BOSTON, Mass. - Boston College scored three goals in a span of 1:06 in the first period en route to a 4-1 win over Northeastern University on Saturday at Matthews Arena. Brian Gibbons netted the game-winner for the Eagles and added an assist while Nathan Gerbe also potted a goal and an assist. Freshman defenseman Mike Hewkin scored for the Huskies.
Northeastern will be the No. 6 see for the Hockey East Tournament, playing a best-of-three series against No. 3 seed Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Boston College will host Providence College. Northeastern finished the regular season 15-16-3 overall and 12-13-2 in Hockey East while Boston College ended up 17-11-8 overall and 11-9-7 in Hockey East.
Northeastern started strong, outshooting Boston College 10-5 over the first 10:31 of the game, when junior captain Joe Vitale was called for holding. The Eagles turned the tide at that point, getting the final 10 shots of the first period when things got messy.
Husky defenseman Louis Liotti was whistled for interference at 15:51 before Drew Muench was called for hitting from behind at 16:01, getting a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The Huskies killed off the 1:51 long five-on-three, but couldn't hold the Eagles back as the major continued. Kyle Kucharski netted a goal for BC at 18:22 with assists from Matt Lombardi and Gibbons.
BC's Joe Whitney was called for holding at 19:01, setting up four-on-four play for the rest of the first. Gerbe won the ensuing faceoff in the neutral zone and got it back to Gibbons. Gibbons raced down the left side and scored at 19:10. Just 18 seconds later, Nick Petrecki scored, giving Boston College a 3-0 lead at 19:28 in the first period. Matt Greene and Ben Smith got the puck out of the corner to Petrecki in front of the net and he was able to find the back of the net.
Northeastern outshot Boston College 26-15 in the second and third periods but could only manage Hewkin's goal. Tyler McNeely passed the puck to Greg Costa in the neutral zone, Costa brought it in and passed it back off the boards to Hewkin. Hewking fired a slapshot into the top right corner of the net, ringing the pipes for the score at 11:34 in the second period.
Most of the third period went scoreless until Northeastern called a timeout with 1:59 left. The Huskies pulled goalie Brad Thiessen and pressured the net. Gerbe stole the puck in the neutral zone and scored an unassisted empty netter at 18:39 to seal the game for the Eagles.
The Huskies outshot the Eagles, 36-30, in the game with Thiessen making 26 saves and BC goalie John Muse stopping 35 shots.
Northeastern's Hockey East Quarterfinal series begins on Friday at 7 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Saturday's game and Sunday's (if necessary) will also begin at 7 p.m. All three games will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston.