Game Recaps

CHAMPIONS – Terriers bring the Beanpot back to Comm. Ave in one-goal thriller

Photo by Gillian McMahon

By James Garrison

The Boston University men’s hockey team (17-10-3, 11-6-3 Hockey East) defeated the Northeastern University Huskies (19-9-1, 10-6-1 HE) 1-0 in the championship game of the Beanpot on Monday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The championship is BU’s first Beanpot title since 2015 and the 31st Beanpot won by the Terriers in their 100 year history––the most of any of the four schools. 

Sophomore forward Dylan Peterson scored the lone goal of the game with 2:48 remaining in the third period to give the Terriers the lead late. Peterson was named tournament MVP after scoring his eighth goal of the season and the biggest of his collegiate career. 

“It’s pretty special,” said Peterson in the post-game press conference. “It feels great but it feels better just knowing that we won that game and how much we deserved it (…) it’s a great moment, it feels special for sure but I’m excited just to celebrate with my teammates,” Peterson added. 

The two sides had met twice prior this season and in both contests, the Huskies took the extra point in either overtime or the shootout. Additionally, the Huskies had eliminated the Terriers in the last three Beanpots including the 2018 and 2020 championship games. 

The Terriers were able to exorcize those demons with a complete team effort in what was, on both sides, one of the best college hockey games of the year. 

“They really performed in a pressure environment, a loud building,” said Terriers’ Head Coach Albie O’Connell in the post-game press conference. “There were a lot of plays that could have went the wrong way if we weren’t playing the right way.”

Both sides traded great chances and exchanged extended periods of pressure that was met evenly by strong defense and stellar goaltending by both BU and Northeastern. Despite BU’s strong shot margin of 29-19, the game could not have felt more even. 

And then it happened. Junior defenseman Domenick Fensore broke the puck out to junior forward Jamie Armstrong who fed Peterson at the netmouth for a tap-in, go-ahead goal with just under three minutes to go in regulation. 

“[Fensore] made a really nice play, got the puck out,” Peterson said. “[Armstrong] picked it up (…) he walked that guy and put it right on my tape. Bunch of credit to [Armstrong] there, he made an incredible play.”

In classic Beanpot and college hockey fashion, the atmosphere at the TD Garden Monday night did not disappoint. The respective fan bases of both teams filled the seats of the Garden and their energy and anticipation was palpable and grew as the game progressed. 

“National anthem through the end of the game was electric, it was a great atmosphere,” O’Connell said. “A good game for a spectator…even just with one goal it was pretty exciting.”

Both sides were missing notable players for the championship game. The Huskies were without freshman forward Justin Hryckowian and the Terriers without junior defenseman Alex Vlasic. 

“You could argue that he’s our best player,” O’Connell said about Vlasic. “There wasn’t a lot of concern on our end because Copeland’s played pretty well and I thought he played a really good game tonight.”

This will likely be Vinny Duplessis’ last game as the starting goaltender, as the gold medal game of the Olympics is set for February 20th––the last potential game that Drew Commesso could play in for Team USA will take place five days before BU’s next contest. 

In his short time as the starting goalie for BU, Duplessis posted some impressive numbers. Duplessis led the Terriers throughout that stretch with a 4-0 record, a .957 save percentage, a 1.00 goals-against-average and two shutouts. Duplessis stopped all 19 shots he faced in the championship game. 

“Vinny’s been really good,” O’Connell said. “Vinny’s a competitor and if you watch how he preps for practice, games, how much work he puts in, and he’s really focused (…) He’s really professional in how he operates.”

There are very few members of this Terriers team who have ever won a trophy in college hockey. The last championship that BU captured was the 2018 Hockey East conference championship where only seniors Logan Cockerill and Ty Amonte were members of the team. 

Both Amonte and Cockerill elected to return to BU this season for a fifth year to play in games like this and attempt to bring another championship to Comm Ave. 

“They deserve it more than anybody,” Peterson said about his captains. “They’ve been great leading by example and the rest of us following in their footsteps…just happy for those guys.” 

If defeating Northeastern to win the school’s first Beanpot title in seven years and the 31st in school history was not exciting enough to take away from the win, defeating Northeastern also has major implications for the NCAA tournament. 

