INSIDE HOCKEY » Beanpot Get Inside! Wed, 01 Oct 2014 02:15:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Northeastern Effort Wasted in Painful Beanpot Loss Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:50:41 +0000

In the second period of Monday night’s Beanpot championship game, Northeastern was trailing Boston College, 1-0, when a rebound off Husky Mike Gunn’s shot from the left side of the net bounced across the crease to an open Mike Szmatula at the back door. With nothing but empty net in front of him, Szmatula attempted to bury the rebound only to hit post instead.

It was those types of unlucky bounces that made the heartbreaking difference for Northeastern, who watched BC score three times in the final 5:30 of the game to win the Beanpot championship, 4-1. The win marked a program-record fifth consecutive Beanpot championship for BC.

For Northeastern, who has not won a Beanpot championship in 26 years, the loss signaled the latest painful chapter in their beleaguered Beanpot history. For much of those 26 years, there was a joke that the Beanpot was the BU Invitational and the consolation game was the NU Invitational. From 1990 to 2008, Northeastern played in 15 of the 19 consolation games. But since 2009, Northeastern competed in four of six Beanpot championships only to fall short every time.

Monday night’s Beanpot championship was Northeastern’s cleanest game of those four opportunities. For the first time in 12 years, Northeastern did not take a single penalty in the game. Husky goaltender Clay Witt matched BC’s Thatcher Demko save-for-save through the first 54 minutes of play.

“Our guys really worked hard, battled hard,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “We come in here facing a team that’s No. 1 in the country and four-time defending Beanpot champions who are playing really well — they’re undefeated in 14, 15 games – and we gave everything we could.

“I’m happy with the way our guys competed and battled and prepared themselves for this game. That’s the part that stings the most. You walk out of here with a little bit of hurt because you didn’t get the job done.”

In the first period, Northeastern thought it potted the first goal of the game when Ryan Belonger flipped a rebound past Demko, but the net was knocked off its moorings before the puck crossed the line. Two minutes later, BC got on the board when senior Kevin Hayes beat Witt five-hole to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

With five minutes and change left in regulation and the game tied, 1-1, Northeastern thought it had BC right where it wanted the Eagles.

“We had a chance to win, and when you’re under five, six minutes left, those are the situations when, if we’re going to win as an underdog, that you want to be in, a tie game with only four or five minutes left in the game,” Madigan said.

But that was when the back-breaker came off what seemed like a lucky bounce for the Eagles. BC was cycling in the offensive zone, and senior Patrick Brown was camped out in the low slot when, while falling, he managed to deflect an Isaac MacLeod shot from the point past Witt to put the Eagles up, 2-1.

The Huskies visibly deflated after that goal. They started to force passes and plays in the neutral and offensive zones and seemed to turn the puck over seconds after getting their sticks on it. It was a stark difference from the composed Northeastern team of the previous 54 minutes.

And with Northeastern on its heels, the Eagles swooped in. The Huskies pulled Witt with 1:31 left in the game, and 15 seconds later, BC junior Johnny Gaudreau made it a 3-1 game with an empty-net goal off an NU defensive miscue.

Witt returned to his net, and BC added insult to injury when Brown put away a wrister top shelf 26 seconds after Gaudreau’s goal to give the Eagles the 4-1 win.

So for the 26th time, the Huskies return to Huntington Avenue empty-handed, and for the fourth time in six years, an effort that brought them tantalizingly close to that ever-elusive pot of beans just wasn’t enough.

As Red Sox fans often claimed between 1918 and 2004, there’s always next year. Northeastern will at least earn a rematch against the Eagles in the Beanpot when the Huskies take on BC in the first round next February. On this second Tuesday of February, however, Northeastern fans are likely hoping that at the very least, that game will not have nearly as painful of an ending as they experienced Monday night.

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Photo Gallery: Beanpot- NU and BC Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:44:50 +0000

Boston College beat Northeastern University 4-1 during the championship game of the Beanpot Tournament Monday night in Boston. Tonight’s win marks the fifth consecutive Beanpot title for the eagles.

