Boston, Mass. — For the second straight year, the Beanpot is making its way down to Huntington Avenue.
The Northeastern Huskies defeated the Boston College Eagles 4-2 to capture the school’s sixth Beanpot title, marking the first time they went back-to-back since 1984-85.
“It’s an incredible, it’s such a great feeling to get a win in your last Beanpot,” Northeastern senior defenseman Eric Williams said. “I am also happy for the freshmen who haven’t felt this feeling yet. It’s amazing feeling, it’s something none of us is ever going to forget. I wish I could play in this tournament every year until the day I die, it’s that much fun.”
For Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan, going back-to-back is only going to bring the hockey program to new heights.
“For us to continue growing our program, we needed to win the back-to-back,” Madigan said. “Next year, we have win three [in a row], we have never won three [in a row]. Now the challenge to the group—I will give them a couple days—is to win three.”
Northeastern sophomore goalie Cayden Primeau made 33 saves as he captured the tournament’s MVP award and the Eberly Award, which is presented to the goaltender with the best save percentage in the tournament. He stopped 59 of 62 shots over two games.
“There so many emotions running through the veins and the body,” Primeau said. “There is an adrenaline high right now, I don’t know how long it will be when we come off that.”
Both goalies were on early as the Eagles’ Joseph Woll had a few outstanding reflex saves toward the beginning of the game. At the other end, Northeastern’s Cayden Primeau stopped everything that was thrown his way.
Woll made 31 saves in the game.
BC thought it scored early when the puck was loose in Primeau’s crease. The puck crossed the goal line, but the net came off the moorings where the official behind the play quickly waived the goal off. BC celebrated like it was a goal. After a lengthy review, the call on the ice of no goal was confirmed.
“The refs had no video of it,” BC coach Jerry York said. “A box had broken down or something and they came over and said, ‘We had no video to look at, we have to rely on people upstairs [in the press box].’ That was kind of tough. I am unsure if it was a goal or not.”
It was the Huskies (17-9-1 overall, 9-7-1 Hockey East) who got on the board first—Austin Plevy kept digging at the loose puck in Woll’s crease until it crossed the goal line with 39 seconds remaining in the first stanza. Assists went to Lincoln Griffin and Jordan Harris.
Both teams couldn’t get anything going for most of the second period, but it was last Monday’s hero Tyler Madden who helped Northeastern go up 2-0. The 2018 draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks made a couple dekes to get past a defender where he found Matt Thomson. Thomson found left winger Patrick Schulte who potted his ninth goal of the year with 2:06 remaining in the second period.
Griffin stretched the lead to 3-0 early in the third period with Liam Pecararo setting the goal up.
David Cotton gave BC some life as he slid the puck past Primeau at 4:09 in the third period. Oliver Wahlstrom set the goal up with a pass behind the goal.
Cotton set up JD Dukek as the Eagles (10-14-3 overall, 9-5-3 Hockey East) got within one at the 12:14 mark of the third period.
“He’s an outstanding player, he’s gotten better every year with us,” York said of Cotton. “I thought he was a dominant force in the third period. I would say through many good games, that was his best game.”
But that was as close as the Eagles would come. With six seconds remaining, Zach Solow sealed the victory for Northeastern with an empty netter.
Nathan Fournier has been covering hockey — from high school to the American Hockey League — for the past 10 years. You can follow him on Twitter.