Boston, MA- Of the Beanpot teams, none share as much recent history as the Northeastern University Huskies and Boston University Terriers. The teams have met in two Beanpot Finals, a memorable playoff series, and several famed regular-season matchups. On Monday night, the teams resumed their rivalry on TD Garden’s famed sheet of ice and added another worthy chapter to their series.
The opening frame was even and featured the only goals of regulation. Northeastern started the night when Patrick Schule forced a turnover deep in Terrier ice. Liam Pecararo played the loose puck and fed it back to Schule in the slot for a wrister that the senior from Queens buried. BU mounted plenty of counters but only cracked Northeastern’s armor in the late seconds of the frame. Cam Crotty threw a puck off the end glass. Joel Farabee tracked a loose puck behind the net and put it behind Cayden Primeau to tie the game with 21 seconds left in the frame.
The cross-town rivals tested the other’s goalie for the remainder of regulation. Cayden Primeau drew two major breakaways from Joel Farabee, but the reigning Eberley Award winner stopped the Terrier’s star freshman. Jake Oettinger faced immense volume. Northeastern outshot BU 10-8 in the second and an astounding 24-8 in the third. Oettinger stopped every shot and forced the game to overtime for the sixth time between these teams on this stage. And for the first time since 1980, Northeastern found the winning touch.
Jeremy Davies corralled a puck on a BU line change and found Tyler Madden breaking to the blue line. The star freshman from Deerfield Beach, Fl, got a solo break behind the BU defense and fired a puck on Oettinger that trickled through and sent Northeastern to the Beanpot Final for the second consecutive year.
BU head coach Albie O’Connell was devastated after the game.
“Pretty hard fought game. Both teams pushed hard, both teams had chance,” O’Connell said. “Obviously, you don’t go into the Beanpot thinking you’re gonna lose. It hurts, it’s frustrating. Turned the puck over and they make a big-time play. Usually, overtime gets decided quickly. So tip your cap to them.”
Jake Oettinger ended with 47 saves on 49 shots faced.
“Jake played well”, observed his coach. “After the first goal, he was pretty damn perfect. He played a terrific game, it’s one of the best games he’s played in a BU uniform. The only other one I can remember being as close was when we played at North Dakota.”
The Terriers fall to 10-12-3. They’ll travel to Amherst to play the Minutemen on Friday night and return to face Harvard TD Garden for the Beanpot Consolation game for the first time since 2014. Puck drop against UMass at the Mullins Center at 7 pm while the season’s second matchup with the Crimson drops at 4:30 on Monday afternoon.
Jim Madigan was elated after the win. “I thought it was a great hockey game. I thought both teams played really hard. That’s a really good BU team. We’ll cherish this for a few hours and then we’ll get right back at it.”
Madigan added a note on the change in mood after winning last year’s Beanpot.
“It was nice that we didn’t have to hear it a lot,” Madigan said. “Because you’re on campus and as you lead up to it, ‘it’s been 29 years since they won it’, and we know all the rhetoric. That part of it was good. The players last year had the experience of winning but that was last year’s team, not this year’s. They know that this is an opportunity for this year’s team to come together and bond.”
Cayden Primeau finished the night with 26 saves on 27 shots faced.
Northeastern improves to 16-8-1 with their tenth win over BU in the history of the Beanpot. The Huskies travel to Hartford to face UConn on Thursday night, then gear up for a Monday night Beanpot Title bout with the Boston College Eagles. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 pm at the XL Center on Thursday and 7:30 pm at TD Garden on Monday.