BC bests BU 4-1 to clinch Hockey East title

No. 4 Boston College secured the 2019-20 Hockey East regular season title in fitting fashion on Saturday night with a 4-1 win over arch-rival Boston University at Agganis Arena.

The Eagles (23-8-1, 16-6 Hockey East) have now won seven games in a row. After the Terriers (12-12-8, 9-8-5 Hockey East) entered the night on a two-game skid, BU head coach Albie O’Connell felt his team ran into the wrong team at the wrong time.

“They’re obviously the team everyone’s chasing in our league,” O’Connell said, “and they’ve got it rolling pretty good right now.” 

Regardless of how impressive the Eagles have been this season, the second-year head coach said the rivalry loss hurts as much as ever.

“No one wants to lose to a rival team,” O’Connell said, “and in the way that we did with that big a crowd, it’s a tough pill to swallow.”

The 5,772 fans in attendance saw BC get on the board seven minutes into the game as freshman forward Alex Newhook deposited his 10th goal in as many games on a cross-ice feed from freshman forward Matt Boldy.

BU led in shots on goal 21-14 through 40 minutes, but BC senior defenseman Connor Moore had the lone goal of the middle frame, lining in a seeing-eye slapshot from the point.

BC senior forward David Cotton made it 3-0 less than five minutes into the third period on a pinpoint shot after a slick move and pass by junior forward Logan Hutsko.

The Terriers got one back on the power play four minutes later when senior forward Patrick Curry tipped in a blast by junior defenseman David Farrance. The primary assist was Farrance’s 40th point of the season, making him the first BU defenseman in 22 years to reach that mark.

Curry now leads BU with 18 goals on the season, having scored in all three editions of the Battle of Commonwealth Ave. this season. Riding a five-game point streak, the captain believes the biggest games bring out the best in him.

“It’s the point where every next goal is pretty big, so I kind of thrive in those situations,” Curry said.

Curry’s goal was BU’s only tally of the night, but he felt that if the Terriers had broken through earlier, they could have found more success late in the game.

“[Freshman goaltender Spencer] Knight was great. Obviously, you’re going to expect that from a goalie like him,” Curry said. “I feel like maybe if we could’ve beat him earlier, it could have been a different scenario.”

Knight finished with 30 saves, while BU graduate goaltender Sam Tucker made 25. BC’s fourth goal came with Tucker pulled and just under eight seconds to play as senior forward Graham McPhee tossed in an empty-netter to seal BC’s 16th conference win of the season.

BC head coach Jerry York acknowledged that there are bigger trophies his team will chase in the postseason, but finishing the regular season atop Hockey East is an achievement worth celebrating.

“I feel very proud of the club,” York said. “It’s a major accomplishment for us.”

BU’s position is still far from confirmed as the Terriers are currently in sixth, but can finish anywhere between second and ninth to make the playoff game, which would be outside the playoff picture.

With so much left to be decided this late in the season, O’Connell said it’s important to focus on the next game and find new ways to improve.

“We’re in the playoffs now, really,” O’Connell said. “We can’t sit here and sulk about [losing], we gotta get better next weekend.”

BU will end the regular season with a series against Northeastern University (17-12-3, 10-11-1 Hockey East) next weekend.

Puck drop for the series opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena Friday night.

12 thoughts on “BC bests BU 4-1 to clinch Hockey East title”

  1. As someone who is most likely the oldest fan here let me say this is the first time I have seen such a huge gap in talent between the two teams. BU played as hard as they could but it was like men vs. boys at times. BC can now attract a better talent group and have students stay in school longer. BU can not. Case closed.

  2. I might challenge that distinction- class of 61
    BU played hard- if they played that way all season would have better record
    I think Newhook could play in NHL today

  3. I don’t think the talent discrepancy is all that large between BU and other top teams in the country, instead I think it’s a culture issue which ultimately stems from lackluster coaching. Why do players leave BU early? It’s simple, it’s because they can since there’s no incentive to stay in school. Let’s take a look at how some recent fringe NHL players that left BU early are doing? JFK? He’s back in Europe. Oettinger? Struggling in the AHL. Chad Krys? Struggling in the AHL. Bowers? Still in the AHL. Had these guys came back this year, BU would more than likely be a Top 5 team in the nation. As of now, BU can still miss the HE tournament AND finish the season under .500, which for a team of this talent is unacceptable. O’Connell for 2 seasons has failed BU hockey and all its fans by not figuring out how to maximize its talent as a team. Honestly, BU will not return as a beacon of college hockey until either O’Connell learns how to be a head coach or he is fired.

