Boston College had won three straight Beanpot championships and the senior class had never experienced a defeat in its first seven games.
On Monday night, the seniors set their sights on No. 8 in their final visit to the Beanpot championship and, as it turned out, a senior scored the winning goal — right wing Steve Whitney. Another senior — captain Pat Mullane — scored BC’s sixth and final goal in the 6-3 victory at TD Garden. A third senior — goaltender Parker Milner — earned the tournament’s Eberly Award with the best save percentage (.907) in the tournament.
“For our seniors, we’re all so excited,’’ said Whitney. “This is awesome for us and it’s awesome we all did it together. We’re excited that our freshmen got a Beanpot [title] and gave the rest of the guys a chance to go four in a row, too.’’
As much as the seniors contributed, junior Bill Arnold had a goal and an assist, sophomore Johnny Gaudreau had a pair of goals and an assist, and junior Patrick Brown had a goal.
“Tonight we got a lot of great efforts from every class,’’ said Whitney. “[Quinn Smith] had two goals [in the semifinals], Pat Brown is starting to score now, and that’s what we’re going to need. I don’t know how much they learned from us, but we tried our best and tried to do what coaches tell us and set a good example for them.’’
Senior defenseman Pat Wey missed the Beanpot his freshman year because he was injured but has been an influence in every game he has played since. He said he couldn’t have ever envisioned his class running the table over the four years.
“I could have never imagined this happening,’’ said Wey. “It’s a testament to our coaches and the culture that is bred here that we were brought up in. I am so fortunate to be a part of this team and I feel blessed.’’
Mullane said being a part of such a storied Boston event has meant a great deal to all of the seniors and everyone on the team.
“For me, it’s something I look forward to every year,’’ said Mullane. “It’s just the biggest college hockey tournament that there is and it brings together four of the most elite college hockey programs in the country all for one tournament. It brings in the fans and the culture and I think just having the close proximity and the rivalries. It’s the biggest, most exciting, historic tournament that there is.’’
One of the biggest hits of the night came at 9:20 of the second period in the title game when Arnold took out senior right wing Vinny Saponari, belting him as if Saponari still played for BU. Saponari won a Beanpot title his freshman season with the Terriers back in 2009, the year BU won the NCAA title. He played two years with BU and then left the program, transferring to Northeastern for the 2011-12 season.
Nine of the last 10 Beanpot championship games had been decided by one goal and six of them had gone into overtime . . . There wasn’t one player on Northeastern’s team who was born the last time the school won a Beanpot title (1988) . . . It was the fourth title game between NU and BC. The only victorious meeting for the Huskies was Feb. 11, 1980, when Wayne Turner scored at 2:47 of overtime for a 5-4 triumph. It was the schools’ second meeting in the title game in three years . . . Northeastern freshman left wing Kevin Roy went into Monday as college hockey’s leading rookie scorer with 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 24 games, and he tallied a pair of goals. Roy, who had a hat trick in the first round, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.