BOSTON — Hockey East is the closest it’s ever been this late in the season.
Coming into Saturday night, three points separated second and ninth place.
Northeastern sat at the low end of that range, in a three-way tie for seventh
with 19 points. UMass Lowell, with 22, was atop the scrum — tied with Boston
College for second place. With the top eight teams making the playoffs in
Hockey East, every point is essential for making the playoffs and earning a
“My tenure with this league goes back to the
first year,” said Husky head coach Jim Madigan. “I was a senior in that first
year of Hockey East in 84–85. I’ve got a lot of history with this league and
I’ve never seen it this bunched up . . . It’s going to be a dogfight all the
way to the end.”
Northeastern clearly understood the importance of this series. Despite missing key players, the Huskies scrapped their way to a 2–1 win over Lowell on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, completing the season sweep of the Riverhawks after defeating them in Lowell the night before.
Northeastern (17–8–3, 10–7–1
HEA) was missing a few major pieces. Jayden Struble is out for the season after
sustaining a lower-body injury against Maine on February 7. Matt Filipe missed
his third-straight game and is currently day-to-day. Tyler Madden, the Huskies’
star forward and Hobey Baker hopeful, picked up an injury late in Friday’s
Madigan said after
tonight’s game that Madden would be evaluated on Monday and the team would have
a return timeline after that. However, Jeff Cox of New England Hockey Journal reported that Madden
could miss 4–6 weeks with a fractured finger. That’s just a rumor, of course,
but it’s worth noting until the team gives more info.
The game itself was much
less intriguing than its circumstances. Full of sloppy passes and neutral zone
battles, it seemed like neither team wanted to snag the points up for grabs. The
Huskies came out of the gates looking disheveled, misplacing passes and
struggling to clear their zone.
The River Hawks’ (15–9–5, 9–6–4
HEA) opening goal was borne out of a defensive miscommunication as the Huskies
scrambled to find their footing. Carl Berglund made his way into the Husky
zone, dropping it off for the trailing Reid Stefanson. Having just lost his
stick in a collision at center ice, Jordan Harris was out of his normal
defensive position. Stefanson took advantage, finding acres of space on the
left side of the zone to step in close and beat Husky goaltender Craig
Much like in their Beanpot
victory against Boston University on Monday, the Huskies changed their tune in
a big way in the second frame. Whatever was said in the locker room during the
break worked, as Northeastern played with more energy, finishing checks and
moving the puck around much more cleanly.
That clean, beautiful puck
movement paved the way for the Huskies’ second-period equalizer. Starting with
Matt Thomson, the puck touched all five skaters’ tapes on its trip around the
Lowell zone. The fifth skater was freshman Mike Kesselring, who blasted a
one-timer at the opposing net off a feed from Jordan Harris to beat a screened
The two sides battled into
the third period; neither team found paydirt for the first half of the frame.
Finally, with 10:34 remaining, Northeastern broke the deadlock. Remember how
their first goal involved crisp passing and a clear shot? Their second was
about as far in the other direction as you can go. Instead of trying to
describe what happened, we’ll just let you watch the replay:
Not nearly as pretty as the first, but they all count for one point in the end.
As the clock ticked down,
the game became more and more frenetic. At one point, a loose puck in front of
the Husky net squirted out to an open Lowell skater on the left side of the
crease. Pantano, out of position on the right side, flung his leg out at the
last second to make an incredible kick save and keep the Huskies on top.
Pantano, when asked about his great play as of late (40 saves in the Beanpot and a shutout win the night before), said, “I think it has to do with the play in front of me right now. They’ve been letting me see shots, and they’ve been giving me the easy plays. I think we’ve been dialing in our defensive game, and that’s helped me too.”
“Other than adjusting our lines, we didn’t
change our game plan,” Madigan said of the injured players. “We didn’t really
talk much about Tyler [Madden] not being in the lineup tonight . . . Guys
stepped up, which is what you need and expect.
“The lines are going to be shuffled. We might as [well] not even put out a lineup chart,” he said to laughter from himself and the gathered media. “The lines are going to be shuffled for the rest of the year. I think you guys got a lineup chart; there’s 11 forwards and 11 doesn’t go equally, at least in my math. It’s going to be that way for the rest of the year.”
The Huskies will look to build off these wins heading into a huge matchup next weekend against Boston College. The home-and-home will kick off on Thursday at Matthews Arena, with Christian Skroce and Matt Neiser on the call for WRBB. Pregame coverage will commence at 6:45 PM EST.
Huskies have planted themselves atop the Hockey East standings and brought the Beanpot
home, but their goals hardly end there. As the third-ranked team in the nation
with one of the best defenses in the nation, the best goalie in the nation, and
one of the best forwards in the nation, the Huskies’ aspirations extend beyond
the Beanpot and beyond Hockey East. Their campaign to an NCAA Frozen Four
continued today, as the Huskies rematched the Providence Friars a day after the
Friars handed the Huskies their first loss in 11 games.
