The Boston University Terriers have a chance for their 31st ever Beanpot trophy after defeating the Northeastern Huskies on Monday night, 3-1, at the TD Garden. Sean Maguire earned the victory for BU to lead the Terriers back to the title game of the annual tournament.
“Any time you get to play [Boston College], even if we have played them in the last ten in a row, it doesn’t take any of the excitement away from it and it will be an exciting game next Monday night.” said BU head coach David Quinn after the game.
The second semi final game of the Beanpot was a much higher energy from the get-go, with Northeastern challenging Terriers goalie Maguire early. Ryan Ruck looked sharp in net early for the Huskies, stopping Ahti Oksanen on a backhand attempt in front of the crease.
The Terriers started the scoring in the first period when Robbie Baillargeon tapped in a rebound from a Bobo Carpenter shot. Carpenter and Ryan Cloonan were credited for the assists. It was the tenth assist of the season for Cloonan, who was recently moved to the second line with newcomer Oskar Andren being promoted to the top line.
A few minutes later, future NHL first round pick Charlie McAvoy doubled the lead for the Terriers. Danny O’Regan, coming off of goals in two straight games, passed the puck behind him where McAvoy was waiting and fired a shot over the right shoulder of Ruck. It was the second goal of the season for the freshman defenseman.
The Terriers finished the first period outshooting the Huskies just 8-6, but it was the two shot advantage that gave them the lead. After a slow start for both teams to the game, BU dominated the second half of the period and carried the play. The goal from Baillargeon was the product of crashing the net while the McAvoy goal came from a transition rush.
BU continued its dominance in the second period with several opportunities, including Matt Grzelcyk open in the slot during a power play where the Terriers peppered Ruck. Jordan Greenway had a breakaway opportunity out of the penalty box in the lone BU infraction of the period.
Going into the third period, BU held a 23-14 shots on goal advantage, and Ruck was coming up big making saves. Northeastern continued to challenge the Terrier defense, and Maguire had to come up with several saves to keep the BU advantage at two. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson also made a key block on an odd-man-rush that the Huskies produced following one of their penalties.
The final frame started out slow and without much traction in any direction until about seven minutes in when Maguire had to make back-to-back saves tight to the crease on Northeastern.
O’Regan had the best chance of the period for the Terriers when he tried to jam the puck past Northeastern’s goaltender Ruck, but it appeared like he touched the puck with his glove and that the puck did not completely cross the goal line and it was called back.
Northeastern scored late into the third period after it pulled Ruck with 3:29 to play in the game. The extra man advantage helped the Huskies as John Stevens buried a rebound. Defenseman Doyle Somerby sent the puck across the entire rink to ice the game in BU’s favor as it went into the vacant Northeastern net and made it a 3-1 score.
“I thought our forwards had a good night, our d-corps had a good night, our goalie had a good night, it was just a good team effort.” Quinn said.
The Terriers advance to the championship, where they will face the Boston College Eagles.