End of game, 4-1 BC: Boston College has won the Beanpot three years in a row, and anyone watching tonight’s effort has to figure they’re poised to capture a fourth consecutive, and 18th overall.
In next week’s championship game, BC will take on Northeastern, which beat Boston University 3-2 earlier in the day.
So, thanks for sticking with us on this Monday, and we’ll be back next week to live blog the rest of the Beanpot.
Third period, 4:54, 4-1 BC: That was an absolutely wicked wrist shot from Steven Whitney, who uses the Harvard defender as a screen before beating Girard.
So, with just five minutes left Harvard’s chances are on life support, and BC looks like the power team they’re supposed to be despite their recent troubles.
Third period, 9:43, 3-1 BC: After having some difficult times getting pucks to the BC net, captain Danny Biega puts Harvard on the board. It’s Biega’s first goal of the season.
The goal cuts BC’s lead, and if Harvard can add another one in relatively short order we could have a hockey game.
Third period, 12:16, 3-0 BC: If not for Raphael Girard, this game would be even more of a blowout.
Girard’s made a number of solid saves against the BC offense to keep Harvard even as close as three goals. Moreover, he’s done well in terms of rebound control, either holding onto the puck or steering it into the corners.
End of second period, 3-0 BC: If you’re going to win hockey games, these are the types of goals you just can’t let in. Sloppy defense in front of the Harvard net allowed Quinn Smith to knock in his second tally of the game and defenseman Michael Matheson sent a slap shot from the top of the right circle past Girard for what could prove to be the nail in the coffin. Again, the Crimson allow a solid period of hockey slip away at the end.
Second period, 4:23, 1-0 BC: Harvard has played tough and physical in the defensive end, but the Crimson offense has not been able to find any sort of momentum. Eagles goalie Parker Milner has hardly been tested, needing to make just 13 saves so far. Girard has more than double that on the other end, turning away 27 of the first 28 BC shots.
Second period, 12:00, 1-0 BC: Patrick Wey (not to be confused with former NHL goalie Patrick Roy) is whistled for interference and the Crimson will go on the power play. That may not be a very uplifting thought for Harvard fans, however, as their team’s extra-skater unit makes the Bruins’ power play look like a well-oiled machine. The Crimson have converted on just 9.9 percent of their power-play opportunities, good for dead last in the ECAC.
This comes just one year after Harvard’s power-play unit operated at an outstanding 27.0 percent efficiency, leading the nation in the category.
Second period, 14:11, 1-0 BC: Another huge stop by Girard, who denies Pat Mullane from point-blank range with a kick save. The junior has taken at least a pair of would-be goals away from the Eagles thus far.
Second period, 17:31, 1-0 BC: The puck has been living at Harvard’s doorstep, it seems, as every Crimson clear is taken right back down by BC’s forwards. Harvard’s blueliners have been game so far, but they are getting worked very hard. How their stamina holds up may be a key to the rest of this game.
End of first period, 1-0 BC: Girard withstood the Eagles’ onslaught during the power play, but could not escape the first period unscathed. BC’s Quinn Smith slapped in a rebound with just over 20 seconds remaining to give his team a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.
Tough way to end the frame for the Crimson, but they are playing much better hockey than their 5-14-1 record would indicate, keeping up even as BC’s offense started clicking on all cylinders late in the period. A quick Eagles goal in the second could change that in a hurry, though.
First period, 3:13, 0-0: Brendan Rempel plants Bill Arnold to the ice, but the referees spotted a bit extra in Rempel’s hit and BC will have the game’s first power play.
First period, 5:50, 0-0: Girard foils BC’s first serious chance of the game and is seriously fired up about it. Harvard responded by taking the puck right down for a scoring chance of its own, but a rocket from senior Luke Greiner rang off the inside of the left post. Still scoreless at the Garden.
First period, 13:07, 0-0: This first period has been swift and physical, with few whistles and heavy checking provided by both sides. BC has yet to test the junior Girard, who is in his second year as the Crimson’s starter between the pipes.
Harvard will need to stiffen defensively if they are to have a chance against the Eagles. The Crimson have dropped 11 of their last 12 games, allowing 3.92 goals per contest over that span.
Start of first period: BC and Harvard take the ice for the nightcap, with Parker Milner starting in goal for the Eagles and Raphael Girard backstopping the Crimson. The boys from Cambridge are the last team other than BC or BU to take home a Beanpot title, but that was way back in 1993. We’ll see if they can work some magic against coach Jerry York’s No. 5 Eagles tonight.
Final, 3-2 Northeastern: The clock hits triple zeros and the Huskies will play for the the Beanpot championship. The win marks Northeastern’s first win over BU in this tournament since the 1988 title game, which gave the Huskies their most recent Beanpot championship. They’ll look to break that streak, as well, next Monday against the winner of tonight’s Boston College-Harvard semifinal.
Third period, 1:11, 3-2 Northeastern: And just as I say that, BU pulls within one. With O’Connor on the bench, Sahir Gill sent a rebound past Rawlings to cut the deficit to 3-2. This game is not over yet.
Third period, 2:00, 3-1 Northeastern: Terrific defense being played in the Northeastern end. Rawlings has been a rock in net but his teammates have given his tremendous help in front, continuously disrupting the rhythm of the Terriers with great stick movement and body checking.
Third period, 4:38, 3-1 Northeastern: Kevin Roy strikes again. The freshman phenom continued his stellar effort with his third goal of the contest, giving the Huskies a two-goal lead with just over four minutes remaining.