Forward Sara Hjalmarsson struck first, weaving her way through the Northeastern
defense and slipping the puck past freshman goaltender Gwyn Phillips after a
nifty move to get her out of position.
remainder of the first period saw Northeastern gain their footing on defense,
and the beginning of their onslaught of shots on Providence goalie Sandra
Abstreiter. Before the period ended, they fired nine shots on net to swing the
momentum their way.
of the second period saw the puck spend a considerable amount of time on the
Providence end of the ice. The Friars generated a couple of transition chances
through the neutral zone, but the Huskies made sure that they couldn’t
establish themselves on their end. Four minutes into the period, Skylar
Fontaine slipped the puck to Alina Mueller on the edge of the crease and the nation’s
second-leading scorer wasted no time, deking out the Friar netminder and
scoring her 21st goal of the season.
minutes and one Husky power play later, Katy Knoll forced a turnover on the
Providence end, took advantage of poor positioning on the part of the
Providence pipe protector, and broke the tie.
second period saw some good looks on goal for Providence, as the Huskies
struggled to stop their transition offense through the neutral zone. But
Phillips, along with the defenders in front of her, held fast, preserving the 2–1
period saw Providence dig deeper into their bag of tricks, as they worked into
some three-on-two and two-on-one situations on offense, but Phillips made some
huge stops to avoid a tie.
point, the NU offense was really rolling. The puck snapped from stick to stick
and cycled up and down the rink, and the Friars could not get the puck out of
their end. Five minutes into the period, Lauren MacInnis, the double-overtime
hero from the Huskies’ Beanpot win, found herself with a good look at the
Providence goal. Mia Brown screened the Providence netminder well, blocking her
view of the puck, and MacInnis sniped the top right corner from the edge of the
left circle, putting Northeastern up, 3–1.
period rolled on, with Providence getting a few more chances to score — mainly
because Northeastern head coach Dave Flint gave ice time to some younger players
— but the Huskies held their lead. Providence pulled their goalie with just
over three minutes to go in the period, desperate to spark their offense.
Unlike the last time the Huskies defended a six-on-five, they did not allow a
goal, and Katy Knoll broke through the neutral zone for her easiest goal of the
4–1 win is their first against Providence this season after two losses. The
Huskies will close their regular season with a home-and-home against Merrimack
College before the Hockey East tournament the following week.
LOWELL, Mass. — The Beanpot hangover did not
make an appearance at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on Friday night.
after the No. 12 Northeastern Huskies won their third consecutive Beanpot
title, Jim Madigan’s group shut down No. 11 UMass Lowell to move up to sixth
place in the conference standings.
to our older guys about that on Wednesday and they delivered the message to the
rest of the group,” Madigan said. “We’re in a playoff hunt. We can’t afford a
Beanpot hangover. In fact, we try not to use the word that begins with a B and
ends with a T and focus in on what’s at hand here.”
Huskies came out focused and cashed in on a power play seven minutes into the
first period. Tyler Madden found the back of the net for his team-leading 19th
goal of the season.
it was dominance marked by crisp puck movement, defensive prowess, and
smothering goaltending by Craig Pantano.
the way our team competed and battled,” head coach Jim Madigan said. “I think
it was probably our best defensive game of the year in terms of how we
Madden’s goal, Northeastern center Zach Solow left the game with an injury. But
he returned later in the next period and was all over the ice, bringing an
energy that the Huskies sustained the rest of the game.
banged up early in that game,” Madigan said. “I thought our kids showed a lot
scored his fifth goal on an assist by Neil Shea six minutes into the second
Craig Pantano built a brick wall in net and recorded his first shutout since
November 29. Pantano set aside 24 shots; his counterpart Tyler Wall made 19
saves for the Riverhawks. Grant Jozefek netted his eighth goal of the season on
an empty net goal with one second remaining.
will make the trip to Matthews Arena, where they will rematch Saturday. Matt
Neiser, Jack Sinclair, and Rae Deer will have the call for WRBB, with coverage
beginning at 7:45 PM EST.
BOSTON — Northeastern
has dominated the entire season.
They’ve won 25 games, shut out their opponents for 315 consecutive
minutes, and clinched the top spot in the Hockey East Standings in January.
But there’s one team in Hockey East that doesn’t seem scared
of the Huskies, and on Friday night they stormed into Matthews Arena and
emerged victorious. For the second time this season, the Providence Friars
bested the Northeastern Huskies, as the Huskies followed their dramatic
double-overtime Beanpot win with a 2–1 overtime loss.
Almost right away, it seemed like the game would follow a
different story, that the momentum from Tuesday night’s victory would carry
over. Less than a minute into the game, after an early Husky line change,
freshman forward Katy Knoll received the puck in the neutral zone, crossed
over, and carried the puck to the doorstep. After her first shot was deflected,
Knoll slapped the rebound past Friar goaltender Sandra Abstreiter to kick off
Nearly two full periods would pass before another puck found
the back of the net. The intervening time saw both teams push the pace in an
attempt to put pressure on the other’s defense, with a number of long-distance,
rushed passes missing their targets. Both teams seemed to have trouble
communicating, leading to frequent turnovers and preventing either squad from
The turnovers and quick pace also decreased the quality of each
team’s shots. Neither Abstreiter nor Husky goalie Aerin Frankel dealt with many
dangerous shots in the first two periods. Other than Skylar Fontaine faking
Hayley Lunny back to Providence, Northeastern’s offense didn’t get much going
after Knoll’s score.
