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.