Flames prospects shine in Beanpot tournament
BOSTON, MA -- Calgary Flames prospect Bill Arnold put the finishing touches on another fantastic finish in the 60th Beanpot final Monday when he scored with 6.4 seconds left in overtime to give Boston College a 3-2 victory against Boston University in front of 17,565 fans at TD Garden in Boston.
The victory gave the Eagles (19-10-1), ranked No. 3 in the NCAA, its third straight Beanpot, matching its run of three consecutive crowns from 1963-65. Second-ranked Boston University (17-10-1), which has won a record 29 Beanpots, last celebrated a tournament victory in 2009.
"This was college hockey at its finest," said Boston College coach Jerry York, who was a sophomore when the Eagles completed their last previous Beanpot three-peat in 1965. "It had all the makings of a classic college hockey game, and it unfolded just like that."
Boston College now has 16 Beanpot titles.
Arnold, who played for the U.S. at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Alberta this year, received a pass from linemate Steven Whitney before snapping the puck past BU goalie Kieran Millan from the top of the right circle.
"I knew it was under a minute, but I wasn't sure (of the time)," Arnold, a 2010 fourth-round pick of the Flames, told the Boston Herald. "You don't want to turn the puck over in that situation and make sure you don't give up a goal."
BU's Millan, a senior, finished the game with a season-high 44 saves to garner the Eberly Award as that goalie with the best save percentage after two tournament games. He was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round in 2009.
Pat Mullane and New York Rangers prospect Chris Kreider also scored for the Eagles, and Parker Milner stopped 32 shots for BC. Garrett Noonan, a fourth-round pick of the Nashville Predators last June, scored twice for the Terriers in the defeat.
"This was a very tough game to lose," BU coach Jack Parker said. "Any time you lose in overtime, any time you lose to BC, any time you lose in a championship -- that's a trifecta right there."
Boston College freshman Johnny Gaudreau, who was named tournament MVP, notched an assist in the game. Gaudreau had two goals and an assist in the Eagles' 7-1 victory against Northeastern in the Beanpot semifinal round.
Gaudreau was drafted by the Flames in the fourth round (104th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Next season, the Eagles will look to become the first school to win four Beanpot titles in a row since BU won six consecutive from 1995-2000.
"BU played an outstanding hockey game," York told NESN.com. "(TD Garden) was jammed with fans. You need a lot of good players to be successful at this level. We didn't win the title this year just because we won last year."
With the victory, the Eagles improved to 71-49 in Beanpot play, including a 24-12 record under York. BU is 27-14 against BC in the Beanpot, including 12-9 in the title game.
Interestingly, York invited former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona to speak to the Eagles the day after his club had defeated Northeastern.
"He was outstanding, just outstanding," York told NESN.com. "He talked about energy level and I think that is something we had been stressing. But, all of a sudden, Terry mentioned it and you could see it had (an impact)."