“We had some good looks, but they did a good job keeping us
outside and they blocked a lot of shots and weren’t letting us get inside,”
Northeastern head coach Dave Flint observed. “I think Alina [Mueller] got
robbed twice in tight, but other than that we didn’t have a ton of good looks
at the net. A lot of them were perimeter shots outside. It was the same thing
when we lost 1–0 there earlier in the year.”
In the second period, the activity become aggression. After just
one penalty in the opening frame, the teams drew four in the second. Though
Avery Fransoo and Brooke Hobson’s offsetting roughing penalties fizzled without
a goal, the Huskies wouldn’t be so lucky after Knoll’s hitting from behind penalty
with about four minutes to play. Providence defender Lauren DeBlois waited all
of four seconds to make Northeastern pay, curving toward the middle and
slinging the puck by Frankel.
Once in the second period and once in third, the Huskies had
goals ripped from their grasp. Mueller and Matti Hartman both scored to give
the Huskies the lead, but each goal was snatched away after official reviews
confirmed an offsides entry.
Catalyzed by another five penalties, both teams fired 14
shots on goal in the third, easily the most of any period. Abstreiter and
Frankel withstood the test, and the Huskies headed to overtime for the second
time this week.
But a Megan Carter holding penalty would soon spell doom for
the Huskies. Halfway through the power play, assisted by the same two teammates
who aided her first goal, DeBlois fired one past Frankel to end the night. Providence
had punctured Northeastern’s elite penalty kill for the second time.
“Our PK has been great all year, but our complete level wasn’t
where it needed to be,” Flint said. “We’ve got to stop taking penalties late in
games. It finally came back and bit us in the butt.”
The win dropped Northeastern to 25–4–2 (21–3–0 HEAW). Though
the standings mean little to them now that they’ve clinched, Flint admits that
the game held another importance.
“This is a setback,” he admitted, “but a loss is OK because it
brings them back down to reality a little bit like, ‘Hey, we can lose; anyone
can beat us.’ So hopefully that’s a little wakeup call for us and we’ll be
better down the stretch.”
30 years, to three in a row, Northeastern is a Beanpot dynasty.”
That was our final call on air Monday night as the Northeastern Huskies raised the Beanpot trophy for the third time in as many years. It was a moment that Husky players, coaches, fans, and yes, even radio guys, will never forget, and it just might be the greatest moment in Northeastern hockey history.
is not the first team to win three Beanpots in a row; that honor goes to the
1963–65 Boston College squads. Nor is the Huskies’ streak the longest; for that
we look to Boston University’s six consecutive titles from 1995 to 2000. Northeastern’s
three-peat is the ninth in Beanpot history and the first by a team not named BC
or BU. But make no mistake, this hat trick is as historic as they come, and its
countless moments remind us why we love sports and why we love calling games
for this team.
broke its 30-year Beanpot drought in 2018, pulling out victories against
perennial powerhouses BC and BU. The Huskies were led by the best top line in
the country, and possibly team history — Nolan Stevens, Dylan Sikura, and
eventual Hobey Baker winner Adam Gaudette. The trio showed up in the biggest
game of their lives, and a hat trick from Gaudette propelled the Huskies to a 5–2
win over their cross-town rivals and sent TD Garden into a frenzy.
whole night was unforgettable, but perhaps the most popular image was of a fan
in the crowd holding a sign — it turned out to be an XXXXL t-shirt — that simply
read, “I can graduate in peace.” Flashes of Gaudette parading the Beanpot
trophy around TD Garden danced through the minds of Husky fans for weeks to
come after that first Beanpot win. None of them could fathom the run that was
year later, Northeastern flexed its muscles and asserted itself as one of the
premier programs in college hockey. It began in the semifinal against BU, when,
less than a minute into overtime, Tyler Madden arrived in dramatic fashion.
In the post-game press conference, I grabbed a mic and sheepishly asked the freshman forward, “How were you able to stay so calm with everything on the line?” At the podium, Madden simply nodded, leaned forward, and announced, “Well, there were bright lights out there tonight, and I shine in those.” Thus was born the legend of Mr. Bright Lights.
week later, Northeastern retained their trophy with a win over BC. Despite leaping
out to a 3–0 lead, Northeastern, ever content to give its fans a show, let
Boston College storm back in the third period to make the score 3–2 late in
regulation. But the Huskies had been here before. Struggling to maintain their
narrow lead, the Huskies found another gear, and with a late push and an even
later goal, hung on to become back-to-back Beanpot champions.
goalie and future NHL player Cayden Primeau shone during the 2019 tournament, allowing
just three goals in two games between the pipes and winning the Eberly Award
and Tournament MVP. The team went on to secure the Hockey East title and break
the Northeastern single-season win record.
the Huskies weren’t done, as just a year later, they found themselves in the
Beanpot Championship again after a 3–1 semifinal victory over Harvard. The
final promised to be a heated affair, as Northeastern faced a BU team fresh off
a thrilling 5–4 overtime upset victory over BC in the semifinal.
