Game Recaps

Terriers fall 4-3 in overtime to Northeastern, lose Beanpot Championship

Macklin Celebrini (71) and Jack Williams (15) take a faceoff in the 71st Beanpot Championship at TD Garden on Feb. 12, 2024. GRACIE DAVENPORT/ BOSTON HOCKEY BLOG

It’s rare a team puts together one of its most complete games of the season and comes out on the losing end. 

However, that’s exactly what happened to the Boston University men’s hockey team (19-8-1, 13-4-1 Hockey East) in Monday’s Beanpot Championship at TD Garden where it fell 4-3 in overtime to the Northeastern University Huskies (13-12-2, 6-11-0 HE).

“Really disappointed with the end result. Taking nothing away from them, they kept fighting. But I thought we were the better team for a majority of the game,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said postgame. 

Senior forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine sealed the win for the Huskies in the five-minute, 3-on-3 period, earning Northeastern its fifth Beanpot title in the past six years. 

“We’ve got to get past it, we’ve got to keep our heads high. We played a good hockey game. We can’t get discouraged by it,” Pandolfo said.  

From the start, BU did a good job containing Northeastern’s transition game, dominating the middle of the ice and shutting down Husky chances at the blue line. 

The Terriers got rewarded for their pesky forecheck at 14:41 of the first period when freshman forward Macklin Celebrini gave his team a 1-0 lead — marking his 23rd goal of the season and third goal in two games at TD Garden. 

Husky graduate defenseman Pito Walton mishandled the puck in front of the Northeastern net while pressured by Jack Harvey’s active stick. The freshman forward — and latest first-line addition — poked the rubber away and over to Celebrini who was left all alone in the low slot, and ripped it past freshman Cameron Whitehead. 

Northeastern found the 1-1 equalizer at 5:52 of the second period off a goal from graduate forward Matt DeMelis. The Terriers got caught with just one player — graduate defenseman Case McCarthy — back as the Huskies rushed up ice on a 3-on-1. 

Sophomore forward Cam Lund dished a cross-crease pass to Fontaine for the initial shot. DeMelis then buried the rebound from the right doorstep. 

Devin Kaplan regained BU’s lead at 9:11 of the second while on a 2-on-1 break with graduate forward Sam Stevens. The sophomore forward’s attempted pass to Stevens instead tipped off of Husky defenseman Hunter McDonald’s stick and over Whitehead’s shoulder to make it 2-1. 

“I liked the way we played. I liked our competitiveness. I thought we owned the puck most of the night. I just liked the way all our guys came to play tonight,” Pandolfo said.  

The Terriers’ advantage didn’t last for long, though, as Northeastern junior forward Justin Hryckowian knotted things 2-2 just 29 seconds later with a right-side, backhanded shot. 

Just before the buzzer sounded, sophomore forward Jeremy Wilmer showcased his signature patience and vision of the ice to set up sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson with seven seconds remaining in the middle frame. A net-front Hutson one-timed it for the 3-2 lift and his first goal since Jan. 20, snagging the momentum for BU heading into the third period. 

While BU commanded the offensive zone for a majority of the final period of regulation — and led in shots on goal 36-17 by the end of the game — it couldn’t find a way to close out the competition. 

The Terriers embrace Devin Kaplan (21) after the sophomore forward gave BU a 2-1 lead in the second period against Northeastern at TD Garden on Feb. 12, 2024. GRACIE DAVENPORT/ BOSTON HOCKEY BLOG

“We were in their end for lots of the third period. We just couldn’t extend the lead. That was probably the biggest issue. We just couldn’t find a way to extend the lead,” Pandolfo said.  

Northeastern got its first power play of the night after freshman defenseman Gavin McCarthy was called for holding at 8:36. Husky sophomore forward Jack Williams capitalized on the man advantage and wired one past Caron to tie the game 3-3. 

“We ended up having to kill a penalty. I’ve got to take some deep breaths before I talk about that, to be quite honest with you. But, we ended up in the box,” Pandolfo said of the questionable call on McCarthy. 

Williams’ tally ultimately sent the matchup to overtime with a 3-3 score — the same storyline as the previous two games between BU and Northeastern — where Fontaine potted the Beanpot-clinching goal. 

