Final, BC 7-1: This had to be a tough one for UMass to swallow. The Minutemen came into tonight just one slot behind the Eagles in the national rankings and deadlocked with the Eagles for second place in Hockey East, and they leave with a huge loss on their record that could have big implications by the time the conference tournament rolls around.
The Eagles, on the other hand, will head into Monday's Beanpot finals on a huge wave of momentum. They have now outscored opponents 13-2 in their last two games, and on top of that, they picked up two wins against first-place New Hampshire, which lost on Friday.
The Brian Gibbons-Cam Atkinson-Joe Whitney line thrived for the Eagles, as Gibbons registered three assists, Whitney registered two goals and Atkinson had one goal. The only piece of bad news the Eagles got was that captain Matt Price went down with an upper body injury in the first period and his status for the Beanpot could be in jeopardy.
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Third period, 3:40, BC 7-1: UMass is now 0-for-6 on the power play this evening and we're back to full strength.
Third period, 5:43, BC 7-1: BC returns the favor as Barry Almeida is in the box for cross-checking.
James Marcou finally puts the Minutemen on the board with his ninth goal of the season and his 41st point of the year. Marcou came into the game tied for the scoring lead in the nation.
Third period, 6:34, BC 7-0: With 34 seconds left in the first power play, BC will get a 5-on-3, as Kevin Czepiel trips up Parker Milner behind the net.
BC averages about 3.7 goals per game and has nearly doubled that tonight.
Third period, 8:05, BC 7-0: With 30 seconds left in the power play, Tommy Cross redirects a Brian Dumoulin pass wide and UMass clears the puck with one second left.
BC is now 1-for-3 on the PP, and promptly gets another opportunity, as Marc Concannon is in the box for contact to the head against Steven Whitney.
Third period, 10:22, BC 7-0: Will Ortiz will head to the box after being whistled for slashing.
BC is 1-for-2 on the PP tonight with three shots.
Third period, 13:10, BC 7-0: Another great scoring chance for BC, as Matt Lombardi takes it around the goal but Dan Meyers makes the stop right inside the post.
Sixteen of BC's 18 players have a plus-1 or better tonight.
Third period, 14:18, BC 7-0: Chris Kreider takes the puck to the hole and dishes across the crease to Ben Smith, but he sends it wide.
Injury update on Matt Price: an upper body injury, sustained in the first period when he took a hit against the boards.
Third period, 17:02, BC 7-0: Seems like the UMass faithful are already putting this one in the books. Not exactly the matchup they expected to see coming in.
John Muse has now been pulled in favor of freshman Parker Milner.
End of second period, BC 7-0: It seems obvious to say that whatever UMass needed to do during the second period, it didn't do it.
After holding the Eagles at bay throughout the first 15 minutes of the frame, the Minutemen unraveled in the final five minutes, allowing three more goals and burying themselves in an unbelievable hole. At this point, can you really hope for anything else except for the game to be over?
The Eagles' confidence from Monday's Beanpot win is really carrying over, and the top line of Joe Whitney, Cam Atkinson and Brian Gibbons is absolutely burning the Minutemen. Gibbons has three assists and is riding a 10-game scoring streak, Whitney has two goals and Atkinson dumped in his team-leading 17th goal of the season with 2/10 of a second on the clock at the end of the period.
Second period, 1 second, BC 7-0: Cam Atkinson gets his team-leading 17th goal of the year with 2/10 of a second left on the clock, and Joe Whitney gets the assist.
This. Is. Ugly.
Second period, 55 seconds, BC 6-0: P.S., tonight's attendance ties the highest-ever attendance in the building.
Probably not anymore, now that half the fans are gone, but at one point it tied the record.
Second period, 1:35, BC 6-0: BC gets is second power play opportunity of the night, as Marc Concannon goes into the sin bin for roughing.
Second period, 2:19, BC 6-0: Make that 0-for-5. UMass fails to score again on the man advantage despite entering tonight's game with the fourth-best PP in the nation.
And it gets worse. Brian Gibbons feeds the puck to a streaking Chris Kreider straight up the middle, who flips the puck up over Dan Meyers' stick. That's his sixth of the season — and his fourth in four games — and Gibbons' third assist of the night.
And the fans are starting to make their way to the exits.
Second period, 4:32, BC 5-0: After a big pileup in front of the BC net, Tommy Cross goes into the box for nailing a UMass player after the whistle.
The Minutemen are 0-for-4 on the power play tonight with three shots.
Second period, 5:02, BC 5-0: And now they really need to get creative. Steven Whitney — brother of Joe — takes the puck all the way up the ice, holds it past goalie Dan Meyers and puts a five-spot up on the board.
Second period, 7:32, BC 4-0: John Muse has been busier in the past five minutes or so than he's been all night. He makes a nice couple of stops on consecutive shots by Will Ortiz and Chase Langeraap.
Time is running out for the Minutemen, who need to start getting creative. And aggressive.
Second period, 8:48, BC 4-0: It has come to our attention that BC is down a forward and captain Matt Price isn't on the BC bench. We'll keep you updated if we hear of any injury news.
Second period, 9:39, BC 4-0: UMass kills off the power play and gets a short-handed opportunity at the end, but T.J. Syner's shot goes wide.
Second period, 11:53, BC 4-0: BC gets its first power play after a whistle on Justin Braun. BC's power play is operating with a 22 percent success rate.