    • It seems to that if in fact there was no incentive to stay at BU for the players you mentioned, and they are struggling as professional players than the only incentive would be to recieve an education ( which these players obviously do not value) and finish their hockey careers as Terriers. I agree that BU would be a top club nationally if those players had stayed and its difficult to run a program at top level when you are losing not only seniors but underclassmen every year.
      As far as last night goes the Terriers really outplayed the eagles for much of the game but could not score. The difference was the goalie. Knight when on can shut out anyone as he was last night. In the other two games when he was not that sharp look at the results. The Terriers lose only at the end 4-3 at kelley rink and won in OT in the Beanpot. This is the difference between the clubs. BU ‘s goaltending is serviceable at best and BC has a stud. Next year let’s hope Commesso is our stud in goal.

  4. First and foremost bc in every preseason poll was the clear favorite. Bu has played right with them for 3 games now. Last night bc was the better team, but it’s not like they are dominating bu. We made two mistakes that landed in the back of our net take those away different game. Also I still think offensively we play to much on the perimeter. As to getting better players I don’t know much about kids coming in next year except I hear goalie is very good. But I think if you put there freshman class up against ours it’s not even close. Mark my words Dom Fensore will be a All American defenseman before he leaves bu. Case McCarthy will be one of the best in the league within a few years. Phillips will be a offensive machine we have great players who will be here for a while. I have not given up on this season but it’s clear many have given up on this year and future years. I will day this the terriers are right in the mix this year and will be even better next year knock me if you will but I’m going to stick with my team till the end then worry about next year. Go bu 🐾

  5. so now BC is 12-3-2 at Agganis and the pattern to their victories is eerily similar. they jump on us early in the first period and force us to play catch up. always they have a superior goalie who shuts the door

    it is true. this year i have written them off. i will still follow but they are playing out the string. prove me wrong and i will eat my words

    next year? hmm. we lose harper, zegras, curry, and farrance. that is a lot of scoring

    the goalie situation should be better but that is not saying much because the guys we currently have are complete STIFFS

    we better hoe and pray that newhook and knight leave because if not we will be crying “who’s your daddy?”

  6. Ice cold as to players leaving I have stated it before you can’t knock a kid for chasing his dream. I wish jake and Dante came back this year. I was close to those two kids and I know how much they loved bu. As to jake he received his degree before leaving and had started on his masters this past summer. I am constantly defending coach which is ok as he gets paid and is fair game but as to the culture of the team I have no issue. I see these kids more in the summer then I do during the season and I can tell you they are bought in 12 months of the year. There is no issue with our culture. A large amount of our players will be back and so too will be Amonte. I have full faith in this coaching staff. Folks might not want to hear it but they are among the best in college hockey. Go bu 🐾

    • I wasn’t necessarily knocking players for chasing their dream. However, as I mentioned they were “fringe players”. If you noticed, I didn’t mention players who have constantly maintained NHL regular status, such as Fabbro, Keller, or Tkackuk. Instead, I focused on those who are either still in the AHL or in Europe. Therefore, the argument can be made they were not ready to leave BU and its world class facilities. The culture is that for the most part, it seems these players are playing for the name on the back of the jersey and not the front. Why do I say this? It appears that players are so set on going pro and making a name of themselves that they forget to play together as a team. It is extremely hard for a team to jive if lines keep changing AND every year there are early departures. Take this season for example, 4 years ago the freshman class was 10 players, out of those 10, only 4 remain. As a result, BU is constantly the youngest team in the nation. That’s the culture I was referencing.

  7. I went home and watched the game again with that said Mr coach needs to start benching players for lack luster efforts it’s so noticeable I won’t mention names few of them already checked out and if u think not then it’s your opinion I have been fairly quiet on here … 2 games left no clue what we have for goalie and guys trying fancy stuff when u losing if a joke!!! Can we make a run sure it’s possible but need to see a lot of Change effort wise… How about U slack on your shift u stay on bench for power play u will see how quick they hustle.. 2 games left and we 500 again … I don’t give up but it’s def been a frustrating season to say the least… Those “me” players don’t let door hit u on the way out and thanks for half ass efforts all year… Let’s go make a run !!! Go Bu 🐾

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