BOSTON – In its first round victory over Boston University last Monday night, junior forward Jimmy Hayes scored the game-tying goal at 4:56 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2. Defenseman and fellow classmate Tommy Cross scored the game-winning goal at 3:17 of overtime to give the Eagles the opening round victory over the Terriers.
In the Beanpot title game Monday night, Northeastern senior forward Wade MacLeod tied the game at 6-6 at 18:14 of the third period to force overtime as the Huskies rode the momentum into the locker room.
But instead of playing the role of the spoiler against the Beanpot’s most successful team last Monday, Hayes played the role of the hero in overtime.
After they got the puck out of Northeastern’s zone, BC was able to use their transition game to its advantage to start the odd man rush. From there sophomore Chris Kreider got by the Huskies defense and fired the puck towards NU goalie Chris Rawlings, who made the initial stop, but Hayes was on the doorstep to bury the game-winner at 6:00 of overtime to give BC the 7-6 victory and its second consecutive Beanpot.
“I just went into the net hard with my linemates and they moved the puck to the outside,” Hayes said about the game-winner. “[Chris] Kreider put one on net and I just went with my stick on the ice and I just banged home the rebound.”
Often times you hear about local players in Massachusetts wanting to score the game-winning goal in the championship game of the Beanpot.
That story is no different for Hayes.
“It’s a dream come true here,” said the Dorchester native. “This is what I’ve dreamed of doing my entire life and I just got an opportunity and just tried to take advantage of it.”
While he hasn’t scored a game-winner at the TD Garden, Hayes’ fellow linemate, Kreider has come through in the clutch when playing in the home of the Bruins. Last year, Kreider scored a highlight-reel goal in BC’s victory over BU in the championship game, and Monday night, the Rangers prospect earned Beanpot MVP honors with his three-point performance (two goals, one assist).
But Kreider, a native of Boxford, praised Hayes for scoring the game-winner and his ability to use his 6-foot-5 frame to drive to the net.
“It’s awesome. He’s worked so hard and he really deserves it,” Krieder said about his fellow linemate. “He really deserves every goal he gets. He works for every goal, he’s stomping on pucks, he’s getting to the right areas and he really wants to score goals and it shows.”
While Hayes and the rest of the Eagles will be celebrating tonight’s victory for about 24 hours in Chestnut Hill, the team will be back to work this weekend as they face the Huskies again for a key two-game series in Hockey East play.
NU will certainly be looking to bounce back and use this loss as motivation this weekend. Meanwhile, as hard as it sounds, BC will try to put another dramatic Beanpot victory behind them as we head towards the stretch run of the 2010-11 college hockey season.
“We have to carry this into this weekend,” Rawlings said about his team on trying to put Monday’s loss behind them. “We obviously have to work on a few things here in practice. But it’s a big weekend for us, so we have to put this behind us and I feel like we need to try to take the momentum we grabbed from this game and into the weekend.”
“It’s going to be great to play a team three times in a row here,” Hayes said. “It’s kind of a playoff matchup here. You have three games in a [league] playoffs and its kind of an early playoff experience for us.”