For the first time since 2012, and conference-leading 12th time overall, the Boston College Eagles have won the Hockey East Tournament. 

The Eagles were the stars of the show all weekend, scoring 14 goals across their two matchups. Hobey Baker Finalist Cutter Gauthier & Co kickstarted the party with an 8-1 shelling of UMass on Friday. Gauthier scored two goals and set up two more, while freshmen Will Smith, Ryan Leonard, and Gabe Perrault combined for four goals and eleven points.

In the other semifinal, BU outlasted Maine on the back of goaltender Mathieu Caron. The Terriers won 4-1 but were outshot 33-18 on the night and leaned on Caron heavily late. The Black Bears more than doubled BU’s shooting in the last two periods in their comeback attempt, but a power play goal and empty netter put the game on ice, setting up BU-BC Final for the first time since 2006.

On Saturday night, the Eagles picked up right where they left off. 

In a reversal of their Beanpot matchup back in February, it was BC who jumped out to a 2-0 lead courtesy of a freshman. Will Smith scored two power-play goals in the opening ten minutes to give BC a lead they would not relinquish. The Terriers clawed one back in the second period, but Gauthier’s 35th goal effectively clinched the championship.

From there, the third period essentially became a showcase for all the 1st round picks on the ice. Smith scored a hat trick off a gorgeous feed from Leonard, then later added a fourth. Gabe Perrault tacked on BC’s 4th power-play goal of the night to go with his two assists—the Eagles vaunted freshman line combined for 9 goals and 21 points in the semifinal & final games.

Macklin Celerini tacked on a power play goal of his own, but the game was already well in hand.

Not only was this BC’s first HE title since 2012, but it was the first-ever victory over BU in the Final.

The victory assured BC the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and home ice in the Providence regional. Not only that but paired with other conference championship results, there were interesting consequences elsewhere.

When the bracket was released, we learned that UMass got in as the automatic hosts of the Springfield regional. Because intraconference matchups are avoided if possible, BU was booted all the way to Sioux Falls to open the tourney.

Boston College will face #16 Michigan Tech and potentially the winner of #8 Wisconsin and #9 Quinnipiac in Providence.

Boston University will face #15 RIT and potentially the winner of #7 Minnesota and #11 Nebraska-Omaha in Sioux Falls.

UMaine and UMass are both seeded in the Springfield Region. Maine will face #12 Cornell, while UMass will face #3 Denver. 

The Road to the Frozen Four kicks off on Thursday with the Springfield & Sioux Falls regionals on ESPN+.


Photo: Barry Chin / Boston Globe

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