Northeastern tops BU 5-4 in second-longest Beanpot Final ever

The Boston University Terriers thought their late-game magic could carry them to their 31st Beanpot title over Northeastern University after freshman forward Trevor Zegras tied the game with less than two seconds to play in regulation, but in double-overtime, the clock struck midnight on BU’s 2020 Beanpot bid.

Northeastern sophomore defenseman Jordan Harris scored the game-winner 79 minutes and 33 seconds into the second-longest Beanpot championship game in history, which featured a pair of two-goal comebacks and an all-time Beanpot-best 17,850 fans packed into TD Garden.

BU head coach Albie O’Connell felt his Terriers (10-9-8, 7-5-5 Hockey East) were done in by a series of questionable penalties, including senior forward Patrick Harper’s late trip on Northeastern senior defenseman Ryan Shea that led to Harris’ winner for the Huskies (15-8-3, 8-7-1 Hockey East) on the ensuing power play.

“The diving in that game that was called? It’s just a tough thing to watch,” O’Connell said. “Karma didn’t catch up to that one. It will.”

On the opposite bench, Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan did not have a response to O’Connell’s comments about the Huskies diving. While Madigan sympathized with the Terriers for the untimely penalties, he felt that the game was officiated fairly.

“From a BU perspective, I’m sure they didn’t like the [Harper penalty],” Madigan said. “I thought the officials did a good job.”

After going down by two goals before winning 5-4 in double overtime in the Beanpot semifinals last Monday, BU improved its start in the final, jumping ahead 2-0 lead within eight minutes on strikes by sophomore forward Jake Wise and Zegras.

Northeastern answered at the start of the second period, scoring four goals in 11 minutes through sophomore forward Tyler Madden, freshman forward Aidan McDonough, junior forward Zach Solow and senior forward Grant Jozefek. After the Northeastern flurry of goals, BU graduate goaltender Sam Tucker replaced freshman netminder Ashton Abel.

Junior forward David Farrance helped BU chip away at the two-goal lead on the power play two minutes into the third period, and when it seemed like the Huskies would finish off the win in regulation, Zegras poked in a last-second equalizer to force the game into overtime.

BU outshot the Huskies 29-27 in regulation and tacked on another 15 shots on goal to Northeastern’s six between both frames of overtime. Overall, O’Connell was very pleased with his team’s performance throughout the game.

“I thought we played a terrific game pretty much from start to finish,” O’Connell said.

BU was knocking at the door late but the Huskies had the last laugh when Harris’ wrister found its way in from distance, earning Northeastern its third consecutive Beanpot title. For their captain, Shea, winning the Beanpot in his fourth and final season at Northeastern was nothing new.

“Three years in a row? Why don’t you just give it [to us],” Shea said with a laugh.

Madigan thinks it will be difficult to match what his team has been able to accomplish over the last three years.

“This is a team that people will be chasing for a while,” Madigan said.

The Terriers will be back in action on Friday night when they open up a home-and-home series with the University of New Hampshire (15-11-2, 9-8-1 Hockey East). Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire.

28 thoughts on “Northeastern tops BU 5-4 in second-longest Beanpot Final ever”

  1. REFEREE DECIDES GAME!
    The winner of an epic Beanpot was decided by a referee, rather than the players. A despicable second overtime penalty call, on a non-scoring play along the boards, governed the outcome of one of the best Beanpot games, series, and comebacks ever. What a disgrace! The oft discussed recent deterioration of Hockey East officiating was the determining factor in this premier event. I hope that the incoming H/E Commissioner will rectify this blight on the league. Diving has not been perceptible to some of the more recently recruited referees, and the equity established by matching calls has disappeared. Our men are deserving of great praise for their efforts, skills, and their no-quit determination. THEY DID US PROUD IN BATTLING BOTH NORTHEASTERN, AND H/E OFFICIATING! PSD

  2. Another game at Agganis went by last weekend, without any announcement of our Hobey Baker nominees, not to mention solicitation for votes. Athletic Department Administration – please take note and rectify! PSD

  3. I have been complaining for a long time about inconsistent officiating yet we get a guy reffing the beanpot final who reffed a terrible playoff game at Lowell last year that I thought the league took notice of. It’s sports mistakes happen I’m sure he feels terrible about being the guy who possibly altered the outcome of a championship game. It’s the league I’m disappointed in. Brady when terrible calls like this are made does the league reach out to programs and apologize or is it just left alone . Everyone is talking about the call but bu played hard all night. Hopefully this can fuel us down the stretch.

    • Colin – I don’t have an answer to your question and I doubt we’ll ever get any info about league-to-team conversations, but I’d be surprised if there was an apology… I think the league’s only response would be how long they wait to assign Testa to another BU game, but that’s just my opinion.

  4. I hope TESTA does not so another BU since his horrible playoff game in lowell last year and now this call on a non scoring play along the boards to ruin a great game..its a SHAME!!!.. I MIXED IT UP WITH THE LOWELL PLAYERS last year and I WILL do the same to TESTA TRIST ME!!!! HORRIBLE!!!! GO BU

  5. The call in 2015 that coach Madigan mentioned in his press conference in my opinion was a bad one just like last night. It’s hard objectively looking at two bad calls to determine which was worse. In 2015 Eichel the most gifted player had a step and would have had a scoring chance. Last night Harper had that kid covered and he was loosing his edge long before Harper even makes contact. It’s the northeastern guy who takes out Harper . Last night’s penalty was the worst ever in beanpot. It’s wrong that league does not step up and say we blew it. Sorry bu

  6. Total robbery. But maybe it’ll be the catalyst for sustained purposeful playing down the stretch. Last two games of the regular season are vs. the Huskies. Hopefully the get some payback for HE playoff positioning. Additionally, I’m calling for a referee-ndum on the quality of HE officiating. ;D

    Good job last night Terriers.

