team.

The loss ends BU’s season and its reign of Hockey East tournament dominance, as the Terriers had won four straight conference tournaments before this year.

UMass fires hockey coach John Micheletto 03.06.16 at 10:16 am ET
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UMass has fired hockey coach John Micheletto, the school announced Sunday morning.

UMass’ season ended Saturday night with a 5-4 loss at Boston University, completing a sweep in the opening round of the Hockey East tournament. UMass lost 16 straight conference games to close out the season and finished the year with an 8-24-4 record overall. It went 2-21-0 from Thanksgiving on.

Micheletto was hired in the summer of 2012 after a chaotic coaching search that featured multiple candidates reportedly turning down the job. Micheletto was never able to get the program going in the right direction, as the Minutemen finished with a winning percentage under .400 in all four of his season. They finished last in Hockey East each of the last two seasons and second-to-last the two years before that.

“On behalf of UMass Athletics, we thank John for his four years in Amherst,” said UMass athletics director Ryan Bamford. “John worked hard to improve our hockey program and we wish him well with his future endeavors.”

Bamford, who became UMass’ AD last spring, said a national coaching search will begin immediately.

“Our expectation is to be a top contender every year in Hockey East, the premiere collegiate hockey conference,” Bamford added. “We will work aggressively to recruit a head coach to our hockey program that can realize those expectations.”

Providence wins share of first Hockey East regular-season title; Tournament field set 02.27.16 at 10:37 pm ET
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Providence needed a win and a Boston College loss in order to win a share of its first-ever Hockey East regular-season title. The Friars took care of business against UMass, cruising to a 6-0 win, and they got the help they needed from UMass-Lowell, who beat BC 3-1. The Eagles will still be the No. 1 seed in the Hockey East tournament, though, as they win the head-to-head tiebreaker over Providence.

Trevor Mingoia had two goals and three assists in the Friars’ blowout win, while Mark Jankowski had two goals and two assists. The win was the Friars’ eighth straight, and they haven’t allowed more than two goals in any of those games. The Minutemen, meanwhile, end the regular season with a 2-19-0 record over their final 21 games, including 14 straight losses in conference play.

Lowell secured the fourth and final first-round bye with its win over BC combined with Boston University’s 1-0 loss to Notre Dame. Lowell’s Tyler Mueller broke a 1-1 tie early in the third with a shorthanded snipe over Thatcher Demko’s glove. John Edwardh added an insurance marker to seal the win. The loss was BC’s first since Dec. 29, ending a 15-game unbeaten streak.

The Terriers put up 39 shots on goal at Notre Dame, but couldn’t get the goal — and point — they needed to claim the final first-round bye. They had several chances late, but Cal Petersen (who has a .945 save percentage since Jan. 1) robbed Danny O’Regan on a point-blank chance, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson had a redirect that went just wide, and Petersen gloved a Charlie McAvoy shot off a last-second faceoff win. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Fighting Irish.

Further down in the standings, Merrimack beat Vermont 2-0 to complete a weekend sweep and clinch home ice in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs. Freshman Drew Vogler made 26 saves to pick up his first career shutout.

UConn also claimed a home ice spot, beating New Hampshire 5-4 in overtime to complete a sweep of its own. The Huskies overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit, with Joey Ferriss scoring twice and Corey Ronan netting the game-winner 3:08 into overtime.

The Hockey East tournament begins next weekend with best-of-3 first-round series. Here are the seeds and matchups:

Byes: 1. Boston College, 2. Providence, 3. Notre Dame, 4. UMass-Lowell

12. UMass at 5. Boston University
11. Maine at 6. Northeastern
10. New Hampshire at 7. Merrimack
9. Vermont at 8. UConn

BC clinches top seed in Hockey East, share of regular-season title with win over Lowell 02.26.16 at 10:49 pm ET
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There will be plenty up for grabs on the final night of the regular season Saturday, but one thing is now set: Boston College will be the No. 1 seed in the Hockey East tournament.

The Eagles beat UMass-Lowell 3-1 at Conte Forum Friday night to clinch the top seed and at least a share of the regular-season title. Providence, who beat UMass 4-1 on Friday, could still tie BC in points and claim a share of the regular-season title with a win Saturday and a BC loss, but the Eagles hold the head-to-head tiebreaker that would give them the top seed. BC can win the title outright with a win or tie at Lowell.

The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 9:28 of the game with goals from Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald and senior captain Teddy Doherty, who was honored along with his classmates during a Senior Night ceremony before the game.

Fitzgerald also scored an empty-netter late in the third and now has a team-high 20 goals and 40 points on the season. He had to do without usual linemate Colin White — who has 39 points on the season — on Friday, as White missed the game with a shoulder injury. BC coach Jerry York said after the game that White will probably miss Saturday’s game as well, but that he hopes to have him back for the playoffs.