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Photo Gallery: Beanpot- Harvard and BU Mon, 10 Feb 2014 23:43:04 +0000

The Harvard Crimson beat the Boston University Terriers 6-2 in the consolation game of the Beanpot Tournament Monday night in Boston.

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BC, Northeastern Shine in Beanpot Semifinals Tue, 04 Feb 2014 18:17:01 +0000

It’s the first Monday of February, and everyone in the Boston area knows what that means: It’s Beanpot time.

The semifinals of the 62nd Beanpot featured no surprise victors, as Northeastern and Boston College advanced to the championship game by 6-0 and 3-1 wins, respectively. This season will mark the third time in four years in which BC and Northeastern face off in the Beanpot championship.

The evening game was the better of Monday’s two matchups. It featured long-time rivals Boston University and BC, and while BU played with a depleted roster this season, the Terriers came out with plenty of fight against a more skilled BC squad.

“[The Eagles] have more talent right now,” said BU coach David Quinn. “They’re the measuring stick right now. They’re the premier program in college hockey and everyone’s trying to catch them.”

While the Eagles – ranked second in the nation — did not dominate play in the first period, they took advantage when it mattered most. The Terriers put the Eagles on the power play 3:51 into the first period, and the Eagles cashed in 13 seconds later when freshman forward Ryan Fitzgerald slipped BC’s first shot on net past BU goaltender Matt O’Connor.

The Terriers kept up with the Eagles throughout the period but struggled in the opening minutes of the second as a blown defensive play left BC senior forward Kevin Hayes wide open at the backdoor. He converted to put the Eagles up, 2-0, 1:20 into the frame.

The Eagles had a chance to extend their lead when BU defenseman Doyle Somerby checked Hayes face-first into the boards at 11:33 in the second period. Somerby earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his actions.

But what looked like five minutes of possible doom for BU morphed into opportunity. The trailing Terriers played some of their best hockey during the kill and even managed to garner some shorthanded scoring chances.

“BU took the momentum right away from us on that five-minute situation,” said BC coach Jerry York. “They had great chances, better than we did, so we kind of weathered the power play. Usually you think you have a power play and you want to do something, but we get out of that 0-0 and we were very fortunate in that regard.”

Still, BU’s best attempt on those opportunities ended in a botched 2-on-none in which neither sophomore Danny O’Regan nor Nick Roberto could manage a decent shot on net.

BU cut BC’s lead in half in the third period when freshman forward Robbie Baillargeon beat BC goaltender Thatcher Demko on a shot from the high slot. The Terriers continued to pressure BC throughout the period, but BU did not have the manpower or puck luck necessary to beat the Eagles. BC secured its win with a Johnny Gaudreau empty-net goal with 30.5 seconds remaining in the game.

“You need a little luck,” Quinn said. “You need great goaltending, you need to be thorough and you need a little bit of luck. I thought we had two of the three.”

The afternoon game was significantly less competitive than BU vs. BC, as Harvard flat-lined at the Garden against Northeastern. The Huskies dominated the Crimson from the drop of the puck on, scoring two goals per period to coast to a 6-0 win. Harvard has not made it to the championship game of the Beanpot since 2008.

“We didn’t play well in any facet of the game,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato. “I think that they outplayed us all over the ice and outcoached us for that matter. We didn’t do a good enough job getting to what we were trying to do and getting to our game plan, and quite frankly, we lost battles all over the ice.”

Part of the problem for Harvard on Monday afternoon was staying out of the penalty box. The Crimson took 16 penalties and handed Northeastern 10 power plays. The Huskies scored on three of those man-advantages.

Northeastern also saw its young players blossom on the big stage, as four of its six goals came from freshmen or sophomores. Freshman Mike Szmatula led the way for the Huskies with three points off a goal and two assists in the afternoon.

Northeastern will need Szmatula and the rest of its roster to continue to step up next week as it attempts to stop Boston College from winning a program-record fifth consecutive Beanpot. The Huskies, of course, have not won a Beanpot in 26 years, the longest current drought of any of the four schools.