Second period, 13:30, BC 4-0: James Marcou grabs a turnover in the neutral zone and gets a shot off from the blue line, and after John Muse makes the stop off his glove, Casey Wellman tries to sweep in the rebound, but BC defenseman Carl Sneep gets his stick in the way. It was probably UMass' best opportunity of the night.
Second period, 17:12, BC 4-0: In its last four periods, BC has scored 10 goals, dating back to Monday's 6-1 win over Harvard in the first round of the Beanpot.
The Eagles are obviously playing with confidence for a reason. And maybe the Bruins need to start hanging out with them to figure out how to score goals.
Second period, 19:54, BC 4-0: And Paul Dainton's night is over, as he has been replaced by Dan Meyers in the UMass net.
The final seconds of that power play have been killed off and we're back to even strength.
End of first period, BC 4-0: This is certainly not what UMass expected when BC came to town tonight.
It's only been 20 minutes and already, any hopes of UMass being able to avenge its loss to BC earlier this season seem lofty. BC outshot the Minutemen 16-9 in that period and UMass has a whole lot of ground to cover in the next 40 minutes.
UMass had a huge opportunity with a 5-on-3 power play in the final two minutes, but BC's PK held strong on all four of the PP's it faced. BC has now outshot opponents 10-1 in the first period in its last three games.
There's still time left, but UMass needs to get the jitters out fast if it wants to make this a competition tonight.
First period, 2:00, BC 4-0: UMass will get one more power-play chance heading into the intermission, as Brian Dumoulin is in the box for interference.
Philip Samuelsson quickly joins Dumoulin for cross-checking, so UMass will have a 5-on-3 with 1:32 left.
First period, 2:53, BC 4-0: Ouch. With three seconds left in the 4-on-4, 6-foot-5, 210-pound Jimmy Hayes snags a turnover at the blue line and takes it all the way to the net on a flip to his backhand.
UMass continues to look very off-kilter and is letting BC dictate the pace. The Minutemen are committing a lot of turnovers and have squandered their own rhythm with offsides calls; maybe the pressure of the big game is getting to them.
First period, 5:03, BC 3-0: There's a 4-on-4; Matt Lombardi is in the box for BC, while Justin Braun is in the box for UMass.
First period, 5:16, BC 3-0: This is getting ugly fast for the Minutemen.
Joe Whitney gets his second goal of the night after Cam Atkinson leaves a drop pass for Brian Gibbons, and after Gibbons misses, Whitney pounds the rebound in.
That's two goals in 1:18 for the Eagles.
The call is being reviewed to see if Whitney's in the crease before the puck gets there; it appears that Whitney initially got pushed in but made no effort to get out afterward. Regardless, the call stands, and the crowd is very unhappy.
It's Whitney's second-career two-goal game.
First period, 6:17, BC 2-0: Paul Carey is alone right in front of the net coming off the faceoff and buries the shot right past Paul Dainton.
Carey now has three points in four career games against UMass.
First period, 7:29, BC 1-0: Word on the BC street is that the Eagles' second injured defender, Patrick Wey, could be back by next Friday after missing about six weeks with a broken wrist.
First period, 8:46, BC 1-0: Casey Wellman takes a feed from James Marcou and it looks like John Muse completely loses sight of where the puck is — and unfortunately for UMass, the shot goes off the post.
This is UMass' killer line — possibly even the best line in the country — so expect it to do some damage before the night is over.
First period, 11:10, BC 1-0: UMass got two good opportunities at the end of the power play — one on a 2-on-1 and one off a rebound that went wide — but the Minutemen were whistled for offsides twice, halting their own momentum.
First period, 13:03, BC 1-0: Eagles goaltender John Muse is whistled for hooking after his stick gets caught up around the UMass defender. The Minutemen get another very early opportunity on the man advantage.
Over the last 12 games, BC has killed 94 of the penalties it has faced.
First period, 14:36, BC 1-0: That was quick. Right after Joe Whitney sent a dish just out of the reach of Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons comes up with the puck and gets it to Whitney, who comes down the slot and scores his ninth of the season.
Since killing off that early power play, the Eagles have turned up the pressure quite a few notches and it's paying off.
First period, 17:46: Power play killed. BC dodged the early bullet there.
There should be around 8,300 on hand for the game tonight — which, according to NESN's Tom Caron, could be the largest crowd in UMass hockey history.
And for good reason, too: The two teams could be playing for home-ice advantage in the Hockey East tournament.
First period, 19:47: UMass is already on the power play 13 seconds in.
BC's penalty kill works with an 87 percent success rate, good for first in Hockey East, while UMass's PP has a 23 percent success rate, third in Hockey East.
7:09 p.m.: Good news right off the bat for BC: Despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to return until after the Beanpot, defenseman Tommy Cross is back in action. No more four-man blue line rotation for the Eagles.
4:00 p.m.: Boston College will attempt to continue riding the wave of momentum it stirred up with Monday night's 6-1 dismantling of Harvard in the first round of the Beanpot. Unfortunately, though, before the Eagles face BU in the championship, they'll have to stay focused on earning a victory over UMass on Friday. (Warning: Trap game.)
The Eagles and the Minutemen are currently deadlocked for second place in Hockey East, and the Eagles, at No. 14 in the country, are just one step ahead of the No. 15 Minutemen.
This is the second meeting of the season between the two squads; BC took the first one 3-1 on Dec. 4. Freshman Parker Milner started in lieu of John Muse and stopped 23 shots, while the red-hot Cam Atkinson scored twice for the Eagles. James Marcou scored UMass' first and only goal.
Check back for updates throughout the evening. Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:30 p.m.