“Our players are really disappointed. It’s a big deal, this tournament. As a group, I’m sure our guys felt like we should’ve won that game,” Pandolfo said. 

The Terriers will need a short-term memory as they get over the emotional hump of watching their crosstown rivals steal the pride of Boston from their hands. BU will be back in action Friday as it opens a home-and-home series against Providence College. 

“Can’t get down,” Pandolfo said. “We’ve got to be ready to bounce back.”


  1. As coach said we need to move past this. Coach can’t talk about refs but I can. For the second straight night against northeastern the refs called a key call with devastating result. I want some accountability from hockey east. It was made up plain and simple. I liked our hustle but we win the puck position game but we play into northeastern game plan every year . We are too cute for our own good get to the net front enough of this fancy crap away from the cage. The effort was certainly there but the strategy was not. Need to get past this in a hurry

  2. BU consistently outshoots the other team and loses ….their goaltending is not as good as other teams

  3. BU was clearly the better team as Coach Pandolfo indicated postgame as well which makes this loss extremely disappointing. However, I will say that if the Terriers play the way they did last night then they will be a tough team to beat down the stretch, in the HE playoffs and the NCAA tournament. Not winning the Beanpot is a missed opportunity, but I would rather win the HE championship and win in the NCAA tournament. I am hoping this loss fuels the team for the stretch run and future success.

  4. Pa – thet – ic

  5. We F@#%ing Bounce Back

  6. Haven’t posted here in a while so figured I’d type out a little self-therapy after last night (Peter Gammons “Sunday Notes” style)

    • I haven’t been that upset after a game in a while. I left before any NU sticks fell back from the rafters to the ice.

    • For all our talent, we too often revert back to pond hockey and refuse to keep things simple.

    • Caron has been a quality goaltender this season but you don’t exactly know what you’re going to get from him. He was phenomenal against QU, UNH at home, one of the BC games, etc. but has also thrown in some “average” games with some softies and some stinkers like last night where he lost his structure and composure when we just needed a good quality start.

    • This wasn’t Red Hot Hockey, where Ian Shane absolutely stood on his head and we walked out of MSG in disbelief at to how we lost the game. Whitehead played very well and made the key stops when he needed to, but we weren’t peppering him with Grade A’s all night. For all our o-zone possession where it looked like we had an extra man on the ice for long stretches, we were gifted two of our goals and were kept to the perimeter too often, looking to set up fancy goals. As the saying goes, “Keep it simple, Stupid!” Whitehead didn’t need to be Dominik Hasek.

    • I wish Fensore had come back for his last season of eligibility instead of languishing wherever he ended up in pro hockey. Willander came in with so much promise, but he’s regressed as the season’s gone on and will need a few more years of seasoning. He’s had some very poor turnovers and decision making for a captain of a national team. Sometimes, the transition to D1 takes a little longer, even for the highly skilled guys.

    • I also wish Gallagher got regular shifts. There’s a very good player there, as we’ve seen in the past, but for some reason the coaches just don’t trust him. I wonder if A. Celebrini getting regular minutes is the price to pay for getting M. Celebrini across the continent for a season. Side note: Gallagher, unfortunately, hasn’t helped his cause by making some key mistakes in the limited ice time he’s been given. When your number is called, you’ve got to make the most of it.

    • Those two last points are a long way of saying, we may be a defenseman short.

    • As I always try to remind myself, “Control what you can control.” Sometimes the refs help you, sometimes they hurt you, and sometimes (far too rarely) they actually do their jobs properly. You know going into a game that at least one bad call will probably go against you. So, you have to take advantage of your PP opportunities. Both our PP and PK were abysmal last night. That’s on us.

    • Our power play is too streaky. 24.8% is a really good number (top 10 in the country) but, much like Caron, you don’t know what you’re going to get on any given night. It’s either clicking on all cylinders or slow, selfish, and inept like last night (which is where we lost the game, BTW.)

    • Our sneaky undoing may be our PK. BC: 90.5% BU: 81.6%. BC wins the overall special teams comparison and almost always looks lethal on the PP with their movement, passing, shot selection, and pouncing on rebounds – and their PK pressures the points and tries to take away your “comfort advantage” up a man. We too often let Lane meander along the blueline or try to force a Macklin one-timer when the opponent knows it’s coming and can cheat his direction, and we sink into a low box on the PK and let the offense’s defenseman do as they please.