Despite their 6-0 win on Monday night, the Huskies said there’s room for improvement this week before they attempt to end their Beanpot drought next Monday.

“You need goaltending, you need special teams and you need disciplined hockey, which I didn’t think we were very good at today,” said NU coach Jim Madigan. “So those three characteristics need to come together to win a Beanpot championship.”

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Photo Gallery: Beanpot- BC and BU Tue, 04 Feb 2014 04:11:46 +0000

The Boston College Eagles beat the Boston University Terriers 3-1 in a semifinal round of the Beanpot Tournament Monday night in Boston.

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Photo Gallery: Beanpot Harvard and Northeastern University Tue, 04 Feb 2014 01:15:24 +0000

The Northeastern University Huskies beat the Harvard Crimson 6-0 during a semifinal round of the Beanpot Tournament Monday night in Boston.

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Photo Gallery: Beanpot Tournament (2/11/13) Tue, 12 Feb 2013 23:52:47 +0000

The Boston College Eagles beat the Northeastern Huskies 6-3 to win the Beanpot Tournament Monday night at the TD Garden.

Earlier in the day, Harvard beat Boston University 7-4 in the consolation round.

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Four-filled: BC Seniors Find Perfection in Beanpot Tue, 12 Feb 2013 07:21:39 +0000

As time ticked away at the end of the second period of Monday night’s Beanpot championship between Boston College and Northeastern University, BC senior Steven Whitney stayed focused. Northeastern goaltender Chris Rawlings turned the puck over to Eagles junior Bill Arnold in a failed attempt to clear away a rebound, and Arnold passed across the crease to a waiting Whitney, who put it past Rawlings as time expired in the second period.

Time ran out on Steven Whitney’s Beanpot career Monday night, but like his goal, the results were good. The Eagles captured their fourth consecutive Beanpot title via a 6-3 victory, and Whitney and the rest of the Boston College senior class finished their Beanpot careers a perfect 8-0 in the tournament.

The six seniors (goaltender Parker Milner, defenseman Patrick Wey, defenseman Patch Alber, forward Brooks Dyroff, forward Pat Mullane, and Whitney) are the first class in BC Beanpot history to pull off the four-peat. The only other school in Beanpot history to win four or more Beanpots in a row is Boston University, who won six straight from 1995-2000 and four straight from 1970-1973.

“We’ve had some very, very good teams,” said BC coach Jerry York. “Luck plays a certain amount in winning this many Beanpots in a row for sure, and I think our players understand that.”

Indeed, while BC has dominated the tournament results in the past four years, it has not been a cakewalk. BC won the past three Beanpots by one-goal margins, and the 2011 and 2012 Beanpot wins came in overtime.

This year, the final score makes it look as if BC blew Northeastern away, but the game was much closer than the score indicates. The Eagles were clinging to a 4-3 lead until sophomore Johnny Gaudreau scored with 5:23 remaining to provide a bit of a cushion. The sixth goal was an empty-net goal with 1:28 remaining in the game.

Fittingly, the seniors played a large role in securing the win for BC. Whitney’s goal at the very end of the second period ended up being the game-winner, and it was Whitney who was able to hold the puck in the offensive zone by himself while BC changed lines before setting up the Gaudreau goal to make it a 5-3 game. Mullane netted the empty-net goal, and even Milner factored into the scoring by earning an assist on Mullane’s tally.

“We’re all so excited. I think this is awesome for us,” Whitney said of winning a fourth Beanpot. “It’s awesome that we all did it together and we’re excited the freshmen got a Beanpot and we gave all the other guys a chance to go 4-0 too.”

Whitney’s remarks echoed those of his classmates and coach in noting that the achievement is more about continuing a legacy of BC dominance than any singular class’s accomplishment.

“They didn’t win four Beanpots for themselves, the senior class,” York said. “They understand that. We have a lot of other good players who were with them.

