By Joshua Kummins
BOSTON — Games between Beanpot rivals Boston College and Boston University are always instant classics and Monday’s semifinal at the TD Garden was no different.
BC junior and alternate captain Tommy Cross, property of the Bruins, scored the winning goal at 3:17 of the overtime period to lift the Eagles to a 3-2 victory over the Terriers in front of a capacity crowd of 17,565 fans in the second Beanpot semifinal on Monday at TD Garden.
After sweeping the Hockey East regular-season series, the Eagles — the defending Beanpot champs — earned their fifth straight win over the Terriers for the first time in more than 50 years in the all-time series.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 6-14 in first round games with their archrivals, but have now won three straight head-to-head match-ups in the tournament. They advanced to face Northeastern in next Monday’s championship game.
The Eagles drew first blood at 14:37 of the first period, as Phillip Samuelsson scored his fourth goal of the season on a high shot over the shoulder of BU goaltender Kieran Millan. Patrick Wey and Bill Arnold assisted on the goal and provided a good screen to send the puck through.
Less than one minute later at 15:15, Wade Megan buried his sixth of the season on a turnaround shot from the low right circle. He was fed by freshmen Garrett Noonan and Adam Clendening for the goal.
It was a back-and-forth first period, but the Eagles out-chanced the Terriers, 34-16, while holding a 13-11 shot advantage.
The Terriers jumped ahead at 2:17 of the second period when Corey Trivino netted his sixth goal of the season. Ross Gaudet corralled the puck along the right endboards and sent a pass to Ryan Ruikka in front of the net. Ruikka’s shot was stopped by BC goaltender John Muse, but Trivino cleaned up the rebound for the score. BU had a flurry of chances on a lone offensive zone sequence with about six minutes to play in the second period, but Muse was up to the task.
With 2:07 left in the second period, the Eagles looked like they would tie the game as Pat Mullane jammed home the puck on a scurry in front of the net. An overhead replay camera showed a pretty good look at the puck trickling slightly across the line, but there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the no-goal call on the ice.
In the period, the Terriers out-attempted the Eagles, 28-24. However, the Terriers only had eight shots on goal compared to BC’s 14.
Dorchester, Mass. native Jimmy Hayes scored his 13th goal of the season for the Eagles at 4:56 of the third period, equalizing the score at 2-2. Samuelsson and Mullane set up Hayes for a wrist shot between the circles that beat Millan high glove side.
To set up the winning goal in the overtime, Hayes found Cross, the Bruins’ 35th overall pick in 2007, at the right point. Cross took a soft wrist shot and it changed directions and redirected through traffic past Millan.
BC and Northeastern will face-off in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. next Monday (Feb. 14). The Eagles and Huskies have not met to decide the tournament champion since BC romped NU, 8-3, in 1983.
Log on to TheBruinsBlog.net for coverage of next week’s championship game.
Joshua Kummins is a sophomore at Malden High School and the Hockey East beat reporter for BostonSportsU18.com.