A Josh Manson slap shot from the blue line was deflected into the pads of O’Connor by Garrett Vermeersch, but the BU goalie couldn’t corral the puck and Roy pounded home the off-angle shot for his first career hat trick.
Third period, 7:54, 2-1 Northeastern: It seems that this entire period has been played in the Northeastern zone, as BU owns a 10-5 shot advantage in the frame, including a couple of rockets from the slot that Rawlings turned aside.
Third period, 12:32, 2-1 Northeastern: You can sense the urgency on the ice right now, as both teams come up with solid scoring chances. Rawlings and O’Connor have held strong, though, keeping the third period scoreless thus far.
Start of third period, 2-1 Northeastern: Just 20 minutes separate one of these squads from next Monday’s Beanpot championship. A key for Jack Parker’s squad will be capitalizing on power-play opportunities, as the Terriers have been unsuccessful on all six of their extra-skater chances tonight.
Second Period, 3:15, 2-1 Northeastern: Roy hasn’t looked as quite as dangerous as O’Regan, but he created his own opportunity there on an unassisted lead, giving Northeastern the 2-1 edge.
Boston University has looked to be the better team overall in terms of puck possession, but Northeastern’s been far more opportunistic.
Second Period, 7:35, 1-1: Nothing doing for BU there on the power play, as they couldn’t even really get set up in the offensive zone.
Though BU’s had the better of puck possession tonight, Northeastern’s been opportunistic. In fact, Colton Saucerman (what a great name) nearly put a nifty move on the BU defense for a shorthanded bid.
Second Period, 9:47, 1-1: BU looked dangerous in a power play opportunity, nearly slotting a goal home as the penalty expired. going the other way, Northeastern’s Braden Primm just roped a BU player going back into the defensive zone, and so he gets two minutes for hooking.
On another note, O’Regan continues to look dangerous. Every time BU takes the puck into the offensive zone, O’Regan just gravitates towards the net.
Second period, 16:16, 1-1: Both squads trade a couple of Grade A scoring opportunities. First, Northeastern gets a clear-cut two-on-one opportunity, so credit BU defenseman Alexx Privitera with sliding to break up the feeding pass.
Going the other way, O’Regan is just a force to be reckoned with tonight. Once again he finds himself in front of the goal on the receiving end of a pass. He couldn’t quite tip it on net, though, as a Northeastern defenseman got just enough stick on it.
First intermission, 1-1: First of all, thank you to my coworker, Zack Cox, for taking over the live blog for most of the first period here. I mention that because Cox is a New England native, whereas I very much am not. So, if there’s anything I mention in the rest of this blog that’s painfully obvious to everyone else more steeped in Beanpot history than I, I apologize right off the bat.
Now, all that being said, I’m already a big fan of the Northeastern band. Here in the first intermission the BU and Northeastern bands are going back and forth entertaining the crowd. The first two selections by Northeastern were Reel Big Fish’s “Sell Out” and Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom.” BU replied with a Dropkick Murhpys song.
Nonetheless, if you, like myself, grew up in the ’90s, you probably had a soft spot for Northeastern’s selections.
End of first period, 1-1: BU’s thought process in the offensive zone isn’t difficult to determine. They try to control the puck back at the points or above the circles, have one guy break towards the front of the net to look for a rebound or a tip.
Going into the end of the period BU got a couple more swipes at Rawlings and the Northeastern goal, but were kept off the score sheet. O’Regan, in particular, nearly got on the end of another pass right outside of the crease.
So, we go to the first intermission tied at one, with Northeastern putting up quite a fight despite their place in the Hockey East standings.
First period, 10:05, 1-1: Northeastern netminder Chris Rawlings makes a few sprawling saves to foil a BU scoring chance. Rawlings, who is listed at 6-foot-5, is starting his 115th game in net for the Huskies, having served as the team’s starter since his freshman season in 2009-10.
First period, 14:07, 1-1: Danny O’Regan isn’t about to let Roy steal the spotlight. The San Jose draftee — who ranks second to Roy in scoring among HE freshmen — completes a nifty give-and-go to knot the game at one goal apiece less than six minutes in. We may have a high-scoring affair on our hands.
First period, 17:51, 1-0 Northeastern: We are barely underway at the Garden and freshman sensation Kevin Roy has already given the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Roy, the leading freshman scorer in the nation, beat BU’s Matt O’Connor for his 13th goal of the season.
8 a.m. ET: It’s the first Monday of February, and Boston knows it’s time for the Beanpot.
This year’s tournament will mark the 61st time that the four Boston-area colleges have met on the ice for bragging rights, beginning all the way back in 1952. Now, of course, the first two Mondays in February are reserved for the Beanpot, with all but the inaugural event taking place at an arena named “Garden.”
For the last three years the Boston College eagles have won the tournament, so that means they’re the top dog going in. That’s also kind of true of Hockey East in general, as the Eagles have been the top team in conference play, earning 25 points. However, they’re also second to New Hampshire, who has one more win, in NCAA competition.
That only means everyone else will be gunning for Jerry York’s crew, and Jack Parker and the Boston University Terriers are certainly one of those teams. BU opens the tournament against Northeastern, and while the Terriers have remained in the high-middle of the pack on Hockey East, Northeastern is dead last in the conference with a mark of 4-11-3 (7-13-3 overall).
So, follow along here for all of today’s Beanpot action. The first game between BU and Northeastern begins at 5 p.m. ET.
Photo via Twitter/@BCHockey