Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Boston U wins Beanpot, again

Boston University 3, Boston College 2

By Jimmy Golen
The Associated Press

BOSTON - Sean Fields made the final save of the Beanpot, then jumped into the air. Boston University players poured out of the bench to join him in the celebration. It's a familiar scene for the Terriers.

David VanderGulik and Brian McConnell scored 23 seconds apart in the second period Monday night as Boston University beat Boston College 3-2 to earn the city's bragging rights for the eighth time in nine years.

"Winning the Beanpot never gets old," said Fields, who stopped 31 shots for the Terriers and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player and its top goaltender. "It's a great feeling, and it's a great tradition."

Justin Maiser also scored for BU (18-10-2), ranked 11th in the country.

Ryan Shannon and Dave Spina scored for No. 4 Boston College (18-7-3), and Matti Kaltiainen made 15 saves.

Boston College was 3-0 against BU in the regular season, but such things mean little when the first two Mondays in February roll around and the area's four college hockey powers meet at the FleetCenter. BU has missed the Beanpot final just once since 1983, and has won the tournament 25 times in its 51-year history - more than twice as many as BC, which is second with 12.

This year was no different.

"There's no question that there's less pressure on us because we have won in the past," BU coach Jack Parker said. "Guys want to win it again because so many other guys have won it before them. They want to say they've won it, too."

BC fell behind 3-0 but got within one after pulling Kaltiainen with well over two minutes left. Mounting a sustained attack, Spina got a rebound in front of the net and lofted it into the goal to make it 3-2 with 1:33 left.

But after pulling the goalie again, the Eagles couldn't muster the same pressure.

"It's pretty frustrating because we have played really well of late," BC forward Ben Eaves said. "We were feeling really good about ourselves and our chances to come here and win."

Although BU led just 1-0 after one period, on Maiser's goal, the Terriers broke it open in the second.

John Cronin got the puck at center ice and passed it ahead to VanderGulik, who took it over the blue line and split two defenders before sending a knuckler past Kaltiainen with 10:57 left in the period. Seconds later, McConnell took the puck down the left side and slapped it through the goalie's legs.

BC scored when Shannon, from behind the goal, bounced one off of Fields' back and into the net. It was just the second goal off Fields in four games.

Harvard beat Northeastern 4-1 in the consolation game earlier Monday.

Dominic Moore and Tom Cavanaugh each scored twice for the Crimson (15-7-1), which avoided last place for just the third time in nine years. No. 13 Harvard has not won since 1993, and Northeastern (9-17-2) hasn't won since 1988.

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