It was a nightmare start for the Huskies, as BU forwards Jake Wise and Trevor Zegras each scored in the first eight minutes to stun the Huskies right out of the gate. The score held for the next 12 minutes, and the Huskies headed to the locker room searching for answers.
came out buzzing in the second period, as sophomore forward Tyler Madden
brought NU within one with a perfectly placed wrister from the slot. Talented freshman
Aidan McDonough evened the game just three minutes later, but the Huskies
weren’t done there.
eight minutes gone, consecutive BU penalties gave Northeastern a five-on-three.
After a remarkable passing display, junior forward Zach Solow scored to give
Northeastern a 3–2 lead, all on the first power play, meaning NU would kept a
man advantage after the goal.
they took full advantage. One minute after Solow’s goal, senior forward Grant
Jozefek notched Northeastern’s fourth straight goal after an incredible
individual effort. 4–2 Northeastern.
taking full control of the game, Northeastern didn’t let up in the second
period and brought a whole new meaning to “close but no cigar.” One of the
craziest plays of the game came just minutes after the Huskies’ fourth goal, as
Zach Solow found himself with the puck and an open net just in front of him.
While facing away from the net, Solow attempted a backhanded shot that
ricocheted off the near post, somehow crossed the goal-line to hit the second
post, and ricocheted out of the crease. Husky fans’ mouths dropped as the TD
Garden replay showed the puck soaring perfectly over the goal-line while
remaining nanometers away from counting as a goal.
second near-miss came a few minutes later, as Northeastern again found
themselves on a breakaway. A close-range shot from Madden was popped into the
air, deflected twice, and seemed destined to float over BU goalie Sam Tucker
for Northeastern’s fifth score of the period. But freshman forward Robert
Mastrosimone came to the Terriers’ rescue and batted the midair puck out of the
the hectic second period ended, and both teams headed to their locker rooms to
prepare for a third period that no one could have anticipated.
two minutes into the third, BU began its comeback with David Farrance’s
brilliantly placed shot from the left dot. With the lead shrunk to one, both teams
desperately tried to grab the palpable momentum that pervaded the game, and in
one of the most insane regulation finishes in Beanpot history, the hockey gods
had one more trick up their sleeves.
just a minute remaining in the third period, BU pulled its goalie to give them
a man advantage. The Terriers used it well, peppering Northeastern netminder Craig
Pantano with shot after shot. Despite the rapid opportunities, the NU defense
remained strong, turning away chance after chance. That is, until Trevor Zegras
just 1.2 seconds remaining, Zegras found the puck just to the right of Pantano
and threw everything he had into a backhanded shot that wound up in the back of
the net. With bated breath, Husky fans quickly turned their gaze from BU
celebrating to the clock overhead that showed a few tenths left, and although many
didn’t want to admit it, everyone in the stadium knew that the Beanpot final
would be headed to overtime.
the game, Northeastern players were asked about their thoughts when BU tied the
game. Head coach Jim Madigan interjected, “Well, the coaches were saying WTF .
teams returned to the ice for an initial five-minute overtime period. The
Terriers kept the momentum from Zegras’ goal, earning chance after chance, but
Northeastern’s defense stayed strong enough to keep the game even and give both
teams a much-needed break before the 20-minute second overtime.
looked around the locker room and saw no panicked faces,” senior defenseman and
team captain Ryan Shea said. “Everyone was just focused on their game and was
ready to go.”
overtime was a defensive struggle, with both teams trading chances. That is,
until Shea pulled off a remarkable hustle play to draw a holding penalty with
just about six minutes remaining in the overtime frame to give the Huskies a two-minute
power play. And that was all they needed.
With 5:27 to go and under 30 seconds remaining on the power play, sophomore defenseman Jordan Harris collected the puck near the blue line in the offensive zone. With his eyes fixed on the goal and the trophy, Harris coolly skated into the slot and let a shot fly. With Zach Solow planted in front of BU goalie Sam Tucker, the puck soared through the air, through the crowd, and into the back of the net.
Harris and his teammates flung their gloves and sticks into the air and sprinted down to the other end to mob Pantano. TD Garden erupted, and I mean erupted. Twelve full sections of Northeastern students and countless more in the arena screamed and cheered as the improbability of the Huskies’ accomplishment sank in.
said that if we get the puck near the blue line to push it to the middle and
get a shot on net,” Harris said. “Hopefully a lane opens up, which it did, and
I took my opportunity, and luckily it paid off.”
The Eberly Award for best goaltender of the tournament went to Pantano, who recorded 40 saves in the championship game. Pantano grew up watching the Beanpot as a local Massachusetts kid, and continued to watch during his time just north of us at Merrimack College. This was his only opportunity to make his own mark on this historic tournament, and when it mattered most, he didn’t blink.
