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Headlines: UMass No Match for BC, Onto the Beanpot Final

2/5/2010 - Boston College 7, Massachusetts 1 - 15-8-2 (11-6-2 Hockey East)

"It was a game that could have been a lot closer, but all of the sudden every break imaginable, every shot we had, any scoring chance went into the net. It was a crazy game to coach; it happens once in a coach’s lifetime that every bounce goes your way." - Jerry York

Sometimes, it seems, the puck just bounces your way.

Boston College is hitting their stride just at the right time of the season. The Eagles used a four goal first period and a three goal second period to blow the game wide open, and take a very important game from the Minutemen in front of a sold-out Mullins Center crowd. BC has outscored opponents 18-3 in their last three games, and 10-1 in the first period.

The Eagles push their record to 15-8-2 and 11-6-2 in Hockey East and take sole possession of second place in the Hockey East standings. BC also gained ground on the league-leading New Hampshire Wildcats, who were swept by Maine up at Alfond Arena this weekend. The Eagles are now 3 points back of first place with a game at hand.

Brothers Whitney. Joe Whitney scored twice in the first period, while the younger Stephen Whitney tallied a goal and two assists in the 7-1 victory over UMass.

Atkinson-Gibbons-Whitney Line. Cam Atkinson continued his point storing streak, scoring a goal and 2 assists in the win. Atkinson now has 3 goals and 4 assists in his last three games, sparking the Eagles' three game winning streak. Brian Gibbons tallied 4 assists in the victory, extending his point scoring streak to a team-best 10 games. The three linemates accounted for 9 points on Friday night (3-6-9). The nine points brings their seven-game point total to 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists).

Pairwise Update. With the victory, Boston College jumps up to a tie for 5th with Bemidji State in the latest (often controversial) Pairwise rankings. BC is the highest ranked team from Hockey East, with Maine jumping up to 7th after their weekend sweep of UNH. If the Eagles can keep things rolling tonight against BU, they will likely continue to rise in rankings. Above BC are a trio of WCHA programs - Denver, Wisconsin and St. Cloud State - along with consensus #1 Miami of Ohio. It's hard to really glean anything useful from the PWR rankings with four weeks left in the regular season, so just know that if the season ended today, BC would be solidly in the NCAA tournament's field of 16 with or without the automatic bid given to the Hockey East Tournament champion.

Camp Randall Hockey Classic. Living in Chicago, I got the opportunity to make the short trip to Madison this weekend to attend the Camp Randall Hockey Classic outdoor hockey game between Michigan and Wisconsin. I like to think I'm one of the few people on the planet that attended both outdoor collegiate hockey games this season. Look for a post later this week (say, tomorrow-ish?) comparing my Frozen Fenway experience to the outdoor game at Camp Randall.

Beanpot. Next up for the Eagles is the BU Invitational Championship between BC and BU. Fortunately for BC, York has the Eagles playing their best hockey of the year going into the 58th edition of the Beanpot. The bad news for BC is that Jack Parker also has BU playing their best hockey of the year. After the defending National Champions' season was on life support going into the holiday break, Boston U. has rattled off 7 wins in 9 games to start 2010 and, just like BC, goes into the Beanpot final riding a 3 game winning streak. Tonight's game marks the 250th meeting between the last two NCAA National Champions. BU leads the all-time series 125-107-17.

Join us for a Beanpot Championship game thread later tonight. The game will be televised on NESN. Coverage begins at 7:30pm ET.