Beanpot Final Has a Lot to Live Up To
It’s one of the great tournaments in the country, in any sport. Boston’s own Beanpot pits local men’s Division I NCAA rivals BU, BC, Northeastern and Harvard against each other every season.
The 63rd edition began on Tuesday with what were 2 of the best semi-final games to date.
Game 1 featured 3rd ranked Boston University. The 29-time Beanpot champions came in as the favorites, but without a title in the last 5 years. They faced Harvard, no slouch in their own right at 10th in the NCAA rankings. This was a top-10 matchup that did not disappoint.
BU is led by freshman sensation and guaranteed one-and-doner Jack Eichel. The Hobey Baker nominee is second in the country in scoring, first in points per game, and a lock to be a top 2 pick in this summer’s NHL entry draft. But Eichel wasn’t the story on this night.
Harvard gave BU all they could handle…the teams were tied at 1 after the first period. Harvard scored 2 quick goals in the 2nd to open a 2 goal lead, but BU turned up the pressure on Harvard senior netminder Steve Michalek, taking 20 shots in the period and scoring twice in the last five minutes to tie the game 3-3 going into the third period.
The Terriers did not let up…16 more shots in the third all failed to beat Michalek, as the Minnesota Wild draft pick stood on his proverbial head throughout the remainder of what turned into a double OT classic. BU fired 67 shots in all…the last being a tip on a cross crease pass by junior forward Danny O’Regan that snuck over Michalek’s right shoulder for the winner. It was a thrilling ending to the longest game in Beanpot history.
Game 2 between 5-straight defending champs Boston College and Northeastern started 90 minutes late, and both teams came out flat, failing to score in the first. The Huskies struck quickly in the second, however, scoring just :21 in to take a 1-0 lead. The teams then took turns scoring goals throughout the period, when 11th-ranked B.C. tied it at 2-2 with less than 2 minutes to play in the frame.
A tight-checking 3rd period saw only 13 total shots, the most significant of which launched from the stick of junior Dustin Darou with only 1:34 remaining. Darou’s winner, only his second of the season, propels Northeastern into their 3rd straight Beanpot final, avenging 4 straight Beanpot losses to the Eagles.
The final goes Monday at TD Garden, where Eichel looks to lead the Terriers to their 30th title. Northeastern has won only 4 titles in the history of the tournament, and none since 1988. Expectations for the final are high after a highly entertaining pair of semifinals. Huskies vs. Terriers…only one team’s players will be top dogs and hoist the Beanpot on Monday night.