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Boston College built a 4-1 lead and turned back BU’s two goal rally before the Terriers could tie the game to capture the school’s 15th Beanpot Tournament Championship, and second in three years. BC and BU have now split four games this season in four different venues with BC winning at BU and at the TD Banknorth Garden and BU winning at Fenway Park and Chestnut Hill. The rivals could meet again in the Hockey East playoffs in March. In the consolation game, Northeastern fell behind 1-0, but rallied and never looked back in a 4-1 win to capture third place.
BC returned to number ten in the latest USCHO.com Division I Men’s Hockey Poll (which predates the Beanpot games) and is once again the top representative out of Hockey East. Maine, like the Eagles, jumped four spots to take over 12th after a sweep of conference leading New Hampshire, sending the Wildcats down two rungs to 15th. Vermont held steady at 17, UMass dropped three spots to 18, and UMass-Lowell fell two spots to barely hang in the poll at 20. The top four was unchanged with Minnesota holding number one with 46 of 50 first place votes. Denver and Wisconsin held second and third with three and one top votes, respectively. St. Cloud State hung on to fourth and Bemidji State took over fifth, giving the state of Minnesota three of the top five in the poll.
In addition to Maine’s sweep, BC beat UMass in another battle of top four teams in Hockey East. BU and Merrimack each beat UMass-Lowell while Northeastern, in turn, beat Merrimack. Vermont took three of four points from Providence as well. With four weeks remaining, some separation is emerging with divides after the top four and the second four. UNH leads the way with 27 points with BC and Maine each three back and UMass five back of the Wildcats at 22 points. With 18 points, BU, Vermont, and UMass-Lowell are in a logjam at fifth and Northeastern is only one point behind, in eighth place. Merrimack, at 14 points, and Providence, with 10, are ninth and tenth in the league.
Hockey East will pair off this week and each twosome will play a pair of games, except for New Hampshire and Providence, who will play only a single game. With each series meaning four points, teams could make a big push up in the standings or find themselves plummeting. BC and UMass-Lowell stage a home-and-home series as do Northeastern and UMass. Meanwhile, Maine visits BU for a pair and Merrimack travels to the Green Mountains for two games in Vermont.
Tags: Beanpot, Boston College, Boston University, College Hockey, Harvard University, Maine, Merrimack College, Northeastern University, Providence College, UMass, UMass-Lowell, University of New Hampshire, Vermont