  7. It has taken me a few hours to get over the shock and disappointment. Here are my thoughts, which I am sure you all have been waiting for.

    1. all year long I have admire this team’s resilience
    2. I was impressed with Wise. Hear that, Glenn. However, one game does not make me a convert
    3. The call was beyond horrible. It is understood the refs swallow the whistle on OT unless the call is flagrant.
    4. Looks like we are in goalie limbo again. Abel has turned into a pumpkin and Tucker is Tucker, a flopping fish out of water. Reincarnation of Jason Tapp. As we all know the game is about the goalie and both ours are mediocre at best
    5. Finally harper’s play at the end was so stupid. I am not talking about the phantom penalty. It was him dangerously dangling the puck at the blueline which got poke checked. In OT especially, keep it simple and cycle it down low. He tried to do too much and the rest is history
    6. So now we play out the string, waiting to see who eliminates us in the HE tournament. Sad

    • I agree about Harpers play at the blue line ( I just groaned when I saw it), and I saw bad things coming. But this kind of play has dogged the terriers ( excuse the pun) all year. Just careless play when in possession of the puck all over the ice. It was a shame because otherwise, since the terriers were dominating possession in the OT , BU probably would have won. Zegras was outstanding and earned high praise from all observers, he’s becoming a superstar in Division 1. ( the magician Bernie calls him.) The goaltending let us down, when you have a 2-0 lead in a final you’ve got to maintain the margin, but team has to learn how to play with a lead. A penalty in OT is always devastating but we’ve seen many over recent years which have decided outcomes. I agree it should only be called if a clear scoring chance is denied, like they do in soccer.

      • I can’t help but think of the OT loss to UMD in March of 2017 … when Bobo got called in the neutral zone.

    • Vinnie, I am highly disappointed and frustrated too. Thanks for your acknowledgement of Wise’s performance. Of course one game shouldn’t convert anyone but that one game is adding to that upward trend he has had in this second semester. And as far a Harper goes, I wanted to pull my hair out when he turned the puck over. Perhaps it was fatigue. Anyway, a dreadful move. Finally, I know the odds are way against us, but it’s still quite possible for us to win the HE title. Not at all probable but we do have a chance.

  8. Great game but again BU falls short of a championship. Guys played as hard as they could but , here I go again Brady, with decent tending we win the game. Plain and simple. Coach should have called time out and pulled our boy after third goal. To be fair our D men are not physical enough or talented to bring us to the next level.

    • Son of Cesar I agree with you but it’s with hindsight. We would have been putting Tucker in the game with us short handed . I’m guessing that’s why coach did not do it.

  9. VT has a real good goalie coming. maybe with the coaching change, he might change mind. i say bye bye Abel. can’t have this kind of shoddy defense. give the kid a chance? nah. the dust has settled. last 3 games – 4 goals, 5 goals, 4 goals

    • Not sure who VT has coming in next year, but they haven’t been much of a threat since 2009 when they almost knocked us out of the Frozen Four. I do know that we have an elite goalie coming in October and he has proven himself against good college and international teams so far this season.

  10. I can only hope that the new HE commissioner deals with the officiating issue. I think one of the major issues with low attendance at all games has to do with the way games are called. They have taken the fun out of watching. If I want to watch a game where a penalty is called everyone time someone remotely gets touched I’ll start watching basketball. Monday’s call was awful but putting that aside the officials are told to call everything and that comes from the top. Fifteen years ago you couldn’t find a seat at the Garden for the Beanpot. I know all the seats were sold but there were several thousand empty seats in the balcony. We’re lucky if we sell out one game per year. Student interest is minimal and season tickets are way down. They need to let the boys play a bit and call the flagrant stuff. Maybe then interest will come back. I also know that winning cures a lot of things. We need to stop losing to Merrimack and Sacred Heart to get back to being a top notch team. Done ranting!!!!

  11. glenn
    VT is vermont

    Vermont recruit honored by USHL
    Waterloo Black Hawks goaltender Gabriel Carriere was named the USHL Goaltender of the Week following his two-win weekend for the Western Conference leaders. The Vermont commit went 2-0 with a 1.45 goals against average and .944 save percentage. Carriere, from Orleans, Ontario, is in his first USHL season after playing the prior two years in the CCHL. He’s expected to head to Burlington to begin playing for the Catamounts in 2020-21, but that is up in the air with the coaching change.

    • Thanks Vinnie but even if he decommits from Vermont, I would think he would want to go somewhere he can start. Obviously that would not be at BU.

      • This is the way I see it too, Glenn. I think BU feels good about Commesso and isn’t really in the market for another goalie.

  12. lots of pressure on Commess coming in. ottenger had the same pressure and he struggled with inconstencies at first. we need a capable back up. perhaps this kid Carriere is too good to be a back up

    • Oettenger was Ottenger and Commesso is Commesso. Last time we won an NCAA title was with a freshman goalie. I agree with you that Carriere seems to good to be a backup. So that’s why I don’t see why he would want to come to BU.

  13. if that is the case, Brady, then i say play Abel the rest of the way to get him that experience. playing tucker serves no purpose because it is wait till next year as far as i can see

    • Yes Vinnie, if the plan is to totally gear up for next season, Abel would be the guy to play right now. I don’t think that’s their mindset though – I think they’re still going for this season with everything they can.

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