Another Beanpot has passed with plenty of excitement, some outstanding story lines and enough to keep the Boston hockey community talking for a while.
Boston College came out on top for the 14th time, this time as the favorite entering the tournament. The Eagles road was far from simple – needing overtime in both its semifinal win over BU and the title game over Harvard.
Some things that stood out:
– The story line of Nick Petrecki was one that was extremely captivating. He rode the ultimate roller coaster throughout the championship game. Even though the BC roster lists him from Clifton Park, N.Y., Petrecki’s mother hails from nearby West Roxbury, Mass., and has brought Nick to the games since he was 5 years old. Scoring his first career goal, a true highlight reel snipe if I may say, in the second period had to be a career highlight. Just as much so, crashing into the linesman late in the third leading to Harvard’s fourth goal and ultimately their dramatic comeback was an equal low-light. But to get redemption all in one large breath, scoring the OT game-winner was one of the best story lines of the tournament.
– Harvard really shocked a lot of people – even some of its own fans – with their gutsy, never-say-die performance in the title game. Head coach Ted Donato said after the game that he hopes this year’s tournament changes the mentality of his team in the Beanpot moving forward. If you show each and every team last night’s third period, you’d have to believe would happen.
– Northeastern truly got hosed in last night’s consolation game. Granted, the Huskies blew a two-goal lead against Boston University. But it was inexplicable how two referees missed a pretty obvious penalty late in the game when a BU player held, grabbed and threw an NU defenseman’s stick, leading to the game-winning goal. Even if both referees missed the infraction, the stick went about 10 feet into the air and seemed to be airborne forever, providing plenty of evidence for the officials to deduce that an infraction had occured. Instead, NU was one again relegated to a fourth-place Beanpot finish.
– The fact that BU wasn’t in the title game actually seemed to give a different sort of life to last night’s championship game. I’m not sure what it is, but I know that people can get sick of the status quo. Having NU and BU in the consolation game made for a very different atmosphere as arguably the two most passionate fan bases squared off in back-and-forth volley chants. BU might have gotten the better of the game, but the 3,000+ Northeastern students in the balcony sure made a heck of a statement for the pride NU fans are feeling for their program.
– Those BU and NU fans that remained for the title tilt became a bit of the show as the game wore on. It was pleasing to see and hear both fan bases unite to support the Harvard band and bring with them all of their typical respective cheers.
– Picking an MVP for this year’s tournament may never have been more difficult. No player immediately stuck out. But because there is the need to coordinate the awards ceremony immediate at the conclusion of the game, media director Ed Carpenter was charged with polling the media and determining the game’s MVP before the winning goal was scored. In years past, the determination was to give the award to the person who scores the game-winning goal, but there’s nothing worse than seeing a player do nothing the entire tournament and score a garbage goal to earn tournament MVP (a la Chris Bourque in 2005). Brian Gibbons was the choice if BC won, though following the old method and giving Petrecki the award would have been equally justified.