    • I’m guessing Lachance is kicking himself this morning. I know he’s been looking forward to that game his whole life but he seemed too amped up and never found a rhythm to his game. So much of this game is mental and I thought he and a few guys overthought it last night.

    • Speaking of game mentality and poise, 3×3 is all about controlling possession and getting Grade A’s. Tuch got frustrated and threw a low-percentage, no-angle shot (or pass) to the net that sent NU away on their game-winning rush. At that point in the OT, you’ve got to calculate risk/reward and he made a poor choice. Keep possession, even if you have to go back to center ice and re-set.

    So, do all of the points above mean we’re a bad hockey team? Of course not. But they are a good reminder that even if it looks like you’re dominating a game, there are so many small things that you still need to pay attention to along the way. I’m still not convinced that we have the championship mentality to keep our poise and be in full physical and mental control of our game for 60 minutes for four games in a row against tough competition. Sometimes you run into a hot Ian Shane. That was not last night. We let NU hang around and they were opportunistic.

    We didn’t win Beanpot last year and still found our way to the Hockey East title and Frozen Four. But Hockey East wasn’t nearly as good as it is this year. The challenge will be much tougher. There’s still time to finally get things right. This upcoming weekend will tell me a lot about the team. Providence frustrates you with their system, has quietly had a solid season, sit 12th in the Pairwise, and have a stellar home record. If we find a way to bounce back from another tough loss in a big game and sweep them, I’ll feel much better about our overall prospects. If we don’t address our issues that keep popping up, I’ll continue to have my doubts. Any one of the teams in the current NCAA spots can beat another on a given night. The team that consistently pays attention to all the details is the one that can do it four games in a row. We’ve still got some work to do to be that team.

    Ok… I feel a little better. Kind of. Not really.

    Only hoisting the Beanpot 3 times in the last 15 really stings me. To put that in perspective, we only have two more Beanpots in the last 15 years than Harvard (a university that I’m not sure cares about hockey anymore). And they won theirs against us! Ugh! What thoughts must have been going through Jack Parker’s mind last night. Northeastern has 5 of the last 6 Beanpots. We’re a long way from when we were Beanpot U. The world is indeed upside down.


  7. excellent analysis from all of the comments above. Keefe has a terrific game plan vs the Terriers, let them have the puck and see if they can penetrate our defense and get quality chances. The good chances didn’t come often for the Terriers as they played on the outside mostly and were limited to long shots. In fact if it wasn’t for two really gift goals the game would have been won by the Huskies in regulation. the first Terrier goal was a horrible giveaway by their defense right in front of goal and the second was a very fortunate deflection off a defenders stick which fooled Whitehead.
    However on the other hand all three of NU goals were either soft with Caron not sharp or defensive mixups especially from the winner by Fontaine who is fast becoming sudden death Gunnarwolfe.. In addition wheneve the Terriers took the lead they allowed the Huskies right back in it especially after the 2-1 lead , and could not put the game away vs a team that really has very little to offer offensively. the PP may have done the Terriers in late in the game but BU also had a PP early in the 3rd. period and could not convert which turned out to be a big moment in the game. Another disappointment and opportunity missed to win a trophy and stop the stranglehold NU has had on this tourney for quite some time. In fact if not for the 1-0 win in 2022, NU would have equaled BUs record 6 straight Beanpot victories achieved in the late 1990s. Oh well lets press on the HE tourney and NCAAs lie ahead.

  8. Here’s vinnie again u must be bored in your mom’s basement loser!!! U said the same after the bc loses but stayed quite whem we kicked them out.. Typical. . u make me sick buddy.. I speak for all of us … Go BU 🐾

  9. Thank you Rui

    Good to know you speak for all of Terrier Nation

    Look I don’t mind you getting down on me but to criticize my mother’s basement is over the top

    She just had it refinished this summer and I put up all my Taylor Kelce and Travis Swift posters. It looks swell❤️😘

    Happy Valentine’s Day, big fella