BOSTON — Look at Alex Tuch’s scouting report and you’ll find a common theme: NHL-caliber shot.
The Boston College forward put that excellent shot on display on the game-winning goal in overtime of the Beanpot final to lift the Eagles to a 1-0 triumph over rival Boston University on Monday night. Tuch unleashed a shot from the high slot that beat Terriers goalie and tournament MVP Sean Maguire with a bit of a screen in front, sending Eagles fans at TD Garden into a frenzy.
“I think (if) I would have saw all of it, I would have stopped it,” Maguire said. “But he made a great shot. He shot cross-body, post in — I mean, that’s a pro-level shot. Kudos to him. I guess I didn’t see too much of it, but I’ve made that save 1,000 times. But it’s just one that has to beat me. So, good for him.”
Tuch came to BC as a highly touted recruit. He was selected in the first round, 18th overall, by the Minnesota Wild in the 2014 NHL Draft and made his Eagles debut that fall.
He tallied 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in 37 games as a freshman last season. He already has 24 points in 28 games this campaign, and he’s using his excellent size and skating ability to consistently generate scoring chances.
Tuch wasn’t the only NHL draftee who played an integral part in Boston College’s 20th Beanpot title, though.
Starting goalie Thatcher Demko, a second-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2014, earned his ninth shutout of the season, breaking former BC goalie and current New Jersey Devils star Cory Schneider’s school record.
Demko’s 30 saves, 10 of which came in the third period and overtime, increased his career Beanpot save percentage to .947, third-best in tournament history. He had to be very sharp all night, particularly because Maguire was making some huge saves at the other end to keep BC’s high-powered offense off the scoreboard.
“You just try to stay poised, try to just stay in the moment,” Demko said. “Try to make a save so we can win, not because the other guy made one. It was a tough game. We had a lot of chances. Maguire played unbelievable. All the accolades he got after the game were very well-deserved. It was kind of a goaltending battle tonight, and luckily (Tuch) was able to get one past him.”
BC, which boasts 12 players on its current roster who’ve already been drafted, has long been a factory for developing good NHL players. One of the best and most recent examples is Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, who’s carved out a top-six role in just his second season at the pro level. Gaudreau is following in a long line of BC products like Chris Kreider, Cam Atkinson, Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Hayes and the aforementioned Schneider.
Tuch and Demko still have a ways to go before becoming everyday NHLers, but you saw in this Beanpot tournament why the Wild and Canucks used high draft picks to acquire them. Not only are they very talented, this BC tandem isn’t afraid of high-intensity situations and usually responds to the pressure with a quality performance.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/BCHockeyNews
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