Solow was crowned MVP for his two-goal performance. Though his stats speak for
themselves, it’s Solow’s on-ice tenacity and off-ice leadership that have
impressed Husky fans and coaches.
perhaps his greatest trait is this: he doesn’t know what it means to lose a
Beanpot game. None of Northeastern’s juniors do either. After three decades of
heartbreaking losses, gutsy performances to no avail, and seeing another team lift
that pot of beans, Northeastern has achieved all-time greatness in Boston’s
most personal and meaningful sports tournament.
heart-attack Huskies had the added benefit of pulling out their improbable win
in front of 17,850 fans, the largest crowd in Beanpot history. BU fans made
their mark, but it was the Northeastern faithful who truly took over TD Garden
(as they have for years) and made it Northeastern’s home away from home. In the
past three seasons, Northeastern is 8–1 there. The bright lights were out on
Monday night, and the Huskies shine in those.
was a great Beanpot game; I’ve seen a lot of them over the years,” Madigan
said. “Congratulations to our players . . . they’ve set the bar incredibly high
for this program and they’ve represented the school well.”
“The winning culture that we’ve built — along with the guys before us — has been everything,” Shea noted. “I came to Northeastern to win a Beanpot, and now we’ve got three of them.”
was a distinct theme throughout the postgame press conference: “Never forgot their
roots.” Northeastern has 14 Massachusetts natives on its roster, all of whom
grew up watching the Beanpot and dreamt of winning it someday. Milton,
Massachusetts resident Jim Madigan praised two Huskies who also grew up there —
Ryan Shea and Aidan McDonough, who had an impressive four-point performance in
the Championship game.
“I had [McDonough] at my house during the Stanley Cup when he was nine,” said Madigan. “I’ve known him a long time and he’s grown into a great young man, and an even better hockey player . . . we’re a Mass team now.
young men have separated themselves from every other team in the 90-year
history of this program,” Madigan said. When asked about a potential four-peat,
Madigan smiled, shook his head, and said, “I think we’re just going to enjoy
a personal note, thank you to everyone involved with Northeastern hockey. This
has been a truly incredible ride that thousands of people — alumni old and new,
current freshmen, family — have loved being a part of.
And to my WRBB Sports family, thank you for everything. There are so many people who deserve to be a part of this run, and I like to believe that everyone at WRBB, past and present, was a crucial part of this broadcast. Like Jim Madigan said, I think I’m just going to enjoy this for a little while.
BOSTON — It was déjà vu in the
best way for the Huskies.
Twenty-four hours after
Jordan Harris’ game-winner propelled the men’s team to a Beanpot championship,
Lauren MacInnis, refusing to let Harris be the only #2-wearing Husky defender
to sink Boston University with a double-overtime goal, ended the night.
It was the Huskies 17th Beanpot title, their first since 2013, and the first time since 1988 that both Northeastern teams held the title simultaneously.
The Huskies and Terriers
had squared off three times this year, and although Tuesday night’s game had no
Hockey East repercussions, the two foes were physical throughout, knowing the
gravity of what was at stake. A record crowd of 1,790 at Walter Brown Arena
knew it too. After the drama of the men’s game the night before, expectations
BU opened the scoring early.
BU’s Kristina Schuler blew by Brooke Hobson in neutral ice to dip and dunk on
Aerin Frankel with unbelievable pace. The No. 9/9 Terriers were the underdogs against
the No. 2/3 Huskies, so the opening goal was vital against the stout Husky
It was all BU for most of
the opening period as the Huskies looked flat. BU Goalie Corinne Schroeder
looked comfortable in the net and defenders Abby Cook and Alex Allan were
aggressive on everything coming into their zone. Finally, Northeastern caught a
break in the waning minutes of the first as Chloe Aurard ripped one five-hole on
a two-on-one breakaway, bringing the Huskies even.
After the break, it seemed like
Northeastern would take control of the game. They started to settle the puck more,
with Alina Mueller’s tremendous handling creating great opportunities.
Eventually lightning struck twice, as Chloe Aurard, the eventual MVP, put away
her second goal of the game and third of the tournament with 13:26 left.
Then all hell broke loose. Two
minutes after Aurard’s goal, NU’s Skylar Fontaine was assessed a game
misconduct after getting into it with Breanna Scarpaci in front of the net. Scarpaci
was hit with a two-minute cross-checking minor, but Fontaine’s contact-to-the-head
roughing penalty deprived Northeastern of its best all-around skater for the
rest of the game.
After two minutes of
four-on-four play, the Huskies still had three minutes of disadvantage to kill.
They managed just one, as Abby Cook launched an absolute rocket from the blue
line to bring the Terriers back in the game.
It looked as though the
opportunity was starting to slip away from Northeastern, but as they have all
season, they fought back. Late in the
third period, Jess Schryver converted the Huskies’ first power-play goal of the
night. Mueller’s wrister rebounded perfectly to the freshman forward as she
shoved it between Schroeder’s legs to regain the lead with five minutes to
But as we learned on Monday
night, no one raises the trophy until the final whistle blows. BU pulled its goalie
around the two-minute mark, accelerating their offense. They put bodies in
front of Frankel, clogging the doorstep and dumping pucks in from all angles. With
only twenty-two seconds on the clock, a Nadia Mattivi slap shot trickled behind
Frankel, where BU captain Sammy Davis gave it a little tap in to tie the game.
