February 6, 2007
Beanpot Semifinals
Coming Up, Short
Diminutive Gerbe scores pivotal short-handed goal in BC win

By Jeff Howe

Boston College 3,

Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-HAR Dylan Reese (5) EV
8:12 K. Du
1-BC Benn Ferriero (13) EV
17:27 J. Rooney, M. Brennan

Second Period

2-BC Nathan Gerbe (13) SH
6:22 B. Ferriero
Third Period
3-BC Brian Boyle (13) PP
19:41 Unassisted
BC: Cory Schneider, 60:00, 20 saves, 1 GA
H: Kyle Richter, 59:29, 29 saves, 2 GA; Empty Net, 0:31, 0 saves, 1 GA
Penalties: BC 4/8; H 2/4
Power Plays: BC 1-2; H 0-4
Attendance: 17,565

BOSTON – Just a sophomore, Nathan Gerbe is already earning high praise from Jerry York.

The pint-sized lightning bolt has emerged as one of the most exciting players to watch in Hockey East this season, and he put his electricity on display for a sold-out Beanpot crowd during BC's 3-1 semifinal win over Harvard at the TD BankNorth Garden Monday night.

With the game tied 1-1 and the Crimson on the power play, Brian Boyle blocked a shot and fed Benn Ferriero up the ice. Ferriero passed the puck to Gerbe entering the Harvard zone, and Gerbe slid past defensive captain Dylan Reese before shuffling a backhander past goalie Kyle Richter.

Lightning struck in the blink of an eye.

"Nathan Gerbe's short-handed goal in the second period certainly was the turning point in the game," York said.

It was Gerbe's fourth short-hander of the year, tying him for the national lead. More importantly, his ability to explode up the ice past guys like Reese, who York dubbed as the best defenseman they've played all year, has provided Boston College with its most dangerous scoring threat.

It's also caused York to drop a serious name.

"He is a terrific player," York said. "Our goal is to recruit more Nathan Gerbe's to BC for sure. He has got a lot of Brian Gionta in him. I've watched him play now for two full years. He's got the heart of a warrior. He has terrific skills and is an outstanding skater. He is close to Brian. If he stays at BC and continues to improve, I think they'll have very similar types of careers."

During the Eagles' run to the national championship last season, their ability to crush a team's spirits by scoring on the penalty kill was an immense weapon. Though Chris Collins and Stephen Gionta are gone, Gerbe has carried that killer mindset into this season.

"Special teams are crucial down the stretch," Gerbe said. "We want to scare opponents on the PK. We don't want to just sit back. We want to score goals. It hurts teams a lot. I know when we get scored on short-handed, it hurts a lot."

"You go down a man, and you expect to have to stave off on the onslaught," goalie Cory Schneider said. "Then, to get a break like that, it's huge. Gerbe is one of the tops in the country right now in shorties. It's a huge lift for us."

"That didn't just put us ahead," Boyle said of Gerbe's goal. "That gave us a tremendous boost."

As his linemate, Boyle knows particularly well how valuable Gerbe has been of late. While defensemen are forced to pack it in towards Boyle, who stands at 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Gerbe (5-foot-6, 160 pounds) can race all over the ice. An odd couple indeed, but their styles complement each other perfectly and cause defenses fits.

"Gerbe has been huge," Boyle said. "He is a fun player to watch, and he has been successful scoring goals and getting points. He's been huge killing penalties, obviously the PK goal today. He's a lot of fun, and I get to play with him every shift. He is a great player to watch."

Just ask the defensemen who haven't been able to do much else.


Boston University 4,
Northeastern 0
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
No Scoring

Second Period

1-BU Pete MacArthur (12) PP
8:59 C. Higgins, L. Popko
2-BU Kenny Roche (8) EV
9:47 S. Sullivan, M. Gilroy
Third Period
3-BU Dan McGoff (3) EV
15:37 Unassisted
4-BU Dan McGoff (4) PP
19:36 M. Gilroy, B. McGuirk
BU: John Curry, 60:00, 27 saves, 0 GA
NU: Brad Thiessen, 60:00, 33 saves, 4 GA
Penalties: BU 6/12; NU 7/14
Power Plays: BU 2-7; NU 0-6
Attendance: 17,565

John Curry couldn't wait to get back on the ice Monday night – not necessarily because it was the opening round of the Beanpot, or because he was coming off a strong performance in a shutout over UMass Lowell three days before.