“But what impressed me most about our guys was yesterday, we were talking about winning four straight. I think Patrick Wey had said, ‘Listen, we want to win for the freshmen. They’ve never won a trophy.’ So they deflect that back to, it’s not all about the senior class. So I think that’s pretty good. I like that in players.”

Still, York reflected on both the skill and luck this senior class had over its four years in the Beanpot. He mentioned that he thought Brian Gionta’s senior class, a class that included future NHLers Rob Scuderi, Bobby Allen and Scott Clemmensen along with Gionta, might have had the skill to win four straight Beanpots. That class was unfortunate enough to play during BU’s six-championship win streak, however, and Gionta and friends graduated with just one Beanpot.

There’s no telling how many of this year’s BC seniors will go on to join Gionta, Scuderi, Allen and Clemmensen in the NHL, but there is still more history for this class to write. In addition to their perfect Beanpot record, the BC seniors are undefeated at the Garden in the Hockey East Tournament. Come March, they will look to preserve that record, set yet another winning example for the classes below them, and maybe eke another championship out of their four years.

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Beanpot Brings More Woes for BU Tue, 12 Feb 2013 07:11:49 +0000

During Monday night’s Beanpot consolation game, Boston University suffered its worst Beanpot loss since 1989 to Harvard. The 7-4 loss marked The Terriers’ fifth fourth-place finish at the annual tournament. Boston University has quite a history with Harvard, with three of its five last-place finishes in the tournament coming at the hands of Harvard.

“There’s something that’s taken this team out of it, something that’s going on in the dressing room,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “I thought I had my thumb on it, and I do not, obviously, because we just can’t seem to get ourselves emotionally ready to play the way you have to play.”

For Boston University, the problem doesn’t begin or end with losing in the consolation game to a team that is in last place in the ECAC standings. It’s an ongoing problem that Parker can’t seem to pinpoint.

“We don’t have anywhere near the discipline and the focus and the attention to detail, especially on defense, that we need,” said a frustrated Parker. “I think we had all of those things first semester, but it’s almost like we threw a switch when we came back second semester and since then it’s been a lack of effort, lack of discipline penalty wise, lack of discipline positionally.”


In the championship game, Boston College won its fourth straight Beanpot title on Monday night, getting the best of the Northeastern Huskies with a 6-3 final. The Eagles (17-7-2) are the third team in the history of the tournament to four-peat.

Northeastern freshman Kevin Roy had a hat trick in the Huskies’ victory last Monday over Boston University and added a pair of goals against the Eagles, earning himself tournament MVP honors.

In addition to taking home the Beanpot trophy, the Eagles’ netminder Parker Milner took home the Eberly Award for his impressive goaltending in the tournament.

After a scoreless first period, BC game out strong and scored four times in the second, including two goals a minute and fifteen seconds apart. From there the Huskies tried to battle back, but the Eagles kept them at bay, scoring two more times in the third including Pat Mullane’s empty net goal to end the game.

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Roy Wows With Hat Trick in First Beanpot Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:25:30 +0000

Northeastern University freshman forward Kevin Roy knows how to pick his spots. With 4:38 remaining in Monday night’s Beanpot semifinal game against Boston University, Roy, who already had two goals on the night, camped out to BU goaltender Matt O’Connor’s left side. O’Connor stopped a shot and BU defenseman Garrett Noonan attempted to clear it away, but Roy was there to take advantage. He intercepted Noonan’s clear and redirected it past O’Connor, etching his place in Beanpot history books by completing a hat trick and scoring a game-winning goal for the Huskies. All of Northeastern’s scoring Monday night came from Roy, as the Huskies topped BU, 3-2.

Roy’s opportunism at the end of the third period was a reflection of the way he played all game. In the second period, Roy scored thanks to a horrendous turnover by BU in which O’Connor retrieved a puck from the corner and passed to BU senior forward Ben Rosen, who slapped a pass Roy’s way. Roy put the puck in the back of the net before O’Connor could get back to the crease. Right place, right time.