Lowell’s Adam Chapie cut BC’s lead to 2-1 with 6:19 left in the first. Then the Eagles seemed intent on giving the River Hawks every opportunity to tie the game, as they gave Lowell seven power plays over the remainder of the game.

Penalties have been an issue for the Eagles pretty much all season (they average the most penalty minutes per game in Hockey East), but it hasn’t hurt them too much thanks to their league-best penalty kill, and that trend continued Friday night. They killed off all seven Lowell power plays and were at their best on back-to-back kills early in the third period.

Perhaps because of his team’s struggles on the man advantage (and this isn’t anything new — the River Hawks are now 4-for-40 on the power play in their last 10 conference games), Lowell coach Norm Bazin decided to pull his goalie to make it 6-on-4 when the River Hawks got their seventh power play with 3:31 left in the game. The risk in doing that, of course, is that it gives the penalty killers a free shot at the open net without having to worry about icing. And that’s exactly how Fitzgerald wound up scoring the goal that sealed BC’s win.

“You have to go with your gut sometimes,” Bazin said when asked about the decision to pull the goalie. “Getting a 6-on-4 is better than 5-on-4. We weren’t generating much 5-on-4. You try something. … I was hoping we could generate more with a two-man advantage.”

For his part, York didn’t sound too concerned about his team taking so many penalties, as he took a lighthearted approach when asked about it.

“We like to practice our PK,” York said. “It gives us a chance to practice PKs and clears and blocking some shots and goalies making saves. It is what it is. We have a penalty, we just have to kill it.”

With the loss, the River Hawks now trail Boston University (who beat Notre Dame 3-2 on Friday) by two points for the fourth and final first-round bye. They can still get that bye with a win over BC on Saturday coupled with a BU loss to Notre Dame, as Lowell wins the tiebreaker over BU, but any other outcome would result in the River Hawks having to play in the opening round and then, should they win that series, go on the road for the quarterfinals.

Providence is locked into the No. 2 seed and Notre Dame clinched a first-round bye thanks to Lowell’s loss. Northeastern is locked into the No. 6 seed, while Merrimack, Vermont, New Hampshire and UConn continue to battle for the final two home-ice spots for the first round. Maine is locked into the 11-seed and will head to Northeastern in the first round, while UMass is locked into the 12-seed and will head to either Lowell or BU in the first round.

Dylan Zink hat trick leads Lowell to big win over BU to force weekend split 02.13.16 at 10:22 pm ET
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LOWELL — Boston University entered Saturday having allowed just 10 goals over its last eight games. That stretch of strong defense and goaltending did not continue Saturday night at the Tsongas Center, as UMass-Lowell smoked the Terriers, 6-3, to earn a weekend split as both teams continue to battle for home ice and a first-round bye in the Hockey East playoffs.

Friday night’€™s series opener at BU’€™s Agganis Arena played out just about how this series was expected to — good defense, low-scoring, not a ton of great chances. BU wound up winning that game, 2-1, in overtime.

Saturday was nothing like that. The River Hawks consistently forced BU into mistakes, and the Terriers helped the cause with plenty of sloppy defense. Dylan Zink scored Lowell’€™s first three goals to record the first hat trick by a Lowell defenseman in 20 years, and Adam Chapie — who missed Friday’s game due to suspension — scored two goals in nine seconds midway through the second to blow the game open.

Zink’€™s first and third goals both came on plays where he walked in virtually uncovered from the left point and took a pass from down low before scoring. His second came on an offensive-zone faceoff win after no one from BU got out to defend him. Zink now has nine goals on the season, tying for second among Hockey East defensemen. He said after the game that he couldn’€™t even remember the last time he had a hat trick.

“I don’€™t think since like squirts or something,” Zink said. “€œIt’€™s definitely something you’€™ll remember. I have to give a lot of credit on those first two goals to net-front presence. The goalie couldn’€™t even see it.”

BU’€™s defensive struggles continued with Chapie’€™s two goals. The first came after a miscommunication between BU goalie Connor LaCouvee and his defensemen that led to a turnover and an easy finish for Chapie at the left post. Then Lowell won the ensuing faceoff and started a rush up ice, and Chapie easily got behind the BU defense and finished off a nice passing play.

“€œIt just seemed like every mistake we made ended up in our net,”€ said BU coach David Quinn. “We give up a faceoff goal, completely blown coverage, as simple a coverage as you can have in hockey. Third goal’€™s a horrible goalie-D exchange. Fourth goal’€™s a bad turnover. Fifth goal we blow coverage on a backcheck. Looked like we got rattled after they made it four. We just completely abandoned our responsibilities.”

