Boston College has gotten the best of their rivals from Boston University this season except in the one that mattered.
Freshman center Macklin Celebrini scored two first period goals and junior goalie Mathieu Caron set aside 34 shots to lift the No. 3 Terriers to a 4-3 victory over No. 1 BC in the nightcap of the 71st Beanpot on Monday before a sellout crowd of 18,258 at the TD Garden.
BU advanced to the title game for the 56th time and looks to claim a record 32nd title when the Terriers take on defending champion Northeastern on Feb. 12 at the Garden.
Celebrini is projected to be the first player taken in the 2024 NHL SuperDraft. BC freshman left wing Gabe Perreault, a New York Rangers first-round pick, scored twice for the Eagles.
The Eagles replaced the Terriers at the top of the USCHO rankings after completing a weekend series sweep last month. BC won the opener 4-1 with two empty net goals at Conte Forum and prevailed 4-3 at Agganis Arena.
BU did something they failed to do in the previous two games by scoring the first goal. Celebrini broke into the BC zone, floated towards the high slot, and fired a long wrister though a screen that beat Jacob Fowler low to the stick side.
Celebrini’s second made it 2-0 at 6:10 and he did so with a little help from his sibling friends. Quinn Huston cycled the puck high to Lane Hutson at the left point. Huston, a Montreal Canadians draft pick, relayed the puck to Celebrini who one-timed a slapper for the top of the right circle for his 21st of the season.
The first period 20 minutes was abuzz with energy and effort and most of it was directed at both goalies. BU exited the ice with a 19-13 advantage in shots on goal.
BC opened the second period with a sense of urgency and pounded Caron with shots from all angles. The heat went up a few degrees when BU center Sam Stevens got lugged to the cooler for tripping at 5:15.
BC made it 2-1 on a magnificent collaboration that led to freshman left wing Gabe Perreault’s 11th of the season. Perreault set the play in motion by stopping a BU clearing attempt just outside the blue line.
Perreault led Will Smith’s run up the right boards before making a dash to the net. Smith relayed the puck back to Perreault in the low slot where he lifted it past Caron on the stick side.
BU went ahead 3-1 on an alert by play graduate left wing Luke Tuck at 11:14. The Canadiens draft pick intercepted a clearing attempt off the end boards at the bottom of the right circle. Tuch unleashed a wrister that beat Fowler for his seventh of the season.
BU upped the lead to 4-1 when sophomore center Ryan Greene scored his ninth at 4:47 of the third. Tuch won a puck battle along the boards in the BC end and fed Greene in a low slot for a one timer.
BC made it 4-2 when junior left wing Connor Joyce set up right wing Gentry Shamburger in the slot for his first of the season. BC got within one at 11:24 when Perreault potted his second off a feed from Ryan Leonard.