The Beanpot: Harvard, Northeastern both look to end dry spell
Northeastern senior forward Kevin Roy is through with championship game shortfalls, individual accolades and that insufferable hex.
The NU captain from Lac-Beauport, Quebec, has experienced all three in the Huskies' attempts to capture their first Beanpot tournament title since 1988.
For Roy and the four other Northeastern seniors, their final chance to end the "Huntington Hex" begins tomorrow night when the Huskies take on defending champion and No. 9 ranked Boston University in the first-round opener of the Beanpot tournament at TD Garden.
The No. 7 Harvard Crimson, meanwhile, look to end their own vexing drought when they begin their 2016 Beanpot quest by facing No. 5 Boston College in the nightcap. Harvard hasn't owned the Beanpot trophy since 1993.
The Huskies have been to the title game the last three seasons, but each ended with a one-goal loss: Twice to BC, then a dispiriting 4-3 overtime loss last year to BU and Jack Eichel, the Hobey Baker winner currently shining as a rookie for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.
"The Beanpot is really special and I've had a good amount of success during this tournament," said Roy, who earned the tournament MVP award as a freshman, scoring five goals in two games.
"I think we, as a team, have to win, which to me is the most important. We've been to the finals three years in a row but that is not enough. We can talk about MVP or whatever, but to me it doesn't mean much right now."
Despite a 12-game absence this year due to an upper body injury, Roy's spot among the stars in program history is already secure.He is 24th in all-time scoring for the Huskies with 55 goals, 76 assists and 131 points in 114 games.
Roy's classmate, Dustin Darou, had to overcome a personal Beanpot hex. Darou missed the tournament as a freshman with a high ankle sprain and the following season sat out with a concussion.
Last year, determined to make up for lost opportunities, Darou scored the game-winner to beat the Eagles in the opener and scored the tying goal midway through the third period to force the overtime vs. BU.
"It gets ingrained, being a Northeastern hockey player knowing the history of it and the rivalries that go into it," said Darou, who hails from Perth, Ontario, "and especially for our school having the long period of time without. . . . We know definitely there is a bigger community that we are trying to win for."
What is called a "hex" on Huntington Avenue is termed a "jinx" at Harvard. The Crimson needed the efforts of 1992 Olympian Ted Drury to turn back BU, 4-2, in the 1993 title match. Drury was the last Harvard player to win the MVP.
Crimson left winger Jimmy Vesey of North Reading, a top candidate for the 2016 Hobey Baker, has the capacity to fill the MVP chasm and lead the charge for another title. He skates on the Crimson's top line with savvy center Alexander Kerfoot and team captain Kyle Criscuolo.
"We're definitely sick of hearing that jinx, it's been way to long," Vesey said. "We have won one in a long time, (but) I think we've kind of put ourselves back on the map nationally in college hockey." ___
This article was written by Rich Thompson from Boston Herald and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.