With Saturday’€™s win, the River Hawks maintain their edge over BU for fourth place in Hockey East (and the first-round bye that comes with it). They now have 26 points to BU’€™s 23, although the Terriers have two games in hand. The win was also big for the Pairwise rankings used to determine the 16-team NCAA tournament field, as Lowell — currently 13th — could’€™ve dropped closer toward the bubble with a loss. BU slipped two spots to 10th as 10:15 p.m.

Quinn said he wasn’€™t too worried about his team after Saturday’€™s loss, noting how well BU had been playing defensively over the last few weeks.

“We hadn’€™t given up a lot of goals lately,”€ Quinn said. “We did a good job last night. If this happens again, then I’€™ll be concerned. We’€™ve done a pretty good job of moving past performances like this.”

Lowell, meanwhile, now has two out-of-conference games against a pair of bottom-feeders in American International and UMass before closing out the regular season with a big series against Boston College. Coach Norm Bazin said his team has plenty to work on before that showdown with the Eagles.

“We want to keep improving,” Bazin said. “We have lots of areas we can improve upon, and we hope to do just that.”

BC tops BU in overtime thriller to win Beanpot 02.08.16 at 10:55 pm ET
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BC won its sixth Beanpot in the last seven years. (WEEI.com)

BC won its sixth Beanpot in the last seven years. (WEEI.com)

The Beanpot may be lacking variety — it’€™s been 23 years since someone other than Boston College or Boston University won — but it’€™s certainly not lacking excitement. For the eighth time in the last 13 years, the Beanpot championship game was decided in overtime. And this one was a classic, as BC took down BU in a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory.

The third-ranked Eagles and seventh-ranked Terriers combined for 67 shots on goal in regulation, but BU’€™s Sean Maguire and BC’€™s Thatcher Demko made one great save after another to keep the game goalless. Maguire made 38 saves in regulation (and 41 in the game), including 23 in the first period alone, while Demko made 30 in the game and twice stayed in after getting banged up.

The game-winning goal came 1:57 into overtime when Alex Tuch cut to the middle on the rush and fired a shot across the grain and through a screen that finally beat Maguire.

Each team had a golden chance to score midway through the third. Right around the 10-minute mark, Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald appeared to have a breakaway for BC, but fellow Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk caught him from behind and made a great play to knock Fitzgerald off the puck without taking a penalty.

Seconds later, BU had a chance at the other end. Jordan Greenway got a step on defenseman Michael Kim and shielded him off enough to get away a shot, but Demko made a great shoulder save. Greenway went down as he took the shot and wound up crashing hard into Demko. Demko was slow to get up, but stayed in the game.

If you just looked at the scoreboard at the end of the first period and saw 0-0, you might conclude that not much happened. And you’€™d be very wrong. For starters, the TD Garden lights went out at the 11:07 mark and the game was delayed 28 minutes before they came back on.

Beyond that, there were lots of quality scoring chances, most of them by BC. The Eagles dominated much of the first period, especially pre-blackout, but Maguire made one great save after another. BC put 23 shots on goal in the first period and 11 of them were from the home plate area.

Maguire made two big saves during a dangerous early-game sequence, first on an Austin Cangelosi rebound bid from right in front and then a few seconds later on a Miles Wood chance from the slot. His biggest save came with 1:50 left in the period when he stoned Wood on a breakaway.

The Terriers put 12 shots on goal in the first period, which only looks like a small number because of BC’€™s 23. Similar to the back-to-back chances by Fitzgerald and Greenway in the third period, Demko’€™s two biggest saves in the first came on BU’€™s counter-rushes after Maguire’€™s biggest saves.

After those back-to-back saves early in the game, BU broke in 2-on-1 the other way, but Demko made a great sprawling save on Danny O’€™Regan. And after Wood’€™s breakaway, Demko made a big save on a hard Charlie McAvoy shot, one that caught Demko up high and temporarily stunned him.

The second period wasn’€™t nearly as exciting. The most notable development was probably BC’€™s struggles on the power play. The Eagles got a pair of man advantages in the first half of the period, but did absolutely nothing with them. BU’€™s penalty kill certainly deserves credit, but the Eagles were sloppy even when they weren’€™t under pressure.

BU also tightened up its five-on-five defense in the second. After allowing 11 shots on goal from the home plate area in the first, the Terriers surrendered just one from that space in the second, as they just did a much better job slowing down BC’€™s rush and keeping the Eagles to the outside. Unfortunately for the Terriers, they didn’€™t create any really great chances at the other end either.

This was the Eagles’€™ sixth Beanpot title in the last seven years, as they had won five in a row before BU ended that streak last year. It was BC’s 20th Beanpot title overall.