The hockey gods were laughing
at Northeastern. It felt way too much like the night before.
But the Huskies were about to be blessed for the second time in 24 hours. After
five minutes of one overtime and 16 minutes of another, after the game had, for
record and statistical purposes, ceased to count, after the only purpose was
pride and glory, MacInnis stepped into the spotlight.
With Fontaine gone, head coach Dave
Flint sent extra minutes MacInnis’ way. On her first power play of the season,
after playing more minutes than she had all year, MacInnis fired a rebound into
the back of the net and etched her name into Beanpot lore.
Flint explained that
MacInnis has spent many hours in practice on the scout power play facing the
team’s legendary penalty kill, and thus was prepared for the moment.
The team will now look forward to Hockey East playoffs and potentially a Frozen Four appearance at Agganis Arena in a few weeks. But for now, they can bask in the glory of a trophy that eluded several talented classes. For the first time since 2013, they are the Queens of the Beans.
BOSTON — The heart-attack Huskies just couldn’t help themselves.
Beanpot final for the ages, one that lasted late into Monday night, it took two
overtime periods to crown a 2020 champion, and the game of the decade did not
University — which qualified for the game after another double-overtime thriller
against Boston College in the semifinal — grabbed the lead off a Jake Wise
backhander just three minutes into the contest. After a Craig Pantano spill in
front of the Northeastern net, Wise was perfectly positioned to finish off the
first goal of the game.
BU followed up with a second goal just five minutes later, as Trevor Zegras put a simple wrister past Pantano on the power play.
Northeastern kicked it into high gear.
period intermission was kind to the Huskies, as they bounced back with a four-goal
second period to seize control of the game. Tyler Madden and Aidan McDonough
got the scoring going, tying it up after great individual efforts just six
minutes into the period. The scoring continued for Northeastern as Zach Solow
put the puck in the back of the net on a five-on-three.
taking the 3–2 lead, Northeastern continued to pressure BU, with Grant Jozefek burying
one from distance on the power play to cap the Husky blitz.
foiling a Northeastern power play to begin the third period, the Terriers began
their climb by converting on a power play of their own with a great mid-range
shot from defenseman David Farrance.
battled throughout the third, with Northeastern barely clinging to their 4–3
lead. With just seconds remaining in regulation, BU mustered all their might
toward a final offensive onslaught, and with just 1.2 seconds remaining,
freshman forward Trevor Zegras scored the biggest goal of his career — a
backhander past Pantano to send the Beanpot final into overtime.
The teams played to an even first five minutes of overtime, with Northeastern escaping to the locker room after BU forced them onto their heels. Because a normal, non-Beanpot game would have ended after one overtime, Monday’s contest goes down in the books as a 4–4 tie. Officially, the game was decided. But for the players on the ice and the fans in the stands, there was still a score to settle.
entered the second overtime with as much energy as they could muster. After
trading blows, the Huskies finally gained a momentum advantage when a BU tripping
penalty gave the Huskies a power play they couldn’t afford to waste.
left to go, Jordan Harris collected the puck near the blue line. With eyes on
goal, Harris wound up and fired his shot toward the BU net. With Zach Solow
planted in front of BU goaltender Sam Tucker, the puck sailed through the air
and miraculously found the back of the net. In a split second, the crowd of
17,850 — the largest showing in the 68-year history of the Beanpot — erupted
into a deafening roar. After going 30 years without a Beanpot trophy, the
Huskies had their first-ever three-peat.
An ecstatic Jim Madigan praised his team after the game saying, “They pushed, we pushed, they pushed back. It was a great Beanpot game. Congratulations to our players on three in a row. These young men have separated themselves from every other team in the 90-year history of this program.
Solow was crowned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring a goal apiece against Harvard and BU. Craig Pantano went home with the Eberly Award, given to the player with the highest save percentage across both games. Pantano saved 40 shots in the championship game.
This season has presented its fair share of challenges for the Huskies, and they haven’t always shone under the spotlight. But under the biggest college hockey spotlight in a sports-crazed city, as the cheers of the Doghouse rained down on the ice at TD Garden, there was no mistaking the sight — the Huskies were champions again.
The Northeastern women’s hockey team will face BU in their Beanpot final Tuesday night. Dale Desantis and Alex Bensley will be on the call; follows @wrbbsports on Twitter for updates on start time. WRBB will also upload a more in-depth story on the three-peat later in the week.
BOSTON — In a clash of cross-town foes, the No. 3/2 Northeastern Huskies
prevailed in the 42nd annual beanpot at Walter Brown Arena,
ousting the No. 10 Harvard Crimson 3–1 in the first semifinal game Tuesday
“Exciting game, think it
was fast paced. Chances on both ends, went right down to the wire. Was exciting
to be a part of it,” Northeastern coach Dave Flint said.