Going into the night, BU sat in 18th place in the USCHO Pairwise rankings––the best metric to predict who will qualify for the NCAA Tournament. With the victory, the Terriers jumped into 14th place, passing Providence, UMass Lowell, Northeastern, and Clarkson. 

When asked about the Pairwise rankings and where his team stands after losing to BU, Northeastern Head Coach Jerry Keefe responded, “Yes, and it wasn’t good.”

O’Connell said his team has gotten into a rhythm in their second-half turnaround resulting in a Pairwise rankings upgrade.

“Now we know how to win as a group and guys really want to win,” O’Connell said. 

The Terriers will take a much deserved bit of time off. They will not play again until Feb. 25 where they will have a two game home-and-home series against the Boston College Eagles in the second-to-last weekend of the regular season. 

The Terriers have done what many would have thought impossible at the end of the first semester. This victory marks the high point of their season so far and the run that they have been on since the beginning of the second semester. 

“It feels great, there’s no other way to describe it,” Peterson said. “I’ve never experienced the Beanpot before but I’m really excited just to experience the next couple of days.”

Coverage for upcoming games, as well as the end of the regular season for both the men’s and women’s teams can be found with recaps and previews on the Blog’s website, as well as coverage on Instagram and on Twitter @BOShockeyblog.


  1. congrats BU

    special shout out to Armstrong. what a pass! what patience with the puck!

    and Vinny D. i feel a lot better now about our goal tending situation next year if DC does not return

    and Copeland. way to step up for Vlasic

    love that BU won their 31st pot on their 100th anniversary. very fitting

    so now they can bask and wait 10 days. that weekend series with BC, once all the players return from the Olympics looks huge

    and poor Mad Dog. the night he gets inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame, his team loses in the championship

    will amonte return this year?

  2. What a Battle of the Back-ups this was! Vinnie D is a tremendous find and asset for us, I think last night’s game has planted the seeds of winning championships for this BU team. Winning big championship games is something you need a “feel for” and now these guys have it – as well as the confidence that this winning streak provides.

  3. James I always said when this team got healthy we would be dangerous. The make up of the kids on this team is incredible. The coaches have done a great job of keeping this group together during a tough first half.

    Coach O’Connell is very humble and his staff is as professional as it comes. This team did not win this game over one night they won it back in October when things did not look good when folks doubted them and the effort and talent put forth.

    The minute our team became healthy we excelled Amonte, Phillips O’Brien Tuch Brown all missed significant time in first half, to me it’s no surprise we are in the position we are in.

    Last night we had four solid lines going it was our fourth line that got the goal again great job by coach at matching lines . Our coaches did a terrific job at putting our guys in spots to succeed. Many folks who commented on this blog first half commented negatively about coach and his staff and I stood by him and them now I’m saying they are not getting the credit they deserve they are some of the best coaches in college hockey.

    Looking ahead we are still not 💯 percent healthy but we find ways to win some of these kids are playing through injuries and it’s impressive to watch them. I enjoy watching Dom buzzing around Luke smashing everyone and delivering great passes. Max never giving up try getting the puck off his stick. Webber has taken over Doms role as most underrated defenseman in league he’s solid back there. Gallagher playing years ahead of his age it goes on and on the kids on this team are terrific and deserved this win.

    If this team lost 1-0 I would still be proud of them they have put in the work which makes winning that much more sweet happy for the kids and there success. Go bu 🐾

  4. No one mentioned Compolito either where did he find that extra gear. He was awesome last night.

  5. What a night! I’d got so used to winning the Beanpot over the past 35+ years that, due to our recent drought, I was as nervous as I’ve been at a game in a while. The atmosphere was outstanding, the officiating was sound, and – most importantly – the performance was immense (especially in the 3rd period). I thought it was even through two periods (more shots for us / better opportunities for NU) but we enforced our will as the 3rd went along and it would have been a damn shame if we’d lost that game. The team performed like a team on a mission and would not be denied.

    Huge props to Vinny D who’s looked more and more comfortable with each game and now looks like a locked-in, composed, D1 starter. And to the young D who stepped up big time in 7’s absence. I know some of the players were fighting through a stomach bug so it really was a (hockey) heroic performance.

    Also, immense kudus to TJ Semptimphelter who fully deserved his Eberly with a nearly-lights-out performance over two games while filling in for a starter who’s having a historic run of his own for NU this season.

