Monday, February 13, 2017

Harvard Out-Works BU For Beanpot

It’s becoming a recurring theme: the sticks, gloves, and helmets scattered across the ice at TD Garden following the conclusion of a championship game belong to teams that are not the Terriers. Tonight, BU fell 6-3 to Harvard in the Beanpot final as the Crimson skated away with their first title since Bill Clinton was in office.
Both benches react at the final buzzer.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Harvard dominated from the jump. The Crimson outshot the Terriers 46-17, starting out 18-2 in the opening frame.

Harvard struck first on Nathan Krusko’s first of two on the power play with 4:50 left in the period.

BU finally showed some life, scoring a pair of goals less than five minutes into the second. First, Kieffer Bellows found a loose puck in the crease by the side of Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen and buried his fifth of the year. Bobo Carpenter and Brandon Hickey picked assists on the power play goal.

Minutes later, Clayton Keller tipped home a John MacLoud point shot to give BU a 2-1 lead. It was Keller’s first of two on the night.

“From start to finish were fighting an uphill battle,” said Quinn “We got the 2-1 lead and I thought the first eight minutes of the second were the best eight minutes we played all night. We had a 2-1 lead and then I thought they started taking the momentum back. At the end of the day, this is a game of want and, oh boy, did they want it more than we did. They outskated us. They out hit us. They out competed us. They only thing they didn’t do is out goaltend us.”

Jake Oettinger made 40 saves and picked up the Eberly Award for the top goaltender in the tournament based on save percentage.

Harvard was able to swing the momentum back in their favor in a huge way in the final half of the period. First, Brandon Hickey’s night was cut short when Luke Esposito crunched him with a hard check along the scorer's table. Hickey was slow to get up and never returned after getting up slowly and putting no weight on his right leg.

Not long after, it was Esposito who found the back of the net off a tip from a well-placed Clay Anderson shot to tie things up.

Before the period ended, Nathan Krusko potted his second of the game on a delayed penalty. Dante Fabbro was called for hooking and then Charlie McAvoy delivered a brutal leg check on Alexander Kerfoot along the boards to set Harvard up with their second five on three on the evening.

30 seconds into the third, it was Kerfoot scoring the eventual game winner on Harvard's second five on three goal of the game.

“It's disappointing in a lot of ways," added Quinn. “It certainly wasn’t anything we expected. Penalties obviously killed us. You can’t go down five on three for that length of time against a team like that. Once we did that we just really put ourselves behind the eight-ball. It’s 2-2 in the middle of the second period and the whole momentum changes.”

Bruins prospect Ryan Donato made it 5-2 on a great individual effort with 7:13 left. 27 seconds later, Keller got the goal right back on his second of the night. Off the initial rush, his shot was blocked, but Keller stayed with it, picked up the loose puck in the slot and beat Madson down low. It was his 16th of the year, and that was close as BU would get.

Adam Fox added an empty-netter to seal the deal.

As stated before, it was Harvard’s first Beanpot since 1993. It marks the first time since that year that a team not named BU or BC has taken home the title. Also, 1993 marks the last time Boston College has finished last in the tournament, and that happened again tonight, as Northeastern won the consolation game 4-2.

Coming into this game, the last three Beanpots Harvard won came in the year when a new president was inaugurated. You can add this year to that list as well.

BU continues league play this weekend with a home and home with the UNH Wildcats.

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