BOSTON, MA –
After Boston College beat Northeastern to advance to the Beanpot championship, Boston Bruins prospect and defenseman Tommy Cross
said the game wouldn't be as memorable if the Eagles didn't win.
Cross, a senior, will have a hard time forgetting this one.
Sophomore forward Bill Arnold scored with 6.4 seconds left in overtime to give BC a 3-2 win over the Boston University Terriers – their third-straight tournament title and 17th overall.
"I don't know that BC is taking over the Beanpot – I don't think that's the case," Cross said. "I think it just speaks to the level of play of the four schools in Boston. Every game is tough, whether it's the first round or whether it's the finals.
"BU has a great hockey team – BC has a great hockey team. The level of play gets better every year – but [the trophy] is in good hands."
The win marks the first time BC won three straight titles since completing the feat from 1963-65.
Throughout the back-and-forth game, the teams combined for 16 penalties (BU 9, BC 7), and all the regulation goals came on special teams play.
But in overtime, the whistles were silent and the teams played hard, physical hockey and Cross enjoyed that the most.
"I thought it was awesome," Cross said. "There were penalties in the middle of the game and they were good calls and at the end they let them go. Both teams got to play and I thought that's the way hockey was supposed to be played and it was fun to be a part of."
After BC (19-10-1) forward Pat Mullane scored a short-handed goal in the first period, the teams traded power-play goals in the second period as the Eagles carried a 2-1 lead into the final frame.
Just over seven minutes into the third period, BU (17-10-1) forward Garrett Noonan scored his second goal of the night, a 5-on-3 score to tie the game.
After playing nearly 80 minutes of hockey, Arnold took a pass from forward Steven Whitney and sent a slap shot past Terrier goaltender and Kieran Milan (44 saves).
"We won last year and we won again this year and that's what its all about," Arnold said. "To score the goal feels nice, but winning is what's important and that feels much better than scoring the goal."
Cross, who was the 35th overall draft pick by the Boston Bruins in 2007, displayed his defensive prowess throughout the game, blocking nine shots for the Eagles.
His strong play was showcased in the overtime period, as he blocked several shots and was active on the forecheck and broke up the Terriers offensive flow.
BC Head Coach Jerry York applauded his captain's effort on the ice, but it's his leadership skills that his coach was most impressed with.
"You'll see on the ice he's just a really good player, but his leadership skills are just off the chart," York said. "That's going to be a big part of his future career – he brings that stability and leadership.
His play keeps on getting better and better, and I think we're going to see Tommy Cross
even at a different level as the season goes on."--- Anthony Gulizia