He wanted to get that sick feeling out of his stomach that lingered over the weekend because of that game against the River Hawks, which ended in a scoreless tie.

After posting his second straight shutout in a 4-0 Boston University win over Northeastern, Curry may never want to get off the ice again.

"We had a tough game last Friday," Curry said. "We only had a couple days to come back and refocus. We were down a little bit on Saturday. We didn't have time to dwell on it too much. In a way, that was an advantage that we only had a couple days off and got to play again. Usually, we have to wait a week to get back at it. It gave us an opportunity to get right back at it, and the team was like night and day between last Friday and today."

The BU senior improved to 4-0 in his Beanpot career, registered his national-best sixth shutout of the season and recorded the 12th blanking of his career, which puts him one back of the school's all-time record.

"He is unbelievable," said Dan McGoff, who scored two goals to double his career total. "I can't believe how good he has been this year. We'd be nowhere without him. He has kept us in every game. If we didn't have him, I don't even think we'd be ranked."

Curry made 27 saves, drawing the Terrier faithful to its feet a couple times. With Boston University holding a 2-0 lead as time was running out in the second period, the Huskies had a five-on-three for 1:43. After making a nice save to stop a hard shot from the right point, he swatted two more away with Northeastern trying to bang the puck home in front of the net.

"Killing the [five-on-three] was huge," Curry said. "If they get a goal at that point, then we're only up one goal entering the third period."

Kyle Kraemer nearly cut the lead in half with 11:40 remaining in the third. Skating alone from the left point through the slot, Kraemer appeared to have Curry beat with his first move. By the time the Northeastern freshman wristed the puck, though, Curry stuck his left leg out to kick it away.

And like most shutouts, he benefited from a stroke of luck. Late in the second period, Kraemer intercepted a pass at center ice and raced through the slot uncontested. His wrister buzzed past Curry's glove but caromed hard off the pipe.

"The puck was my best friend there," Curry said. "It was bouncing a little bit on his stick so I knew he wasn't going to be able to make any type of a move. He got the shot away and beat me pretty clean so thanks to the post."

And, largely thanks to Curry, BU will be playing in its 13th straight Beanpot Championship.

INCH's Three Stars of the Night

3. Dan McGoff, Boston University
Parker put him on the power play late in the third, causing the suddenly clairvoyant Pete MacArthur to say, "Time for your first two-goal game."

2. Nathan Gerbe, Boston College
His short-handed goal in the second period changed the game.

1. John Curry, Boston University
He stopped 27 shots, got his second straight shutout, and has a 73:36 scoreless streak in the Beanpot.


Dan McGoff may have been credited with the goal, but Brad Thiessen scored on himself at 15:37 of the third period of the first game. Thiessen left his net to collect a loose puck at the right point after it had been sent down the ice from the BU zone. A bit too lackadaisical, Thiessen was pressured by the hustling McGoff, and the netminder sent an errant pass back toward the net, which slowly crept past the line.

"Our goalie coach (Mike Geragosian) gave us a scouting report of [Thiessen] and said he was tough handling the puck, so I just tried to put as much pressure on him as I could," McGoff said. "I didn't think he was going to put it in his own net. When he did it, I was like, 'Oh my God. I can't believe he just did that.' I didn't even know I scored."

Immediately noticeable at the Garden was the spoked B at center ice and not the Beanpot logo, which was on display during last year's tourney. I guess this serves as a reminder that the Bruins do indeed still play here.

Staying on topic, this is the first time a Boston team has won a game in the TD BankNorth Garden since the Bruins beat the Penguins on Jan. 18. The B's are riding a three-game home slide, which isn't nearly as bad as the Celtics, who have lost a franchise-record 11 straight home bouts. The C's, who haven't won at the Garden since Dec. 15, have also lost a franchise-worst 14 straight games.

