Northeastern advances to Beanpot final after upset of No. 13 BU in semifinal
BOSTON— Kevin Roy's first career hat trick, the first for a Husky in the Beanpot since 2002, and 33 saves from Chris Rawlings gave Northeastern (8-13-3) its first Beanpot victory against No. 13 BU (13-11-1) in 25 years on Monday night at TD Garden, 3-2.
The Huskies advance to the Beanpot title game for the second time in three years, and will face Boston College, which defeated Harvard 4-1, in the championship game next Monday at 7:30 p.m.
|BC REACHES FINAL|
Quinn Smith's first multi-goal game proved to be enough as No. 5 BC defeated Harvard 4-1 in the Beanpot semifinals on Monday. The Eagles will face Northeastern for the title on Feb. 11.
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Roy became the first Husky since Mike Ryan in 2002 to record a hat trick in the Beanpot, scoring a goal in each period to lift NU to its first Beanpot win against BU since Feb. 8, 1988.
Rawlings kept the Terriers at bay for most of the contest, making at least 30 saves for the seventh time this season, including a string of 28 in a row.
BU held a 34-26 advantage in shots for the game, while NU won the battle in the faceoff circle (32-of-58), led by Braden Pimm's 17-of-28 performance. The Husky penalty killing unit went a perfect 6-of-6, including a 5-on-3 kill late in the second period.
The teams played an even and up-tempo first period with both squads netting a goal and BU holding a slight 12-10 edge in shots on goal. The Huskies jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest as Roy potted his team-leading 13th goal of the season. With the Terriers attempting to break the puck out of their defensive zone, senior Garrett Vermeersch snuck up from behind to cause a turnover the neutral zone. Senior captain Vinny Saponari then picked up the loose puck and dished to Roy, who made a quick cut towards the middle of the cage and stuffed the puck under the pad of O'Connor for the score.
BU would answer four minutes later when Danny O'Regan finished off tic-tac-toe passing by the Terriers for his 10th goal of the year. Wade Megan began the play skating down the left side of the ice and into the attacking zone before dropping a pass to Evan Rodrigues trailing the play. Rodrigues then threaded a pass right back to Megan, who hit O'Regan cutting towards the far post for a one-timer past Rawlings.
BU almost went up 2-1 midway through the period when Matt Lane sped into the attacking zone and fired a wrister off the shoulder of Rawlings. The rebound popped out in front of the crease momentarily, but Rawlings was able to poke the puck away before Lane could get a stick on it.
Rawlings came up big again for the Huskies moments later when Matt Nieto went in on a breakaway and tried to send a backhand five-hole, but Rawlings closed the pads quickly to prevent the goal.
NU tried to mirror its start to the game coming out of the first intermission with Roy and Saponari going in two-on-one four minutes into the frame. Roy skated down the left side with Saponari following on the right. Roy then tried to saucer a pass across the slot to Saponari, but Terrier defenseman Alexx Privitera dropped the ice to block the passing lane.
The Roy, Vermeersch, Saponari line continued to create scoring chances throughout the period for the Huskies, with Vermeersch nearly tipping in a Roy shot from the left side before Saponari almost knocked in a goal of his own, drawing a tripping minor on Sean Escobedo.
During the man advantage, NU managed just one shot on goal, but its best chance game seconds after the penalty was released when O'Connor flashed a pad on Roy on the doorstep looking to hammer home a rebound from a Pimm shot at the point.
Northeastern regained the lead with 7:24 left in the second when Roy was the beneficiary of an errant pass from Ben Rosen. Following a Husky dump in into the Terrier zone, O'Connor left his crease to stop the puck sliding along the boards. Feeling pressure from the NU forecheckers, O'Conner sent the puck over to Rosen, who tried to make a quick pass up ice, but the puck ended up in the crease and onto the stick of Roy, who was positioned to put the puck into the open net.
Rawlings and the NU penalty killing unit was put to the test late in the period, killing off a 5-on-3 penalty for 1:57 when Colton Saucerman and Dax Lauwers were sent to the box for boarding and slashing, respectively. The Huskies, however, weathered the storm as Rawlings made one save on a blast from Matt Grzelcyk at the point while NU blocked three shot attempts during the BU power play.
Northeastern continued to pester the Terriers with their penalty killing into the third period with Josh Manson in the box for a boarding call after a big hit on Sahir Gill behind the NU goal.
With both teams back to full strength five minutes into the third, Rawlings came up with big back-to-back saves, first from Grzelcyk at the left point before hugging the right post to deny Garrett Noonan on a rebound bid.
BU continued to pepper Rawlings with shots from all angles, but the senior netminder stood his ground, first denying Megan on a shot from the left side before stoning Cason Hohmann from point blank range with eight minutes left in regulation.
When the Huskies escaped their defensive zone, NU went up 3-1 with 4:38 left when Roy completed the hat trick on a shot from a tight angle at the right of the cage. After Manson blasted a shot from the point that O'Connor steered aside, Noonan tried to clear the puck out of danger, but Roy once again found himself in the right place and fired the bouncing puck just inside the left post.
BU cut the deficit back to one with 1:11 left in regulation and O'Connor pulled in favor of the extra skater. Grzelcyk controlled the puck behind the Husky goal before sliding it out to Gill on the doorstep for his sixth goal of the season.
BU would pull O'Connor yet again in search of the tying goal, and maintained puck possession in the Husky zone with less than a minute left, but a Terrier high stick with 16 seconds left sent the faceoff into the Boston zone and the Huskies into the Beanpot title game.