By Calli Remillard, news staff
For over 50 years, the first two Monday nights in February have brought about a great deal of excitement and competition in Boston. The traditional two-week Beanpot tournament has become the epitome of Boston collegiate hockey, where Harvard, Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern battle it out at the TD Garden as for the title and Boston hockey bragging rights. The Beanpot’s 65th year this February was no different, rekindling old hockey rivalries and displays of cutthroat competition.
Kicking off the first round of semifinals, the Northeastern University (NU) men’s team faced the Harvard Crimson Monday night. The Huskies took a devastating 4-3 loss at the Beanpot, following another tough 6-4 loss at Matthews Arena to University of Massachusetts Lowell the previous Friday.
“[We] gave them momentum, and we were chasing them to the ends a little bit,” said head coach Jim Madigan of the Harvard goals during the Beanpot game.
The first period of Friday night’s game against UMass Lowell showed the Huskies’ initiative to continue their four-game winning streak. Fueled by sophomore forward Adam Gaudette and freshman forward Matt Filipe, who scored their 16th and 6th goals of the season, respectively, the Huskies were off to a great start with a 2-0 lead. The River Hawks netted one goal before the end of the first, but Gaudette’s second power play goal of the game allowed the Huskies to keep their two point lead into the second.
UMass Lowell tied the game up with goals early and late in the second. Just minutes into the third, the River Hawks took their first lead of the game with a goal from sophomore forward Connor Wilson. Scoring his second goal of the night, Filipe quickly tied the score back up 4-4.
Both teams put up 10 shots in the third, but it was UMass Lowell that capitalized on an NU turnover with just under six minutes to go in regulation. UMass Lowell’s Kenny Hausinger added an empty net goal in the final minute of the third, closing out scoring at 6-4.
This loss broke the Huskies’ four-game winning streak—the longest of the season. Gaudette’s first period goal put him at 40 points for this season, also extending his six-game point streak. Junior defenseman Garret Cockerill, junior forward Dylan Sikura and Filipe also extended their point streaks on Friday night.
The Beanpot semifinals pitted the Huskies against Harvard on Monday night. NU fought hard to score in the first period, putting up 14 shots against the Crimson, but were unable to find the back of net. Harvard was the first to break the deadlock, scoring early in the second and retaining their one point lead for most of the second. Gaudette netted a power play goal with just under two minutes to go in the period, putting the Huskies on the board.
Harvard put up another point at 7:39 in the third with just 10 seconds left on their power play for a Huskies slashing call. Harvard scored their third goal of the game after some hacking at the puck in sophomore goalie Ryan Ruck’s crease. The play was under review with 10 minutes to go in regulation and the goal was deemed good.
Some roughing behind the net following the goal gave Northeastern a power play advantage, but they were unable to capitalize. A shorthanded rebound was scored by the Crimson to make the score 4-1.
With 6:32 to go in regulation, junior forward Nolan Stevens gave the Huskies life with his first career goal of the Beanpot and fourth of the year. Following a 4-on-4 penalty situation, NU pulled goalie Ruck for a 6-on-5 advantage, where Gaudette scored his second of the game to pull the Huskies within one point with 1:33 left in regulation.
“We just wanted to get another one,” Gaudette said of the frantic final minutes of the game. “We almost had it, we didn’t give up.”
Remaining resilient, the Huskies fought on, again pulling Ruck with hopes of scoring on a 6-on-5 advantage. But the team fell just short of victory, the final score being 4-3.
“I didn’t think we had the tenacity from the get-go to do well in this tournament,” Madigan said. “We’re better than what we showed here tonight.”
Taking to the ice again Friday night, the Northeastern Huskies will host the University of Massachusetts Amherst at Matthews Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.
Photo by Lauren Scornavacca