Northeastern goalie Brad Thiessen made a great glove save on a Kenny Roche slapper from the slot during BU's first power play.

During the first TV timeout of the first game, the BU student section started its "Ugly goalie" chant. The Northeastern student section, sitting to the immediate left, responded with an "Ugly students" chant. The BU faithful then went into an "Ugly future" cheer.

Northeastern's David O'Brien and Boston College's Jim Tiernan were this year's inductees to the Beanpot Hall of Fame.

Shawn McEachern, who joined Northeastern as an assistant coach before its game against Maine on Dec. 9, was a former Boston University star and won the 1990 and 1991 Beanpots with the Terriers. BU goalie coach Mike Geragosian is the father of Northeastern backup goalie Adam Geragosian.

Brad Thiessen's shutout streak ended at 88:59 when Pete MacArthur scored in the second period. He stopped 37 straight shots during the streak. His next streak lasted just 48 seconds after Kenny Roche, who had been stoned twice earlier in the game, beat Thiessen on a breakaway.

Northeastern had its best scoring opportunity of the night with 1:50 remaining in the second period. Kyle Kraemer intercepted Brian Straight's pass at center ice, carried it into the BU zone and rang a wrister hard off the right pipe.

There are no signs of any Light Brights – or, "suspicious packages" if that is closer to the official term – at the Garden. Apparently, the Cartoon Network does not deem Beanpot fans as potential viewers of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."

The Huskies had a five-on-three for 1:42 between the second and third periods. They put three shots on net – all in the first 1:13 in the second-period portion – but John Curry was a rock in net. Kevin Schaeffer, per usual, sold out and blocked a hard slapper during the penalty kill.

Schaeffer broke up a breakaway late in the third period by diving to knock the puck loose in the low slot.

"I thought he was our best player tonight," Jack Parker said.

"It's huge, and it makes a statement to the rest of the guys to get us going," Curry said of Schaeffer's fearlessness on the ice. "That play he made in the third period when the guy had a breakaway and he made a diving stop – plays like that not only help you on the scoreboard but gets the guys going."

I'm starting to wonder what the locals will think if the Terriers make a run to the Frozen Four in St. Louis The BU students have a regular third-period cheer of "Anheuser Busch! St. Louis, Missouri! Let's get drunk!"

The Northeastern students chanted, "BU football!" in the third period, drawing an "Undefeated!" cheer from the Terrier students.

Sans stick, Chris Higgins made a nice pass with his left foot in the Northeastern zone with about seven minutes remaining in the game. Higgins booted the puck past Andrew Linard to Eric Thomassian in the slot, but Brad Thiessen remained true between the pipes.

Longtime Boston University sports information director Ed Carpenter, who is now retired, was back in action at the Beanpot. When Carpenter introduced Jack Parker in the postgame press conference, Parker quipped, "I have a question. How did you get this gig? I thought you retired."

UMass coach Don Cahoon was on hand for the festivities. Cahoon was a former BU player and coach under Jack Parker and is somewhat of a regular at the Beanpot.

After getting stripped of their captaincies, Brian Boyle earned his "C" back, and Joe Rooney got his "A" restitched to his sweater. Jerry York removed their titles entering the second half of the season because he was not pleased with their efforts in the classroom.

The BC fans appeared to be going at it alone throughout the night. During a "We are BC!" cheer, the Harvard, Northeastern and BU fans chimed in "Sucks!"

BC has played 40 games in the Boston Garden's replacement building, more than any other college hockey team. The Eagles are 24-15-1 and have won six championships here (four Hockey East, two Beanpot).

Hey, if you're going to pay to get into both games, you might as well get your money's worth. The Northeastern students were still going strong in the third period of the second game with a "Let's go, Huskies!" cheer.


BC and BU will meet in the Beanpot final for the 19th time. BU holds an 11-7 record on the second Monday against BC. The Eagles won the first four championship meetings, and the Terriers have won 11 of the last 14. This will be the fourth time in the last five years they have met in the championship game. The only time they didn't in that span (2005), they met in the first round. BC holds a 2-1 edge in the season series against BU this season.

"It should be a classic Beanpot final," Jerry York said.