Terriers Outlast Harvard, Punching Ticket to 69th Beanpot Final
Terriers Outlast Harvard, Punching Ticket to Final of 69th Beanpot
BU never trailed in Monday night’s 4-3 victory at TD Garden
Boston hockey fans have come to expect nail-biting down-to-the-wire finishes at the annual men’s Beanpot, and in the college hockey tournament’s first game since the pandemic began, Boston University and Harvard delivered another classic at TD Garden.
Ethan Phillips (CAS’23) netted the game-winner for the Terriers in a four-goal second period and the Terriers held on the rest of the way, beating the Crimson 4-3. BU goaltender Vinny Duplessis (CAS’24) made 22 saves in his first Beanpot game.
After COVID-19 canceled last year’s tournament, BU head coach Albie O’Connell (CAS’99) credited Terrier Nation for their strong support Monday night. “I thought our fans were terrific, I thought our band was terrific. It was great to see. A lot of people came out,” he said at a press conference following the game.
Logan Cockerill (SHA’22) fired the first warning shot on Harvard netminder Mitchell Gibson on a backhand drive early in the frame, and with six minutes left in the first period, and with the same move, the BU captain made it count, tucking the puck inside the post to put the Terriers ahead 1-0. Cockerill now owns three goals and three assists in seven career Beanpot games.
O’Connell said he thought Cockerill had one of his best games as a Terrier: “He led by example, and kind of led the way to the victory.”
Not to be outdone, Harvard captain Casey Dornbach responded 35 seconds later, roofing a shot past Terrier netminder Duplessis. The Crimson nearly took the lead two minutes later, but Duplessis stoned Alex Gaffney one-on-one from short range to keep the game tied.
BU landed the next punch instead, converting on the only power play of the frame thanks to a low wrist shot from Jay O’Brien (COM’23), scoring in his first career Beanpot game. The action-packed first period concluded 2-1 in BU’s favor, with the Terriers holding a 14-8 shots on goal advantage.
Matt Brown (Questrom’23) followed O’Brien’s lead four minutes into the second period, ripping one past Gibson on the power play to etch his name on the scoresheet in his Beanpot debut, making the score 3-1. It was Brown’s first goal since his mother, Deborah, passed away on January 30, at age 51, and in a poignant gesture, Brown pointed skyward after the puck rippled the twine.
“He has a heavy heart right now. I was really happy for him,” O’Connell said. “He played really hard, and he obviously can be a difference-maker.”
BU’s momentum remained in the middle frame as Jamie Armstrong (CAS’23) rang the iron minutes after Brown’s strike. The Terriers continued to pressure Gibson and eventually broke through again, with 9:01 left in the second period, when Phillips provided a productive redirection on a long effort from Ty Gallagher (CAS’25). Phillips now has five goals in his last five games.
Harvard got back within two with 1:44 to go in the period when Zakary Karpa deposited a rebound in Duplessis’ crease on the power play, giving the Crimson hope late in the second.
It became a one-goal game 22 seconds later when Ryan Donato capitalized on a fortunate bounce, again finding success on the edge of the Terrier goalmouth. The teams went to the second intermission with the Terriers outshooting Harvard 26-18, but ahead only 4-3.
“We kind of let them back into the game,” O’Connell said. “Hopefully we can learn from that lesson.”
BU shut the door during a scoreless third period, turning away a series of late Harvard attempts with the goaltender pulled. Duplessis needed to make just four saves in the final frame, but played his part, denying a pair of rockets from Henry Thrun in the game’s waning moments.
“I thought he was pretty poised,” O’Connell said. “It’s the biggest crowd he’s ever played in front of. I thought he handled himself well.”
BU will face Northeastern in the 69th Beanpot tournament title game on Monday, February 14, at 7:30 pm, at TD Garden. The Huskies took Monday night’s second semifinal game, besting Boston College 3-1. (Next Monday’s consolation game pits Harvard and Boston College at 4:30 pm.)
Fans can watch the February 14 Beanpot championship, when BU goes up against Northeastern, on NESN, listen live on the Terrier Sports Radio Network, and follow along on @BUGameday. Purchase tickets online here.
Comments & Discussion
Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.