Youngsters play huge roles in first week of Beanpot
Northeastern University 3, Boston University 2
After the first Beanpot semifinal game Monday night, Boston University senior forward Wade Megan was in tears, struggling to compose himself long enough to string together a sentence. Megan and the rest of the BU seniors saw their Beanpot careers end in disappointing fashion Monday night as the Terriers’ 3-2 loss to BU means that for the first time since 1965, the BU senior class will graduate without winning a single Beanpot. The Northeastern win also marked the first time the Huskies have beaten the Terriers in the Beanpot in the last 25 years, ending a 15-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, Northeastern freshman Kevin Roy made history when he recorded a hat trick in Monday’s game. Roy and the Huskies will advance to their second Beanpot championship game in the past three years and will try to win a Beanpot next week for the first time since 1988.
Keys to the win:
- Roy was outstanding for the Huskies, as he pounced on any BU mistake and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He was responsible for all of the Northeastern scoring Monday night, and his hat trick will go down in Beanpot lore.
- The Huskies also saw goaltender Chris Rawlings step up to the occasion. He made 32 saves on the evening and stood up uncharacteristically well to the BU pressure, especially in the third period when the Terriers’ desperation came into play and they were flinging anything and everything on net.
- While Roy has credit for all the goals, Northeastern senior captain Vinny Saponari was immense in all three areas of the game Monday night. Saponari, a former Terrier who won a Beanpot with BU in 2009, showed no mercy against his former teammates. He was physical and persistent on the penalty kill, followed through on his checks and set up his teammates well in the offensive zone.
Keys to the loss:
- The Terriers struggled mentally throughout the game. They consistently attempted no-look passes that resulted in turnovers almost every time and didn’t seem to be on the same page, as they frequently bunched up on defense or missed their coverage. The biggest mental mistake of the night came from senior forward Ben Rosen, who, in an attempt to help his out-of-position goalie clear the zone, instead passed directly to Northeastern’s Roy. The Husky freshman was standing in front of an empty net at the time and easily slipped the puck in for the second NU goal of the night.
- BU’s power play was atrocious on Monday. The Terriers had six power plays and registered just four total shots with the man-advantage. They also had 1:56 of a 5-on-3 at the end of the second period followed by another power play 10 seconds after the 5-on-3 ended and were unable to score on either situation.
- The BU veterans failed to lead their team on Monday and instead made some of the most costly errors. There was Ben Rosen’s bad pass, as mentioned above, as well as a turnover in the neutral zone by senior captain Wade Megan in the first period that led to NU’s first goal. Of the five Terriers on the scoresheet, three were either freshmen or sophomores.
Boston College 4, Harvard University 1
The Boston College Eagles will look to capture their fourth consecutive Beanpot championship next Monday after downing Harvard, 4-1, in Monday’s semifinal. The game was scoreless through much of the first period, but BC grabbed some momentum by scoring with 28.8 seconds to play in the first, then potted two more goals in the second period and capped off the scoring with a late goal in the third.
The BC seniors are now 7-0 in the Beanpot. The Eagles have also scored in 18 consecutive periods against the Crimson.
Keys to the win:
- BC got some welcome scoring from sophomore forward Quinn Smith, who matched his season total of two goals with two more goals Monday night. Smith’s scoring was especially welcome considering coach Jerry York spoke at the pre-Beanpot luncheon of his desire to see more scoring across the board from his team.
- The Eagles also benefited from timely scoring. Harvard outplayed the Eagles for much of the first period, but any momentum that may have generate quickly died when BC scored seconds before the end of the period. Similarly, in the third period, Harvard finally got on the board halfway through the period and seemed to be gaining steam, but nearly six minutes after the Crimson goal, BC senior Steven Whitney forced a turnover in the neutral zone and somehow managed to score despite being hauled down to give BC a 4-1 lead with 5:02 left in the game.
- BC’s defense, which struggled in the past few weeks due to injury, stepped up on Monday. The BC defenders did not give the Crimson much room to work with in the offensive zone and quickly cleaned up any rebounds to prevent the Crimson from getting too many chances on goaltender Parker Milner. One of the biggest boosts on defense was the recent return of freshman defenseman Michael Matheson. The rookie played like he had never been hurt and recorded a goal in the contest.
Keys to the loss
- Harvard’s offense was completely ineffective. The Crimson were out-shot, 46-20, in the game, a stat which must have been extremely frustrating for Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard. The junior netminder kept his team in the game by repeatedly making phenomenal saves on BC’s highly skilled players, but his offense could not get anything going on the other side of the ice.
- The Crimson ended the first and second periods on low notes thanks to goals within the last minute of play in each period. When playing against a team as talented as Boston College, it is difficult to create belief in your team when you head into the locker room for intermissions having just given up a goal.
- At the end of the day, BC is just a more skilled team than Harvard, and they certainly played like it Monday. They were opportunistic and thorough, and Harvard could do nothing to combat the BC skill.