Sophomore forward Alina Mueller tallied three points and junior
defenseman Skylar Fontaine added two. Junior netminder Aerin Frankel made 31
saves in net to secure the victory for the Huskies (24–3–1)
Mueller struck first for the Huskies with 4:51 to go in the first
period. She added two assists to give her 52 points on the season, a team-best
“We just try to get the puck to the net,” Mueller said of her
team’s offensive approach. “Our line did a pretty good job moving the puck so
there’s open lanes to get pucks to the net.”
Fontaine scored next for Northeastern early in the second period.
The junior defenseman also tallied an assist to give her 30 points on the
“I definitely think that getting bodies in front of the goalie was
a huge thing, especially for the second goal,” Fontaine said.
The Crimson (12–9–1) were not to be outdone. First-year Shannon
Hollands cut the lead in half midway through the second period on a two-on-two
break, giving the Crimson life. Harvard goalie Becky Dutton kept her team in
the game, setting aside 35 shots and making some highlight-reel saves.
In the end, Harvard
couldn’t get past Frankel, as sophomore Chloe Aurard sealed the deal with an
empty-net goal in the game’s final minute.
With the win, the Huskies advance to their first Beanpot final
“We definitely have had some trouble at this tournament in the past, but I think that just made us come into today with a little chip on our shoulder,” Frankel said. “It was an extra special feeling. And I guess we kind of broke the curse.”
The win comes one day after Northeastern men’s hockey beat Harvard in their Beanpot semifinal. As with the men, the Northeastern women will face Boston University in the final. The women’s game is Tuesday at 8 PM EST.
BOSTON — Finally, the day college hockey fans in Massachusetts have waited
for since the season started in October. The Beanpot is back for its 68th
iteration, and the two-time defending champion Northeastern men’s hockey team
kicked the festivities off on Monday against the Harvard Crimson in the early
Harvard came into the game with the third-best offense in the nation at 3.9 goals per game, and fresh off an eight-goal performance in a win against Union Friday. Unperturbed, the Northeastern defense held strong, allowing just one goal on the night. Adding three of their own on offense, the Huskies skated away with a 3–1 victory to advance to next week’s championship game for the third year in a row.
On Monday, the Huskies will face the Boston University Terriers, who outlasted Boston College in a double-overtime thriller. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST but may start later if the consolation game goes long. Follow @wrbbsports on Twitter to stay up to date on any delays. Once again, Christian Skroce, Matt Neiser, and Dale Desantis will be on the call.
Special teams were bound to
be a factor in this one, with the Crimson boasting the best power play in the
nation (.307) and the Huskies countering with the fourth-best penalty kill
(.892). That showed early when Harvard drew a tripping call on Northeastern
defenseman Jordan Harris. Jack Drury converted on the ensuing man advantage,
taking a feed from Nick Abruzzese and flipping it past Husky netminder Craig
Pantano just five minutes into the game.
Northeastern fought back on
a power play of their own later in the period, needing just 22 seconds from the
time of the whistle to put the puck into the Crimson net. Senior captain Ryan
Shea blasted a one-timer at the goal off a feed from Tyler Madden, and Zach
Solow positioned himself in the perfect spot to redirect the drive past
Both teams struggled to find their footing out of the gate in the second period, trading possessions without many shots. After a failed power play earlier in the frame, the Huskies once again found themselves on the five-on-four after Harvard’s Austin Wong was called for an elbowing minor. The PP technically yielded no goal, but the situation it created allowed Northeastern to jump out in front.
Just as the minor expired,
freshman Riley Hughes helped the puck along to Grant Jozefek in the right
corner of the Crimson zone. Seeing this develop, grad transfer Brendan van
Riemsdyk drifted his way in front of the opposing net. Jozefek rewarded him for
the move, feeding a perfect pass to his teammate who gladly redirected into the
net for his second goal of the season.
The Huskies were forced to defend that lead under dire circumstances to start the third period, as a cross-checking penalty 15 seconds in — following a tripping call as time expired in the previous frame — put Harvard on a five-on-three power play for nearly two minutes. The stellar Northeastern PK unit weathered the storm with aplomb, combining a series of blocked passes with three essential saves from Pantano to ward off the top-ranked Crimson power play squad.
“I think killing penalties
gives us more motivation than scoring a power play goal,” Shea said. “Our
compete level just went up five notches once that happened.”
Husky head coach Jim
Madigan emphasized the importance of that kill after the game: “It really gave
us momentum. If there’s a turning point in the game, it’s that point
Pantano was immense throughout the final 20 minutes, saving all 14 shots he faced to hold the Huskies in front. The Merrimack graduate transfer tallied 27 saves on the night, allowing just one goal against a team that averaged almost four scored per game coming in.
“I thought [Pantano] was
the difference in the game. He made a lot of key stops for us . . . in this
tournament you need great goaltending, and we got that here tonight,” said
In desperate search of a late equalizer, Harvard pulled Mitchell with just over two minutes to play. Matt DeMelis almost notched an empty netter soon after, but his backhand attempt went wide. The Crimson pressed back into the Husky zone, but Shea wrestled the puck away and cleared it the length of the ice, slotting it perfectly into the vacant goal to seal the Husky victory.
“This is a big, emotional
game for all our guys; any time you can get a win in this tournament, in this
venue, it’s special . . . that was a real good hockey club we just played,”
explained Madigan. “We had a bend, don’t break mentality and it served us well.”
