Husky rookie Kevin Roy picked the right day to get his first collegiate hat trick, leading Northeastern to a first-round Beanpot win over crosstown rivals Boston University Terriers, 3-2. With 30 points on the season, Roy broke former Husky Brodie Reid’s freshman scoring record.
“It was a big game for our guys,” head coach Madigan said. “I’ve been a part of this tournament for a long time and I’ve heard all the facts and figures of what Northeastern’s record has been … At the end of the day, facts and figures don’t win hockey games; it’s will.”
Roy put the Huskies on the board first, taking a feed from senior captain Vinny Saponari at 2:09 to make it 1-0. NU had decent puck control from the get go, with shots at 4-1 in its favor at the time of Roy’s goal.
BU attempted to return the favor, peppering senior goaltender Chris Rawlings around the five-minute mark. Rawlings was able to turn away every shot, but couldn’t get on top of it, allowing the Terriers extra chances off each rebound. The Huskies finally cleared the puck and ended the Terrier offensive surge, but just as quickly as NU got it out of their own zone, the Terriers brought it back in.
This time, they were able to capitalize as freshman forward Danny O’Regan tied it up at 5:53 with assists from senior forward Wade Megan and sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues.
Freshman defenseman Colton Saucerman created some offense for Northeastern following BU’s goal, bringing the puck from his team’s own zone, up the boards and made a pass to assistant captain Robbie Vrolyk centered in front of freshman Terrier goaltender Matt O’Connor, but Vrolyk couldn’t follow through on the chance.
Rawlings was tested again when junior forward Matt Nieto took off on a breakaway, but the senior was able to turn away Nieto’s shot.
The Husky power play shined through the latter half of the first period and into the second, killing off two penalties from junior forward Braden Pimm and fighting off a 5-on-3 chance for the Terriers resulting from boarding calls on Saucerman and sophomore defenseman Dax Lauwers that came four seconds apart.
While the defense held strong on penalty kills through the second, Roy showed why he leads all rookies in scoring with his second goal of the night, unassisted at 12:36, leaving the Northeastern with a 2-1 lead headed into the final frame.
The penalty kill was put to the test again, as a strong hit from sophomore defenseman Josh Manson resulted in a boarding call with just over a minute left in the second period, leaving the Huskies with half the penalty to kill as the third period began.
Roy stepped up to the plate for the hat trick at 15:22 in the third period with assists from senior forward Garrett Vermeersch and Manson to give Northeastern the two-goal lead.
The Terriers, who were 0-for-6 on the power play tonight, put on the offensive pressure through the last 10 minutes of play in the third period, forcing Rawlings to continue turning away shots or see his team lose their two-goal lead. BU did capitalize, but just once, and despite the late goal from junior forward Sahir Gill with 1:11 on the clock the team was unable to make a comeback.
“To win a Beanpot, you’ve got to get to that second Monday,” Madigan said. “Tonight’s goal was to win tonight and get us into that second Monday night, and we accomplished that first part.”
The Huskies will face the winner of tonight’s Boston College vs. Harvard University matchup Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Beanpot Championship at TD Garden, but not before a trip to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Friday night for a Hockey East contest.