BC leading scorer Colin White injured in win over UNH; status for Beanpot final uncertain 02.05.16 at 10:16 pm ET
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Just as it seemed like Boston College was starting to get over all the injuries and illnesses that plagued it throughout much of December and January, the Eagles find their lineup in flux once again with Monday’s Beanpot final again Boston University approaching.

Forwards Miles Wood (26 points in 24 games this season) and Chris Calnan (9 points in 21 games) both missed Friday night’s 4-3 win over New Hampshire with what Jerry York termed “lower-body injuries.”

Then to make matters worse, first-line center and leading scorer Colin White (35 points in 25 games) left Friday’s game in the third period and did not return. York said after the game that White suffered “kind of a sprained wrist.”

York said the statuses of White, Wood and Calnan for Monday night are all uncertain and that he would have to see how the next couple days go.

One minor positive for BC is that Ian Milosz was back in the No. 2 goalie role behind Thatcher Demko Friday night. The Eagles had to add student manager Chuck Van Kula (who did play goalie in high school) to the team for Monday’s Beanpot opener against Harvard because all three of their other backups were out.

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Beanpot: BU holds off Northeastern, will face BC in championship game 02.01.16 at 10:42 pm ET
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BU advanced to the Beanpot final with a 2-0 win over Northeastern on Monday. (WEEI.com)

BU advanced to the Beanpot final with a 2-0 win over Northeastern on Monday. (WEEI.com)

There was reason to believe this year might be different. Harvard entered the Beanpot as a top-10 team in the country. Northeastern entered on an eight-game unbeaten streak. But in the end, Monday night was the same old story. After Boston College beat Harvard 3-2 in the night’€™s first matchup, Boston University knocked off Northeastern with a 3-1 victory in the night cap.

For the 23rd straight year, one of BU or BC will win the Beanpot title. They’€™ll meet next Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the championship game. The Terriers will be looking to defend their title and repeat for the first time since 2006-07. The Eagles will be trying to re-establish their dominance, as they had won five in a row prior to last year.

Northeastern made things interesting late, as John Stevens’ rebound goal with 3:12 remaining cut BU’s lead in half, but the Huskies couldn’t finish the comeback. The Terriers responded to Stevens’ goal with a long offensive-zone possession, taking more than a minute off the clock in the process. The Huskies were finally able to get goalie Ryan Ruck off with about 1:30 to go and then get into the offensive zone, but Doyle Somerby picked off a pass in the slot and fired into the empty net from his own end to seal the win.

BU and Northeastern both struggled to get shots on goal through the first 12 minutes of Monday’€™s night cap, but there was a good pace and plenty of back-and-forth play. Each team had a quality scoring chance in the middle part of the period, but couldn’€™t capitalize. BU’€™s Matt Lane used his great speed to blow by the Northeastern defense, leading to a rebound chance for Jordan Greenway, but Ruck came up with a big save. A minute later, Northeastern’€™s Mike McMurtry forced a turnover in the BU zone and went in alone on Sean Maguire, but Maguire came up with a big pad save to keep the game scoreless.

The Terriers broke through to take a 1-0 lead with 6:46 left in the period. Ryan Cloonan made a great play to keep the puck in at the blue line, leading to a chance for Bobo Carpenter (son of Bobby Carpenter). Carpenter’€™s first shot was blocked, but he got the puck back and flipped a shot toward the post that Robbie Baillargeon tapped in out of mid-air.

BU struck again a little more than three minutes later. Oskar Andren made a nice cross-ice pass to Danny O’€™Regan through the neutral zone, allowing O’€™Regan to lead a rush into the offensive zone. O’€™Regan then dished to freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who fired a shot blocker-side for his second goal of the season.

McAvoy’€™s skillset was on full display Monday night, as he showed why he’€™s projected to be a first-round pick in this summer’€™s NHL draft. In addition to the goal, he also made a great one-on-one defensive play to fend off Nolan Stevens and then immediately turn the puck up ice to start a rush. Shortly after his goal, he sprang O’€™Regan on a breakaway with a long tape-to-tape outlet pass. In the second period, he had a great keep-in on the power play that eventually led to a golden chance for Greenway, who was robbed by Ruck.

The Terriers controlled play for much of the second period, outshooting Northeastern 15-8 in the frame. The Huskies did have a couple good looks, though. John Stevens led a shorthanded two-on-one, but his aerial centering pass skipped over Sam Kurker’€™s stick. Later in the period, Eric Williams and McMurtry both had shots that popped off Maguire’€™s glove and into the slot, but BU beat Northeastern to the rebound on both occasions. Through two period, the Huskies had just three shots on goal from the grade-A area.

With the loss, Northeastern’€™s Beanpot drought extends to 28 years since it last won way back in 1988.

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