Freshman forward Will Smith had four goals and an assist for the Eagles
Boston College Earns 12th Hockey East Tournament Crown With 6-2 Win Over Boston University
Freshman forward Will Smith had four goals and an assist for the Eagles

Box Score - Highlights

BOSTON – A record-setting four goals by Will Smith led top-seeded Boston College to a 6-2 win over second-seeded Boston University in the final game of the 39th annual Hockey East Championship Saturday evening at TD Garden. The win by the Eagles, in front of a sellout crowd of 17,860, gave BC its record 12th Hockey East title and its first since 2012.

Smith is the first to score four goals in a Hockey East title game, and is the third player- and first freshman- to score three or more in the finals. He had five goals and five assists in the three tourney games and was named the William Flynn Hockey East Tournament MVP.

Boston College (31-5-1) went 4-for-5 on the power play including goals on its first three attempts and used 34 saves from goaltender Jacob Fowler to win its 12th straight game and its 17th in the last 18 games. It avenged its last loss, to BU in the first round of the Beanpot, also at TD Garden.

The Eagles opened with a pair in the first, both power play goals by Smith. His first, at 5:46, was a centering pass from the left boards that deflected off one of the Terriers past BU goalie Mathieu Caron. Eamon Powell and Cutter Gauthier earned assists. Smith would make it 2-0 at 8:37, blasting one home from the high slot finishing a nice feed from Gabe Perreault with Powell adding another assist.

The Terriers would get on the board at 4:24 of the second on the first career goal by defenseman Gavin McCarthy. His rocket from inside the blue line beat Fowler, an assist going to Ryan Greene. Heavy pressure by BU with three minutes left in the second was thwarted by three big stops by Fowler to keep the one-goal advantage.

The Eagles would answer early in the third, again with an extra skater, as Perreault’s goalmouth feed was tapped in by Gauthier at 18:46. Smith would complete his hat-trick 6:46 into the third, finishing a nifty pass from Ryan Leonard to make it 4-1.Perreault’s second of the game, on a rebound of a Gauthier shot, added to the BC lead at 11:32.

After a BC major penalty, BU’s Macklin Celebrini cut it to 5-2 at 14:45 with Lane Hutson and Greene picking up assists. Fowler would make five saves while the Eagles were killing the five-minute penalty.

Smith added an empty netter with 1:56 left for his record-setting fourth goal, and with an assist tonight, his five points are a championship game record. Perreault and Gauthier each had a goal and set up two others while Ryan Leonard and Powell each had two assists tonight.

Smith was joined on the Steve Nazro All-Tournament Team by teammates Perreault, Powell and Fowler, along with BU defenseman Lane Hutson.

Caron finished with 23 saves for Boston University (26-9-2) and the Terriers would go 1-for-5 on the power play. Greene had his second straight multi-point game with two assists. He and Celebrini paced BU each with five points in the three tournament games.

Boston College earns Hockey East’s automatic bid to the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship. The 16-team bracket will be announced live on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU and


- Tonight’s sellout of 17,860 and Friday night’s sellout are the first two since 2005, each sellout a championship weekend record, and the two-night total of 35,720, are both attendance records.

- Both schools have appeared in all 39 tournaments with one or the other now skating in 30 of the 39 title games. BC played in its 19th title game tonight and BU was in its 14th.

- Will Smith’s 67 points this season are a new Boston College record for a freshman. Ken Hodge had 64 for the Eagles as a rookie in 1984-85.

- This is the third title game meeting between the two Commonwealth Avenue rivals, and the first since 2006. BU has won both previous matchups. In 2006, the Terriers won 2-1 in OT at TD Garden and in 1986, 9-4 at the Providence Civic Center, in the league’s second title game.

- BC is 5-4 as the top seed in the final with four straight wins. Its last title in 2012 was as the top seed. BU is 1-2 in previous finals as the second seed.

- This is the 11th final with the top two seeds with #1 seeds having a 6-4 advantage. Last year #1 BU defeated #2 Merrimack in the first #1 vs #2 matchup in 14 tournaments. In all title games, #1 seeds are 18-6 and #2 seeds are 10-7. In #1 vs #2 finals, BC as top seed is 1-2, winning in 2012. As the second seed in matchups vs top seeds, BU is 1-1, beating BC in 1986 and losing to Maine in 1993.

- Both teams have second-year head coaches and its the first title for BC’s Greg Brown, who was behind the bench for the Eagles improvement winning over 30 games this season after just 15 last year. BU head coach Jay Pandolfo led the Terriers to the title last year in his first season.

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