BOSTON — An extra week off of the ice usually results in one of two things.
Either the team returns rested and with fewer injuries, or they look sluggish
came off their 12-day break with nothing but benefits. They were rested, and the
return of Julian Kislin after a four-week absence gave the Husky defense added
against Providence was critical in determining Northeastern’s destiny in Hockey
East and NCAA as a whole. The Friars are always a fierce opponent, and they entered
Matthews Arena with only one road loss. That the loss came by four goals
against Northeastern guaranteed nothing for Friday night’s game.
sat tied for second in the Hockey East; the Huskies, while only three points
behind, sat tied for sixth. If the last few weeks of Hockey East action have
taught us anything, it’s that nothing, nothing, is certain. With bottom
feeders like UConn and UNH surging, and previous leaders like Northeastern and
BU faltering against easier opponents, Hockey East is as wide open as ever.
started off slowly for both teams, with no fantastic chances for either side.
After about 10 minutes, the Huskies found their footing in the dynamic of the
game, and their forward check came into full swing. Northeastern, with the help
of Matt Filipe and Zach Solow, put considerable pressure on Providence and its
goaltender Mike Lackey. The puck rarely made its way to Northeastern’s side of
the ice, and Providence began to tire. That fatigue became most apparent when
Tyler Madden forced a turnover in the neutral zone and carried the puck all the
way to the goal, putting the Huskies up 1–0.
Huskies continued to dominate the physical and mental tempo of the game. Only
four minutes after Madden’s breakaway goal, Matt Filipe and Matt DeMelis found
themselves in a two-on-one rush, and netted another goal for the Huskies.
The period ended with both teams receiving penalties, resulting in a four-on-four that only saw more Northeastern dominance over the puck. The period ended with the Huskies holding onto their 2–0 lead.
as the start of the first period was, the second period was insane. Providence
came out with some good looks on net, but Craig Pantano had absolutely none of
it, making some difficult saves look trivial.
When two quick Northeastern penalties gave Providence a five-on-three, Mike Kesselring displayed his spectacular stick skills on the penalty kill and willingly put his body on the line. He took a scorching shot high off the arm and was clearly in considerable pain, but fought through until the best opportunity for him to make a change.
did not return to the ice for the duration of the kill, and that is perhaps
what led to Providence breaking through and putting themselves on the score
sheet. Tensions ran high between the two teams, with forwards Greg Printz and
Zach Solow exchanging pushes and what could only have been the most pleasant of
physicality of the game skyrocketed, with both teams exchanging savage stick
slaps and brutal body blows. This culminated with Biagio Lerario’s massive
check against Printz right in front of the Providence bench, which drew a five-minute
major penalty against and Lerario’s ejection.
Northeastern penalty kill took the ice and took no prisoners. It didn’t even
feel like a penalty kill, as they held Providence to a grand total of zero
shots for the first 4:40. The whole PK unit skated their butts off, beating
every Friar they could to the puck and making Pantano’s job between the pipes
easier. This momentum carried into five-on-five play after the penalty, as
Aidan McDonough netted his ninth goal of the season less than a minute later.
goal only made the Friars upset, as they played most of the rest of the period
on Northeastern’s side of the ice. Patrick Moynihan forced a turnover right in
front of the goal on the forward check, spun, and slipped the puck past
Pantano. The tumultuous second period concluded with the Huskies leading 3–2.
Providence dominated the beginning of the third period. The only thing keeping the Friars from tying the game was an admirable performance by Pantano, who went so far as to lay across the ice to keep the puck out of the net. But Jack Dugan made the most of a Providence faceoff win on their offensive side, pounding the puck past Pantano to tie the game.
soon went to the power play, but unlike those earlier in the game, the top line
of McDonough, Madden, and Jozefek was unable to get things done, and almost
allowed a shorthanded goal. The unceremonious power play resulted in the return
of Providence dominance, and more amazing saves from Pantano.
a quarter of the period remaining, Providence’s Parker Ford was sent to the
penalty box for hooking. This Northeastern power play began much like their
last, but about halfway through it, they worked the puck into the offensive
zone. This kicked off a beautiful sequence of about 20 passes where the power play
unit methodically broke down the Friars’ defense, slowly applying pressure and
working the puck closer and closer to the net.
the breakthrough came. Zach Solow found himself, and more importantly, the
puck, right in front of the net, after a precise pass by McDonough right to his
stick. Solow’s job was made easy and he executed perfectly, placing the puck
into the bottom left of the cage, giving the Huskies the lead with only five
game, Providence head coach Nate Leaman expressed his displeasure with his
team’s physicality, saying that it “hardly felt like [they] checked anybody all
night.” On the flip side of the hockey coin, Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan
expressed his pleasure with his team’s approach to the game.
can’t sit back and wait for goals to happen,” he said. “You have to go out and
earn them against a team like this.”
head to TD Garden this Monday to face Harvard in the first game of the Beanpot.
Christian Skroce, Matt Neiser, and Dale Desantis will call that one, with
coverage beginning at 4:45 PM EST.