Gerbe Carries BC to Beanpot Final
by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer
BOSTON For all of the doubters, Boston College's Nathan Gerbe showed in 26:03 why he should be considered a candidate for this year's Hobey Baker Award.
Gerbe, BC's junior superstar who has been a lightning rod of controversy due to his questionable on-ice antics that resulted in a suspension from Hockey East earlier this season, raised his game to new heights, striking twice — once in the third period that deleted a 3-2 BU lead, and again in overtime to lift the Eagles to a 4-3 win in the opening round of the Beanpot against Commonwealth Ave. rival Boston University.
"Nathan picks up his game when there is a big game like this one," said BC head coach Jerry York. "He's such a dynamic player, and does so many things well."
Gerbe's overtime winner was his 21st goal of the season.
"It was one of those plays, I saw the puck and I just went for it," he said. "The puck sort of squirted out and I tried to go high with it. It ended up going over the top of (Bret) Bennett's glove. It felt good to get this one."
BU goaltender Bret Bennett has a similar recollection.
"I just tried to get over," he said. "They were right on the net. I didn't see who got there but it ended up over my glove. Obviously it hurts because I feel like I let the other guys down. This is going to be a tough pill to swallow."
The BC win marks the first time in 13 years that BU will have the early faceoff in next Monday's consolation game. Entering the game, BU had appeared in 23 of the last 24 Beanpot finals.
"You know, sometimes you get what you deserve," said BU head coach Jack Parker. "Tonight, BC deserved to win. I'm proud of my guys, and I am proud of our effort, but BC deserved to win.
"You know, it's funny. Last year we get them with an overtime goal in the final, and tonight they get us with an overtime goal to put them in the final. It's funny, but things always workout that way in the Beanpot with us.
Parker added, "We've had streaks like this before, being in 13 finals in a row. I think at one point we were at 17 finals in a row, too. It was a great college hockey game, I'll tell you that."
For the Eagles, the win helps erase the memory of last year’s overtime loss to the Terriers.
For BU, the loss is just the latest episode in what has been a tumultuous season that has seen their record dip well below .500, and opponents seemingly scoring at will.
"I can't say I'm disappointed with our effort tonight, because I'm not," said Parker.
On BC's end, freshman goaltender John Muse, who entered the season standing in the enormous shadow of Cory Schneider, did something in his first Beanpot game that Schneider was never able to do ... beat BU.
"We haven't won anything yet," he said. "It feels good to get the win, but I mean, we still have to play next Monday.
"It was a great experience though. Good to get to play here, in front of this crowd. It was a great experience for me, it was really special."