The first game of the Beanpot got underway on Monday afternoon with Boston College taking on Harvard. The Eagles took the contest, 3-2, behind two second period goals after falling down 2-1 after one period of play.
The Eagles came out soaring, scoring the first goal of the contest just 95 seconds into the first period. It was Ryan Fitzgerald, a Boston Bruins prospect, to his brother, Casey, to give BC the early 1-0 lead. Boston College carried all of the energy in the first half of the first period.
“They played a strong game and really were able to limit us.” said head coach Ted Donato of the Eagles after the game. “We didn’t get the amount of zone time and possession we needed to.”
Thatcher Demko, the starting goaltender for Boston College, did not face a shot until nearly minutes in. However, the first shot of the game taken by the Crimson was a goal as Ryan Donato, another Bruins farmhand, buried the puck under the crossbar.
About five minutes later the Crimson got on the board again with a goal from freshman defenseman Adam Baughman. The play began on a save from Merrick Madsen, the Harvard goaltender, who stopped an attempt from Steve Santini. Harvard carried the puck down ice, and Jimmy Vesey collided with Demko. Vesey was out of the crease by the time Baughman set up for his shot and gave the Crimson a 2-1 lead on just two shots on Demko.
Harvard would get a first period power play after Tyler Moy was hooked going to the net. The Crimson would not score again in the first period, but would continue to get shots on goal and finished the first period with seven after not getting one until halfway through the first frame.
A little more than five minutes into the second period, Jake Horton went to the penalty box for Harvard and the Eagles had their first power play of the game. Boston College took advantage of the opportunity, with Zach Sanford scoring his eighth goal of the season off of a rebound from Madsen in front of the crease.
Minutes later, the Eagles got their second power play of the period, and their second power play goal. Colin White received a pass between the side o the net and the right faceoff dot and skated to the slot. As he did so, Baughman went to the ice to make the block but White was patient with it and his shot deflected off of Madsen and into the net for the third BU goal.
The second period would come to an end with that score, and the Eagles two-for-two on the man advantage. Demko settled in in the crease during the second frame, making all the saves despite Harvard getting plenty of chances. BC outshot Harvard again in the period, 12-10.
“We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, or we usually are.” said Ted Donato.
The third period started off slower than the other two, and frustration was mounting for the Crimson by the time it headed to its first break. Harvard had a big power play opportunity with around seven minutes remaining, but a strong BC penalty kill with a season percentage of over 86% was able to hold off the Crimson attack to retain the 3-2 advantage.
With just under a minute left, the Crimson pulled Madsen for the extra attacker and the chance to tie the game. Madsen wasn’t able to get out after several attempts to clear the puck, and the Eagles took the contest, 3-2 to advance to the Beanpot final.