    And now, the moment Colin’s been waiting for… 😊

    I’m a man of my word and I said if we went on a strong run of performances, won the beanpot, and won Hockey East, I’d publicly state that Albie deserves an extension. And since they’ve accomplished the first two marks in outstanding fashion and the Hockey East Tournament is really going to take a lot of luck due to nearly all of the teams needing to win the HE Tourney to get into the NCAAs (and we can’t always control our luck), I’m ready to say, Albie deserves to stay.

    (ONE BIG CAVEAT! I know there were lots of grumblings inside and outside the program at the semester break and Pandolfo has played a HUGE role behind the scenes in helping us turn things around so if he’s ok with being Assoc. HC and doesn’t have near-term aspirations to be a head coach, then let’s ride with what we’ve got and let both AOC and JP maximize each of their strengths for the good of the program. If, on the other hand, we’re forced to make a decision between the two of them, then a big discussion will need to be discussed. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that and we can ride this setup into the post season and far beyond.)

    Don’t be too surprised if we fall from 14th in the PWR this upcoming weekend while we’re off since those rankings truly take the whole season into account and the RPI, head-to-head, and record against common opponents obviously shift with each game played by each team. There are A LOT of teams vying for 1 or 2 at-large spots (it’s mathmatically difficult for any of us to climb above 14th at this point) so we’ll still need to win out and get help from others (e.g., we need UMass to sweep UConn this weekend) to get an at-large bid. Realistically, it’s still a Hockey East title or bust for us (and most other HE teams). The shame of it is, if you took two of our regulation losses in the 1st half and flipped them to regulation wins, we’d be in prime position to control our own destiny. Alas, we dug a deep hole.

    But this post is about a tremendous win last night on the backs of a great run of hockey. Long may it continue. We’ve waited far too long for us to start looking like a winning program again for it to end now.

    On to BC…

    Go BU!


    • Couldn’t agree more with most of the points you make Mike. Its been like a tale of two seasons with the Terriers playing like of of the worst teams in Div.1 at 4-9 and then ripping off a 13-1-1 run since Thanksgiving to become one of the best teams in the nations during this span. I think we need to also acknowledge that Colin was correct that the fortunes of this team would turn once BU got all their players healthy and on the ice together. Certainly we benefitted also from the fact that both Harvard and NU lost significant players and the Terriers only lost Commesso and with a more than adequate second goalie in Duplessis who is no surprise really. He played very well last year, the only concern being whether he had grown rusty from limited playing time this season. I guess its good sometimes to have 2 “good goalies” especially during an Olympic year.
      I thought the entire tourney was terrific from the opening round game BU -Harv, which i attended , the NU-BC matchup with semptimphelter ( did i spell it right), standing on his head and a well deserved winner of the Eberly goalie award as he continued his excellent play vs the Terriers,. the final was what i expected, a tight low scoring game , but i was convinced that BU would win for a number of reasons including thatyou should never bet against a streak that the Terriers have had going. The BU flurry at the end of the 2nd period IMO was telltale of how the game was going and that the Huskies were beginning to tire and were really hanging on in the third period. Finally a major championship for this group! It was also good that there was no OT. From what i understand it would have been 3 on 3 and then eventual penalty shots to decide the winner. I’d hate to see hockey become like soccer with championships being decided on penalty shots.
      THe remainder of the schedule seems quite favorable for BU.Two games against a now horrid BC team who have lost 9? games in a row, ( I don’t think they’ve won yet this year), although they will get several of their stars back after the Olympics. I’m looking forward to attending the game in Chestnut Hill and sitting in OUR section. Maine of course is one of the worst teams in Hockey East.3 out of four seems like the minimum.
      Mike your analysis about the pairwise situation is interesting although God knows i don’t understand it. It seems now that since we beat NU we are up to 14th place. If the Terriers can win out and get to maybe 22 or 23 victories and arrive at the TD Garden get to the final? then even if they don’t win it , I don’t see how the selection committee can exclude a team that willhave won 20 games out of 22 or so down the stretch. Looking at the records of some of the western teams ranked far ahead of us in the polls i see several with inferior records even allowing for strength of schedule, however i know BUs poor non league record does hurt them. My only concern is the extended layoff until our next game at BC. I just hope they don’t lose their edge especially being so hot and coming off a beanpot championship. a layoff is quite often not good. Well at least we can watch the other hockey east teams know off each other in the meantime.