Boston College beats Boston U. for Beanpot title

BOSTON (AP) — Boston College and Boston University are separated by less than 4 miles along the Green Line trolley tracks and precious little on the red and blue lines of a hockey rink.

BC won the 2008 NCAA title. BU won in '09.

BC won the regular season game at BU's Agganis Arena this season. BU won at BC's Kelley Rink.

BU won the "Frozen Fenway" game at the home of the Boston Red Sox. And on Monday night Boston College won the Beanpot championship at the home of the Boston Bruins, scoring four straight times to open a three-goal lead and then holding on to beat BU 4-3.

"Even at 4-1, none of us thought the game was finished yet," BC coach Jerry York said. "We've played BU four times and all of them have been tremendous college hockey games. Two of them have been on big, big stages, and we've split 2-2. Most likely, we'll play again at some point."

That would have to be in the Hockey East tournament, back at the TD Garden, or perhaps the NCAA Frozen Four in the Detroit Lions' Ford Field.

"Maybe there will be a fifth game, a rubber game, somewhere down the line," BU coach Jack Parker said.

York raised the same possibility later.

"How about Detroit?" he said with a smile.

Tournament MVP John Muse stopped 31 shots to help Boston College (16-8-2) win its 15th Beanpot title. Kieran Millan made 28 saves for BU (11-12-3), the defending Beanpot and NCAA champions.

The Beanpot pits the area's four college hockey powers against each other on the first two Mondays of February, and this one had plenty of bragging rights on the line. It featured the last two NCAA champs and the schools that have dominated the Beanpot of late: BC and BU have won 44 of the 58 tournaments.

Northeastern, which beat Harvard 4-1 in the consolation game, has not won since 1988. Harvard's last victory in was '93.

That left the two Commonwealth Avenue neighbors to play in the late game.

BU led 1-0 after the first period before BC erupted for three goals in the second, taking a 3-1 lead when freshman Chris Kreider came out of the penalty box and took the puck into the BU zone, faking out defenseman Max Nicastro at the circle and then making another move on the goalie with a backhander into the net.

It stayed that way until Barry Almeida beat Millan on a wrist shot on a 2-on-1 with 15:38 left. But David Warsofsky, who scored for BU at the Fenway game, made it 4-2 when he beat Muse on a backhander above the glove with 11 minutes to play.

With Millan pulled for an extra skater on a power play — giving BU a 6-on-4 advantage — Colby Cohen finished a scramble in front of the net to score with 2:46 left and make it a one-goal game.

"I was actually kind of expecting it," Muse said. "A lot of teams go down 4-1 in the third period and they're done; they give up. Not BU."

The Terriers scored twice in the final minute of regulation to erase a two-goal deficit in the NCAA championship game last spring, then beat Miami University in overtime for their fifth national championship. But they couldn't finish the comeback this time — thanks largely to Muse, who stopped several point-blank shots after BU pulled Millan again with 1:34 left.

"You never go into a championship game expecting it to be a cakewalk," BC forward Matt Price said. "We expected it to be a close game and it was. And it was just as sweet as if it had been any other way."

Kevin Shattenkirk scored to give BU a 1-0 lead after one period before BC scored the next four goals.

Steven Whitney tied it 61 seconds into the second period after Cam Atkinson capped a scramble for the puck in front of the BU net and made a crossing pass from his knees. Carl Sneep, who had a goal and an assist in the opening round, made it 2-1 with 7:27 to play in the second.

"We were trying to hang in there, and when they gave up a goal we felt it slipping away," Parker said. "I thought they might make it 7-1, but we hung in there."