By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – Valentines Day can be a day for love, but also, heartbroken memories too. On Monday, all four Boston schools entered the final day of the Beanpot tournament wishing Cupid’s arrow would not only strike them with love, but also, provide some extra assurance that they would walk out of the TD Garden with either a win or trophy in their hands.
Boston College [22-6-0] earned an exciting victory over Northeastern University [10-12-6] in the championship, 7-6 in overtime, but besides that exciting contest, the consolation game featured a true upset, as Harvard University [5-18-1] knocked off Boston University [14-9-7], 5-4.
“I thought that was a embarrassing display by my team tonight,” said Boston University head coach, Jack Parker. “That win doesn’t mean a lot to Harvard, but that loss means an awful lot to us.”
“I think, obviously, we were glad to come out with a win. I think it was a strange game back and forth. A lot of goals against, but I thought our guys battled hard and was happy with the way they stayed with it,” said Harvard head coach Ted Donato.
The consolation contest may have not been the most thrilling game to begin with, especially because Harvard’s season hasn’t been phenomenal, but after watching the Crimson tally three quick goals in roughly 90-seconds during the second period and then eventually two more during the final 20-minutes, it almost seemed as if fans were the best hockey team in the nation.
“It hasn’t been pretty even when we have played well, but I give the guys a lot of credit. I think the group has really done a great job of working hard and staying with it. I think there is a lot of optimism for the end of the season,” said Donato.
The stunning upset could act as a turning point for the Crimson, yet, while they do have five physical and tough ECAC games remaining before their conference tournament begins in March, consider Harvard a team that could make some “noise” during these final few weeks.
Although, while the consolation game continued to baffle many college hockey fans, especially due to the outcome, the championship game continued the electric trend, as both the Eagles and Huskies combined for 13-points through four periods.
“I said to myself after the third period, it is a shame that somebody has to lose this [game],” said Northeastern University head coach Greg Cronin. “If somebody came in here and bought tickets, they got every penny’s worth of their money.”
Indeed, this game was thrilling from the opening minutes to the final goal in overtime, which was recorded by Boston College’s Jimmy Hayes.
“We set goals at the beginning of the year and this was one of the goals we wanted. I mean it just happened that I scored the goal, but I mean all five guys on the ice were the ones moving the puck and I just went to the net,” said Hayes.
“It was a strange game and it was an exciting game. We have to win a lot of different ways, sometimes they are [1-0], sometimes they are [6-5 or 5-4] games,” said Boston College’s head coach Jerry York.
Boston College may have won the game, but certainly credit is due to Northeastern, who not only played 63-minutes against the top squad in the nation, but proved to themselves that they too can play with one of the best hockey teams. Although, had Northeastern walked away with a win, it would have been their first tournament trophy in 22-years, which was something that clearly was on the minds of Cronin and his players.
Although, once the fans left the Garden and the lights slowly faded, fans, parents, students and members of the media could all agree, this particular tournament championship was an amazing and awesome game.
“I think it was a very hard win to accomplish tonight. I feel very good about the win, but also the fact that we beat a very good hockey team,” said York.