What we learned: Beanpot goes BC’s way in OT thriller
(Photo credit: John Quackenbos, Boston College Athletics)
Put the 2016 championship game down in Beanpot history. This one was a classic.
Connected by MBTA green along Commonwealth Ave., whenever Boston College and Boston University clash on 200 feet of the frozen sheet, it’s all about emotional red.
These two do not like each other. They last met just three weeks ago in a 1-1 OT final. Monday’s 1-0 final was only the second such score in history between the two.
And so it went this second Monday in February, BC and BU meeting for the 22nd time for city bragging rights since the storied tournament began in 1952 in the old “Gahden.”
College hockey’s biggest in-season tournament was once informally dubbed the “BU Invitational” for the Terriers’ domination back in the 60’s and 70’s when BU appeared in 16 straight championship games from 1964-1979 with 11 Beanpots going back on display at Walter Brown Arena. Since then, a more even distribution with BU holding a 12-9 overall edge in final games into Monday’s matchup played before a sellout – but less than a full house with a snowstorm outside TD Garden keeping many at home for the NESN broadcast.
The two had met up eight times since 2000 with four final-game wins each.
BC legend and alum Jerry York into his 44th year — 23 at BC — with 1,003 best-all-time NCAA career wins behind the Eagles’ bench; former Terrier David Quinn in his third year — succeeding another legend in Jack Parker — behind the Terrier pine.
Here’s what we learned in that first-ever 1-0 final that sends the 2016 Trophy back up that Green Line from TD Garden to Boston College for the 20th time. BU had won 28 times.
The win improves the Eagles to (20-4-4); BU drops to (16-8-4)
Up and down the ice they went in yet another one-goal game
Until last year’s 3-1 win in the 2015 championship game by BC, the previous nine final games between these two were all one-goal affairs, including five overtime finishes.
Make that 10 of the last 11 by one goal and six decided in OT.
“This is what people expect when they see BU and BC play,” Quinn summed.
Hard to figure how the pace Monday night could have more energy or more physical presence. It was a war, played with all the skill and more of an April Frozen-Four contest or even for the national championship.
“Certainly an exciting game for everyone in the stands,” Quinn said.
At 1:57 of OT, sophomore Alex Tuch from Baldwinsville, NY, fired a 20-footer past Sean Maguire for BC’s first goal in 42 shots on net as he enters Beanpot history with the winning goal.
The MVP award went to Maguire as well as the Eberle Award (see below).
Goaltending duel featured 2014 NHL draftees
“A classic goaltending battle,” York said postgame. “Trading saves back and forth. It took a well-placed shot to send the Beanpot toward our dressing room. One of the hardest things is to stay 0-0 through 60 minutes.”
BU senior and redshirted Maguire, a Penguins’ pick from British Columbia between the Terrier pipes, and Vancouver draftee and San Diego native Thatcher Demko between the Eagles’ iron. Maguire at 9-4-1 so far this season with a 2.28 GAA; Demko at 18-4-3 and an NCAA fourth-best 1.71. Look for Demko, a junior, to depart for the pros this spring.
BC peppered Maguire with 23 shots in the first period, none getting to net. The best, Maguire stoning a BC shorthanded clean break-in by Manchester’s Miles Wood with two minutes to go.
“It could have been 4-0 after the first period, if not for Sean,” Quinn said after.
The game would go to OT with Maguire making all 38 stops before Tuch’s heroics; Demko all 29 in the shutout.
“He made a great shot,” Maguire said about Tuch’s shot that was partially screened. “That was a pro shot. I didn’t see too much of it.”
With his effort, Maguire also copped the Eberle Award for the tournament’s overall most outstanding goaltender in the two games.
Bruins’ draftees showcased in final
Three Bruins wannabes were in respective lineups Monday night.
BU captain and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk from a slap shot away in Charlestown is cut from the Torey Krug mold. The 5-foot-10, 176-pound senior had 113 career games under his BU belt with 87 points after being taken in 2012.
Stockholm native Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson put up 23 points in 27 games this freshman season. Cut from the Loui Eriksson mold, Karlsson is 6-1, 192, and was drafted last June.
The Eagles featured Ryan Fitzgerald, the speedy junior from North Reading, taken in 2013. Fitzgerald had 44-41-85 in 104 career games at the “Heights.” He’s cut from the mold of David Pastrnak at 5-11, 185. Yes, Fitzgerald is the son of former Bruin Tom Fitzgerald.
Speaking of NHL offspring, BU skated freshman Bobo Carpenter, son of former Bruin Bobby Carpenter.
Beanpot lore made as TD went dark
In addition to the first-ever 1-0 final, at 11:07 of the first period, the lights went out for a 30-minute delay Monday night, reminiscent of the same dynamic back in 1988 in the Stanley Cup final in the old Garden against Edmonton.
Not quite the lore of ’88 – or 1978 when the final Beanpot game was played with what would become the historic blizzard of ’78. It kept some fans housed on Causeway Street for the night, while the BU team hunkered down at the Dugout, a watering hole on Commonwealth Ave where the BU bus had enough – snow that is.
Huskies take consolation game
The Northeastern Huskies, at 8-2-1 in their last 11 games, pummeled No. 9 in the nation Harvard, 5-1, in the consolation game. Led by Adam Gaudette’s two goals and an assist, NU jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Crimson – who played both Friday and Saturday nights – responded with their lone tally by Ryan Donato in the second period. Northeastern’s brother combo of Nolan and John Stevens netted four points with two assists each.
Bruins GM and Harvard alum Don Sweeney was on hand. The game featured three Bruins’ draftees in Northeastern defenseman Matt Benning, Harvard defenseman Wiley Sherman, and forward Donato, son of former Bruin and Crimson coach Ted Donato.