By: Dan McLoone
BOSTON – The Northeastern men’s hockey team will have to wait to end its other championship drought. Seeking their fifth Beanpot title of all time and first since 1988, the Huskies (11-12-5, 5-9-3) saw a late rally fall short, as they fell to Harvard at the TD Garden on Monday, 4-3.
There was not much action early on, as the two teams combined to log just 11 shots in a scoreless first period. Harvard captain Alexander Kerfoot ended the stalemate with 6:10 left in the second period, getting a stick up to redirect a shot from the blue line past Ryan Ruck in net. The Huskies tied it up at one with 1:52 left in the period when Adam Gaudette poked home a Zach Aston-Reese pass on the power play.
Coming into the third period with momentum, the wheels came off quickly for Northeastern, as constant Harvard offensive pressure forced Ruck to make several big saves. The Crimson broke through 7:39 into the frame when Clay Anderson netted his second of the year, and Tyler Moy extended the lead to 3-1 just two minutes later in a goal that was initially ruled a save but was overturned upon review.
Trailing by two, the Huskies had a chance to cut into the lead on a power play opportunity with eight minutes left, but Luke Esposito pounced on a rebound that Ruck misplayed and slotted it home to make it 4-1.
Facing a three-goal deficit with less than eight minutes to go, Nolan Stevens cut the lead to 4-2 with a power play goal in his first game action since late October. Gaudette got his second of the game and 19th of the year with 1:33 left, and had a beautiful chance on the doorstep in the waning seconds of the game, but Crimson netminder Merrick Madsen made the saves that he needed to and finished with 27 saves to preserve the win.
The Huskies will take on the loser of the Boston College-Boston University game next Monday at the TD Garden in the Beanpot consolation game, with puck drop scheduled for 4:30 p.m.. Josh Brown, Dan McLoone and Christian Skroce will have complete coverage on WRBB beginning at 4:15 p.m.