Boston, MA – It would not be the Beanpot without some drama. The 69th Annual Beanpot Tournament didn’t disappoint as the Boston University Terriers broke a scoreless tie, and numerous Northeastern University Huskies’ hearts, with 2:48 remaining in the third period. Sophomore Dylan Peterson tapped in a Jamie Armstrong two-on-one pass past Huskies goalie T.J. Semptimphelter to carry the Terriers to their first Beanpot title since 2015.
“Dom (Dominic Fensore) made a really nice play to get the puck out (of the defensive zone),” said tournament MVP Peterson. “Then Armie (Jamie Armstrong) picked it up. I didn’t Armie had that much patience in him. He walked that guy (N.U. defenseman Jordan Harris) and put it right on my tape. I give a bunch of credit to Armie there. He made an incredible play. It was pretty easy for me to put that one in the back of the net.”
“The celebration was all rad and I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates, so I headed to the bench,” said the Roseville, CA native of his game-winning goal celebration. “It was pretty special.”
“We were aggressive, and obviously we scored the goal on the net-drive there at the end,” said B.U. coach Albie O’Connell. “It was a hell of play on the game-winner.”
An early defensive shot block highlighted a scoreless first period by B.U.’s Jay O’Brien at the left post as Tyler Spott had an open net to shoot at from point-blank range.
The Terriers had a Ty Gallagher shot clang off the cross-bar about three minutes later at the other end of the ice. The Huskies continued to get tremendous goalkeeping from Semptimphelter as he turned back 11 shots in the opening twenty minutes of action.
The teams traded scoring chances in the second, but the middle twenty minutes was all about the physical play from each side. After two periods, the Terriers outshot the Huskies 7-5 in the second period for an 18-9 edge.
The Terriers carried the play to open the third period, but Semptimphelter made it look easy as he turned back 10-of-11 shots on goal.
“I thought it was a really tight checking game,” said O’Connell. “Not a lot of space out there, it was very physical. Pretty pleased with the way we played. We were pretty thorough, we skated well. I thought we had some physicality to what we were doing.”
Northeastern had only managed nine shots on goal through the first two periods, but the Huskies were determined not to cede their crown so meekly. N.U. put ten shots on net in the third period, but sophomore Vinny Duplessis was equally up to the challenge as his Huskies counterpart.
Duplessis made 19 saves in the shutout win. The Quebec City, QUE. native wasn’t as sharp in the team’s 4-3 win over Harvard University in the semi-finals last Monday.
The 6′-1″ Duplessis improved to 5-2 on the season, including five straight wins since getting the starting nod in Sophomore Drew Commesso’s absence with Team USA in the Beijing Olympics.
“He was the man tonight,” said O’Connell, who has now won a Beanpot as player and head coach in leading the Terriers to their 31st overall.
“It was a tight game, but it wasn’t just so defensive and boring. It had a lot of chances and a lot of big hits. It had some great saves, it had some two-on-ones. There was a lot to like about the game. It was a hard-nosed, up and down game. Just two teams going at it,” added O’Connell.
“The better team tonight won, we didn’t deserve to win that game,” said Northeastern coach Jerry Keefe. “Not sure why we didn’t play well but we didn’t. When you don;t play well in big games, you usually don’t win them.”
Despite having their three-year reign as Beanpot champions ended, the Huskies’ bright spot was Semptimphelter. The freshman goalie from Marlton, N.J. has been tremendous since taking over the position on January 29th, while sophomore Devon Levi participates in the Olympics as Team Canada’s starter.
Semptimphelter earned the tournament’s Eberly Award for the best goalie. The 6′-1″ netminder stopped 69 of 71 shots and carried a .972 save percentage for the fourth-highest ever in Beanpot history.
“T.J. was great for us. He gave us a chance to win that game. He’s given us a chance every time he’s gone in net for us. You feel bad for him because he had another great game for us,” said Keefe.
The Huskies will face Boston College in a home-and-home this weekend. They host the Eagles on Friday at Matthews Arena before traveling to Conte Forum on Saturday.
The Terriers are off until home and home series against their arch-rival Eagles on February 25 and 26. the Friday game is away at B.C., while the Saturday game is at Agganis Arena.