In the first period, Roy showed a flash of nifty hands as well as his opportunistic nature when he potted his first goal at the end of a 2-on-1 by nudging the puck past a diving O’Connor.

Roy’s hat trick Monday night put an end to BU’s 15-game (and 25-year) win streak over Northeastern in the Beanpot.

Roy, a native of Lac-Beauport, Quebec, may be a newcomer to college hockey, but he knows BU has dominated past Beanpots. Still, he said he felt no pressure coming into the game and said he was not intimidated by the prospect of playing BU.

“I know that BU has more wins, but I think every year, the team changes,” Roy said. “And I think it’s different every year so you can’t look back at the history and try to predict what’s going to happen that specific year. I think we proved it wrong today.”

“You’ve got to think of it as a game like any other one.”

Strange things have been known to happen in Beanpots, and in theory, a freshman potting a hat trick goes down as a strange event. But Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said it is no surprise to see Roy perform so well on such a big stage.

“I said to him before the third period started, I said, ‘You’ve got three in you,’” Madigan said. “The bigger the stage for him, the bigger the event is, he likes to rise to the occasion.”

Roy has proven this assessment true at lower levels of the game. The Quebec native was the 2011-12 USHL Player of the Year, and he demolished Lincoln Stars’ team records for scoring in a season by posting a 54 goal, 50 assist line for a total of 104 points in 59 games. The previous record stood at 47 goals and 83 points. Roy is the first player in USHL Tier 1 history (2002-present) to record 50 goals in a season.

After he was drafted in the fourth round by the Anaheim Ducks in June, Roy headed to Northeastern with plenty of question marks. Would his skills translate to the college game? Would he even make it to Northeastern? The Huskies have had a series of highly talented recruits (such as Johnny Gaudreau, Jon Gillies and Cam Askew) decommit in the past few years, and Kevin Roy had already decommitted from one school (Brown University).

Roy answered any and all questions quickly; he scored the game-winning goal for the Huskies in the season opening win over Merrimack College. He leads the nation in goals (15) and points per game (1.25) by a freshman.

Now there’s the hat trick in the Beanpot to add to the list of accolades, but Roy has more potential history in front of him. Should he raise his game to an even higher level in next week’s Beanpot final, he could help Northeastern to its first Beanpot championship in 25 years.

Quinn Smith leads Boston College to fourth straight championship game

Boston College is a team with a lot of firepower, but when naming star forwards for the Eagles, Quinn Smith’s name does not come up often. The sophomore had two goals on the season prior to the Beanpot semifinal against the Harvard Crimson. Smith doubled that total Monday night in BC’s 4-1 win over Harvard.

Smith’s first goal came with 28.8 seconds remaining in the first period when he flipped a loose puck over Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard to give BC a 1-0 lead. His second goal, the eventual game-winner came on a rebound off a Bill Arnold shot. For Smith, a grunt-work type of player, registering his first multi-goal game on a stage like the Beanpot was quite a reward for the hard work he puts in that often goes unnoticed by fans.

“When I came in as a freshman, as you all know, we had an unbelievable team,” Smith said. “It was really hard to crack that lineup, but coaches basically just stayed on me, the players stayed on me. The captains said, ‘Just work hard. The time will come. Work hard, we need you to help the team win games. Play your role and just do that.’

“So I’ve just tried to play my role the best I can, not really get drifting into a role that’s not suited for me and it’s worked out so far.”

Freshman defenseman Mike Matheson and senior forward Steven Whitney scored BC’s other two goals. Senior defenseman Danny Biega scored the lone Crimson goal.


Monday night’s loss means the BU seniors will be the first class to graduate without winning a Beanpot since the Class of 1965. It also marks the first time coach Jack Parker will go four consecutive years without coaching BU to a Beanpot championship. … BC and Northeastern have faced eachother three times in a Beanpot championship game. BC won twice. The most recent meeting of the two teams came in 2011 when BC beat NU 7-6 in overtime. … Harvard is in the longest current string of consecutive consolation game appearances. It has not advanced to a Beanpot championship game since 2008.

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