Huskies defeat BC securing their spot in the Beanpot finals


Quillan Anderson

The Northeastern Huskies huddle together on the ice before the start of the Beanpot semifinals.

Annah Chaya and Alex Sumas

Northeastern University men’s ice hockey team faced Boston College in the first round of the Beanpot tournament Monday night at TD Garden, winning 3-1. 

The game was marked by a career-launching performance for freshman goalie T.J. Semptimphelter, who took the NU net for the fourth time ever. He filled in for sophomore goalie Devon Levi, who is currently in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics playing for Team Canada. 

In goal, Semptimphelter was a force to be reckoned with as he exercised complete control over his gloves, blockers and body. Semptimphelter ended the game with 41 saves in net, while Eric Dop, BC graduate student goalie, ended the game with only 26 saves, allowing in three Northeastern goals. 

“I was just excited to have this unbelievable opportunity, and I just wanted to make the most of this position that I’m in,” Semptimphelter said. 

The first period was led by captain Jordan Harris, senior left defense, who previously scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime period of the Beanpot Championship game against Boston University in 2020. The three-peat champions returned from a year-long hiatus from the tournament due to COVID-19 hoping to continue their winning streak. 

“[I’m] looking forward to hold[ing] that trophy up again,” Harris said. 

Students were also excited to get back into the Garden after the cancellation of the previous year’s Beanpot tournament. 

“I think there’s more people at this semifinal than there was back in 2020, which is really good to see,” said Mark Rotering, a third year bioengineering major and NU DogHouse leadership member. 

The packed DogHouse spanned across 12 sections of the Garden’s balcony and screaming chants for NU could be heard throughout the entire game.

“We’ve been trying to push people to come to the games and stuff, and we’re hoping to drive more attendance to the Beanpot games,” Rotering said. 

Harris played confident defense, his teammates continuously looking to him to get the puck out of the zone. Sophomore left wing Gunnarwolfe Fontaine scored the first goal of the evening, assisted by freshman center Jack Hughes and junior right wing Matt Demelis. While the Huskies entered the game strong, dominating possession of the puck, BC quickly shifted the momentum after the goal. However, the Eagle’s were unable to capitalize and the period ended with 10 shots for NU and 13 for BC. 

As they entered the second period, neither team commanded the ice, but tensions were hot as qualms broke out frequently around the goals. Semptimphelter quickly became a target, and would stay one for the rest of the game, as BC recognized the freshman’s capabilities. 

NU’s defense remained a solid unit, as their offense struggled to communicate. The defense benefitted from being composed of upperclassmen while it readily became clear that the offense, composed of mostly underclassmen, was impaired by their lack of experience playing together. Throughout the game they consistently passed to open space, missing each other and turning over the puck. 

However, they managed to find each other when it mattered most. On a Northeastern power play, the offense controlled the puck and junior left wing Aidan McDonough sent a cross goal pass to sophomore right wing Sam Colangelo, who put the puck into the back of the net with a wrist shot 5:23 into the period. 

With seven minutes left in the second period, BC sophomore center Colby Ambrosio made a bounce pass to graduate student left wing Brandon Kruse. Kruse sent it towards NU’s goal; yet, Semptimphelter made a beautiful save off his right pad and covered the puck. The NU DogHouse bowed down to Semptimphelter from the balcony. 

All that stood between the Huskies and their fourth consecutive Beanpot final appearance was the third period. Yet, 5:15 in, BC put themselves on the board, finally slipping the puck between Semptimphelter and the post, a shot he had been saving all night with his flexibility. It was senior center Patrick Giles who scored the goal, assisted by sophomore left wing Nikita Nesterenko.  

As the period continued BC grew frantic to tie the score. Everytime BC had possession of the puck, they tried to score, however NU did not reflect the same urgency. NU’s defense became reactionary and their offense did not attempt to capitalize on rebounds. The Huskies’ play hinted they were trying to run the clock down with half the period left, rather than cement their lead with another goal. It wasn’t until there were eight minutes left in regulation that NU seemed to comprehend how close they were to making or breaking their trip to the finals and started playing with heat.   

At 1:07 left, BC pulled Dop, and it was Harris with 40 seconds left who got the puck out of NU’s zone and into BC’s. Five seconds later, BC senior right defenseman Jack St. Ivany received a two-minute penalty for cross-checking, causing BC to call a time out and put Dop back in goal. However, the game’s fate was sealed when freshman center Justin Hryckowian scored off a rebound from Harris, the 3-1 score delivering the Huskies to the Beanpot finals. 

Director of Athletics and Recreation at Northeastern Jim Madigan will be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame Monday. The previous head coach for the Northeastern men’s ice hockey team spoke of his excitement of his induction in a press conference prior to the semifinals. 

“Extremely honored and humbled with the recognition into the Beanpot Hall of Fame,” Madigan said.

The finals will take place 7:30 p.m. Monday at TD Garden as NU defends their title and once again faces BU in the championship game. BU beat Harvard University 4-3 earlier in the evening last Monday.