Hockey Notebook

It's Beanpot time and the Eagles are gearing up for their first round game against Northeastern. The Eagles go into this game badly needing a win after a 2-game sweep at the hands of UNH this past weekend. The defeats dropped BC from 4th to 7th in the Pairwise Rankings. The top 8 teams make the NCAA tournament.

•The Eagles come into the Beanpot after a 2-2 draw on Friday night at Providence College. Kyle Kucharski and Brock Bradford scored for BC, who were outshot by the Friars, 31-29.

BC particularly excelled in the first period, outshooting Providence 13-6, but they allowed a goal by Providence's Daniel New in the final minute, then took four penalties in the second period to derail any momentum they had built up.

Goaltender John Muse preserved the point for BC in overtime, making an outstanding reacharound save to deny Pierce Norton of an apparent game-winning goal.

"Muse gives us a chance to win every time out," said head coach Jerry York. "He's consistent and reliable from day one."

"For the most part, I thought we played well," said York. "We had the puck a lot, so I thought we were pretty good as a puck possession team, but we really have to cash in on more of our chances."

•When asked what the team could do to convert more of their opportunities, York's answer was simple: shoot the puck.

"Sometimes it feels like we're trying to pass the puck into the net, and you can't do that. We have to shoot more, create rebounds, and create chances around the net. Putting the puck on net creates more good opportunities to score, and we need our guys to get more confidence in just shooting the puck."

•The Eagles' first round opponent in the Beanpot is Northeastern – currently #4 in the nation and first place in Hockey East. However, the Huskies are dealing with a 21-year Beanpot hex, and the weight of pressure and expectation on their shoulders.

"We really appreciate what Northeastern has done this year," York said. "They're an excellent team, and they are currently on top of our league. But that said, we feel that if we go in there and execute well, we have a really good chance of winning and getting into the final."

"They've been a really gritty, tough team to play in the past, but this year they're also a more skilled team, which makes them even tougher to play," he continued. "[Northeastern has] excellent goaltending, from Brad Thiessen, and they have a lot of top-end players who are maturing very well – Joe Vitale, Ryan Ginand, Wade MacLeod."

Thanks to their maturing roster and outstanding start to the year, the Huskies enter the unusual position of being ‘favored' against BC. But the Eagles still must deal with the pressure of being the defending Beanpot and national champions – something York says the Eagles welcome with open arms.

"We have never felt like we have pressure on us," he said. "We want the pressure to be on the other teams, to have to play us. We want to apply the pressure, not feel it."

Beanpot Team Capsules

Northeastern University •Record: 17-6-2 (13-4-1, 1st place in Hockey East). 79 GF, 55 GA •Trend: The Huskies are 5-2 since returning for the second semester, but they are coming directly off a rough 6-4 loss at UMass-Amherst. •Leading Scorers: Ryan Ginand, senior: 17-8—25; Wade MacLeod, sophomore: 10-14—24; Joe Vitale, senior: 4-14—18. •Starting Goalie: Brad Thiessen, junior: 17-6-2, 2.06 GAA, .934 SV% •Record vs. Beanpot teams: 1-0 vs. BC, 0-1 vs. BU •Last Beanpot title: 1988

Boston University •Record: 19-5-1 (12-5-1, 2nd place in Hockey East). 93 GF, 47 GA •Trend: The Terriers enter the Beanpot on a 5-game winning streak. •Leading Scorers: Colin Wilson, sophomore: 9-23—32; Chris Higgins, senior: 11-14—25; Nick Bonino, sophomore: 7-16—23. •Starting Goalies: Kieran Millan, freshman: 15-1-1, 1.47 GAA, .937 SV%; Grant Rollheiser, freshman: 4-4-0, 2.66 GAA, .876 SV%. •Record vs. Beanpot Teams: 2-0-1 vs. BC, 1-0 vs. NU •Last Beanpot title: 2007

Harvard University •Record: 5-11-4 (5-6-4, 7th in ECAC). 44 GF, 68 GA •Trend: Harvard comes in off a win against Union – their first win in 14 games. •Leading Scorers: Alex Biega, junior: 3-11—14; Doug Rogers, junior: 4-9—13; Michael Biega, sophomore: 3-7—10. •Starting Goalie: Matt Hoyle, freshman: 5-10-3, 3.09 GAA, .898 SV% •Record vs. Beanpot Teams: 0-1 vs. BC •Last Beanpot Title: 1993

•The 31st annual Women's Beanpot will take place on Tuesday at Northeastern's Matthews Arena. Harvard University (10-7-3), the defending champions, faces Boston University (13-9-5) at 5 PM. Katie King's Boston College Eagles (16-7-3) take on the homestanding Huskies (10-13-3) at 8.

•BC football head coach Frank Spaziani was in attendance at BC's Sunday morning practice, sitting behind the BC bench. Coach York had his team applaud Spaziani to congratulate him on being promoted to the head post. Spaz then gave the team a pep talk and told them he was looking forward to attending the Beanpot.

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