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Cross, Eagles Win 10th Hockey East Championship

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins
BOSTON – Boston College earned its second consecutive Hockey East Championship Saturday night as the Eagles skated to a 5-3 victory over the Merrimack Warriors.

Bruins prospect Tommy Cross took home All-Tournament honors as he helped his team raise the Lamoriello Cup for a record tenth time in program history.

Boston College started things off when Pat Mullane beat a Mack defenseman and netted the game's first goal five-hole through Merrimack goaltender Joe Cannatato give BC the early lead at 9:1 in the first.

Merrimack quickly responded, scoring 37 seconds later with a goal from Ryan Flanigan assisted by Carter Madsen.

The tally extended Flanigan’s goal streak to four games. 

But it didn’t take long for Boston College to regain the lead. At 11:03 in the first, Brian Gibbons came from behind the net to clean up Cam Atkinson’s rebound, giving BC the 2-1 lead. 

Merrimack thought they had tied it up at 14:50, but after a short review the referees deemed the play a no goal.

The Warriors didn’t give up and maintained offensive pressure in the Boston College zone. Merrimack outshot BC 15-11 in the period and were finally able to net the game-tying goal with the man advantage and just 24 second lefts in first.

Stephane Da Costa took the puck from the half boards and shuffled a pass through the zone to Joe Cucci. Cucci slapped a shot that was headed just wide of the left post, until Mike Collins tipped the puck between Muse’s blocker and the iron.

For the second night in a row, Boston College took a tie into the first period intermission.

The second period saw plenty of sustained offensive pressure from both with Boston College leading the way with 15 shots on goal to Merrimack's 11.

But both goaltenders held strong as they lead their teams to a second frame stalemate.

The third period was a battle as both teams remained engaged in the action, but the No. 1 Eagles proved why they were the team to beat, gaining the third period advatange at 9:21.

Joe Whitney battled through the Merrimack defense to lay a shot on Canatta. Canatta blocked the first attempt but Atkinson skated in to clean up the rebound giving BC the 4-3 lead. 

Flanigan tied things back up at 13:32 with Mack’s second power play tally and his second goal of the night.  Flanigan took the bad angle shot from Muse’s left and puck found its way between the BC goalie's blocker and the post. 

But the Eagles wouldn’t be held down for long as just 1:17 later Atkinson blasted a slapper from the right point past Cannata. His second goal of the night gave Boston College the 4-3 lead.

BC put the game away with 1:36 left when Brian Dumoulin blasted a shot from the left point that soared over Cannata’s right shoulder.

The 5-3 victory gave the Eagles their 10th Hockey East Championship.

The win marked the third consecutive year a team has won the Beanpot Tournament and Hockey East Championship in the same season. On the previous two occasions, which include the 2009 Boston University Terrier team and last year's BC Eagles, the winner went on to become the NCAA National Champions.

Notes: Boston College’s Cam Atkinson took home Hockey East Championship MVP honors.
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