Monday, February 13, 2012

Cupid's Quickie Cuppa Sports Chowdah- Extra Helping From the Beanpot For BC; B's Rally Against Hungry Predators; C's Hold Off Charging Bulls

NCAA HOCKEY: Not surprisingly, Monday night's Beanpot tournament had implications beyond the 60th annual Boston-are hockey tournament.

After Harvard's 3-1 win over Northeastern in the consolation game, the main event got underway with the #2 BU Terriers and #3 BC Eagles facing off in the title game for the 21st time in the tournament's history- and by #2 and #3, I mean nationally ranked. The NCAA released their hockey rankings on Monday and while BU slipped from #1 to #2, Boston College moved up from #5.

BC Junior Pat Mullane got the Eagles on the board in the first with a power play tally at the 8:54 mark.

Five minutes into the second period, the Terriers had just killed off another penalty when Sophmore Garrett Noonan beat BC goalie Parker Noonan to tie the contest up at 1-1. But the Eagles would retake the lead on a power play goal from Junior Chris Kreider about 3 minutes later. Shortly after the Eagle's go-ahead goal, Terrier's captain Chris Connolly was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Although Boston College seemingly had the momentum heading into the 3rd period, the Terrier's Noonan notched his second goal of the night 7 and a half minutes into the 3rd period to tie the contest up at 2-2, cashing in on a 5 on 3 power play.

The winner of the 60th annual Beanpot wouldn't be decided in the 3rd, so the contest headed to OT, which turned out to be a back and forth affair, although neither team seemed able to capitalize on the scoring chances made available. Things looked as though they were heading for a 2nd OT when BC Sophmore Bill Arnold ripped one past Terriers netminder Kieran Millan with 6.4 seconds left to give the Eagles the sudden-death OT win.

Millan allowed 3 of the 44 shots he faced in while Milner faced 42 and allowed 2 in Monday night's game.

Boston College head Jerry York coach credits the win to a visit from former Red Sox manager Terry Francona the day after their dismantling of Northeastern in the first round of this year's Beanpot. According to York, Francona discussed how players like 2B Dustin Pedroia everyone in the locker room to be better teammates and take advantage of built-up energy.

This is Boston College's 3rd consecutive Beanpot title and 17th overall in tournament history. Each team now has 6 regular-season games remaining on their schedule.

NHL: After a humiliating 6-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on the road, the Bruins returned home to face the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon. Patrice Bergeron got the B's on the board with a shorthanded goal in the first to give Boston the 1-0 lead.

Shea Weber would then tie the contest up at 1-1 with a power play goal in the 2nd period before a wild 3rd period that saw Boston re-take the lead on a Danny Paille goal before Thomas allowed two goals [including one to Mr Carrie Underwood- NANESB!]and Nashville to take the 3-2 lead with just under 3:30 to go in regulation.

However, with 1:07 left in regulation and Boston on the power play, Milan Lucic would beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to force OT. After a scoreless OT, Tim Thomas stopped every shot he faced in the shootout and Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron would score for Boston in the shootout, handing the Predators their second OT loss in their last three games.

Tim Thomas stopped 19 of 22 shots faced while Pekka Rinne allowed 3 shots in on the 41 he faced. The Predators converted 1 of their 3 power play opportunities while the Bruins were 1 in 4 for their power play.

Boston will next take on the NY Rangers at the TD Banknorth Garden Tuesday night. Surprisingly, this matchup between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference won't be nationally televised on NBC Sports or the NHL network, but will only be available locally on NESN in New England and the MSG network in Boston. The puck drops at 7 PM ET.

OTHER NHL NEWS: The teams and venue for the NHL's next Winter Classic have been made official. The Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the University of Michigan's Big House in Ann Arbor, MI on New Year's Day 2013. The Original 6 matchup will be the first time a Canadian franchise has participated in the newly-established New Year's day tradition [altho' the concept stemmed from an outdoor game between Edmonton and Montreal in 2003 that was well-recieved- NANESB!]

This would not be the first outdoor hockey game at Ann Arbor's Big House. In December 2010, the Michigan Wolverines shut out cross-state rivals Michigan State by a final of 5-0 in what was called The Big Chill at the Big House.

NBA: In a nationally televised game on Sunday afternoon, the Boston Celtics managed to hold off the Eastern conference leading Chicago Bulls at home. Rajon Rondo largely carried the C's while recording a triple-double, 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in the 95-91 win over Chicago.

The well-rested Celtics are now 15-12 and won't see any action until Wednesday when they host the hapless Detroit Pistons. The game tips off at 7:30 and will be televised on CSNE.

MLB- The Houston Astros have reached a 1 year, $1.15 million deal with former Red Sox SS Jed Lowrie, avoiding arbitration. Lowrie was traded to the Astros in December along with Kyle Weiland in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon.

The Red Sox and DH David Ortiz avoided arbitration with the slugger agreeing to a 1-year $14.75 million contract this weekend.

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