BU gears up for Beanpot title game vs. Harvard

While the Beanpot Tournament is laced with history, its 65th championship game concerns a bird of a different feather: Two elite teams.

Just ask Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, an assistant captain for the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team, about what it’ll be like to play against No. 4 Harvard University on Monday night at TD Garden.

“These are the kinds of games you come to BU to play,” the Swedish center said.

It’ll be head coach David Quinn’s Terriers (19-8-2, 11-4-2 Hockey East) taking on head coach Ted Donato’s Crimson (17-5-2), and they’re both likely to play for silverware come springtime.

In the here and now, though, is where the young guns from Commonwealth Avenue and the old guard from Cambridge are thriving.

For a full version of this story over on The Daily Free Press, click here

Beanpot Final Bound: BU beats BC, Harvard awaits

A swarming first period, three timely goals and another strong showing from freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger wrote history on Monday night.

For the first time since 1994-95, the Boston University men’s hockey team has swept Boston College in the regular season. This time, though, it came in the 65th Beanpot Tournament’s semifinal round courtesy of a 3-1 win.

We’re keeping this post short and simple, all to let the highlights and tweets do the talking. A title bout against Harvard awaits, though, on Feb. 13. Playoff hockey is practically here, Terrier fans.


Press Conference

Tweets of the Game


Live Blog: BU clashes with BC in Beanpot semifinal

Welcome to TD Garden, where the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team and No. 7 Boston College will square off in the semifinal round of the 65th Beanpot Tournament. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m.

As always, we’re live for the game’s action, so feel free to follow along via our live blog below.

The game is also broadcast on NESN and TSN2 for those not in attendance.

Live Blog BU vs. BC – Beanpot Semifinal



BU opens up 65th Beanpot vs. Boston College

The Beanpot Tournament is back.

Slated for an 8 p.m. showdown with No. 8 Boston College, the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey will kick off the 65th Beanpot at TD Garden. That’s right, the same Eagle side that the Terriers already knocked off twice this year.

Don’t expect those tilts to factor in too much, though, at least according to head coach David Quinn. For more on that, check out Shelby’s preview over on The Daily Free Press.

There’ll also be plenty of history at play, as BU has won 30 Beanpot titles throughout the years. The last came in 2015, and Jonathan wrote about those memories over on The Daily Free Press.

Oh, one more thing. Check out this video The Dog Pound created. Gotta love it.

Thoughts from the Beanpot luncheon

The 65th annual Beanpot Tournament is less than a week away. Tickets are selling, fans are rejoicing and the teams are preparing. The Boston Hockey Blog got thoughts from head coach David Quinn and senior players about the Feb. 6 faceoff between No. 3 Boston University and No. 6 Boston College.

Senior forward Nick Roberto said his biggest fear going into the tournament is beating BC a third time, as the Terriers already defeated them twice this season.

NR: “Beating them a third time is going to be extremely hard. Hopefully we’re focused for that game, and come out and work hard just like we did the first two games.”

“Oettinger for sure,” Roberto immediately answered when asked what he considered his teams secret weapon. “Ah no, secret weapon … I think our compete level is probably our secret weapon. When we out compete teams, we’re very good. When we play down to teams or let teams hang in with us it’s a close game.”

Senior Captain Doyle Somerby wants his team to have fun with it, but knows how difficult the game will be on Monday.

DS: “I don’t think you realize how special [the Beanpot] is until you actually take the ice for it. Local guys understand it because they grew up coming to it but when you’re not from around here it definitely takes the first 10 minutes or so of the game to grasp the full concept of it. It’s really unique and special because no one else has this.”

What do you tell your team to get them in the right mindset for such a big game?

DS: “Honestly, just have fun with it as much as you can. If you grip the stick too tight, you’re too nervous and thinking too much about it, it’s going to be a long night. Especially playing BC. We already have that rivalry. People comprehend that and understand how special that is to play against them. They just need to enjoy it as much as they can on Monday night.”

This could be one of the last big games of your college hockey career. What’s going through your head as your senior season winds down?

DS: “Just trying to enjoy it as much as I can. Being a local kid – I’m about 35 minutes away – so this is something I grew up coming too every single year since I was 4 or 5. With this one you just need to enjoy it. This might be the last time I ever play BC, so on top of the big games you got your last rivalry game. I’m just trying to have fun with it, hoping to come out on top and play for the championship the next Monday.”

How hard will it be to beat BC a third time this season?

DS:  “It’s really hard. When you play a rival like that it doesn’t matter what the stat sheet says. It doesn’t matter what your record is. Especially in the Beanpot. It’s going to be a one-goal game no matter what. It’s going to be a lot of fun to play them but it’s also going to be pretty interesting. It’s going to be a tight game.”

Head coach David Quinn agrees it’s going to be a close game.

DQ: “Obviously anytime BU and BC get together, in any situation it’s an exciting game. It draws a little extra attention from both fan bases, and usually the college hockey world pays a little extra attention to it. But when you put that game in the Beanpot it’s even more special. Usually you get great competitive games. Someone has a goalie pulled at the end of the game. Both teams have talent. Both teams compete hard. Both teams are at the top of the league and in the national rankings. It’s going to make for an exciting Beanpot, as it usually does.”

How hard will it be to beat BC a third time this season?

DQ: “It’s always hard to beat BC. I don’t care whether you’ve beaten twice or not. I’ve got an awful lot of respect for them. It’s been such a great rivalry for so long. We still understand what’s ahead of us. We’re not thinking about the two games that happened three weeks ago. We’re going to focus on Monday night.”

Quinn, Somerby and Roberto all agree that although the Terriers are the youngest team in college hockey, they won’t appear to be on the ice.

NR: “Maybe for the first five minutes the crowd will get into it, the atmosphere will be good. We’ve played in some hostile environments out in Denver, Michigan and at BC, so [the freshman] will be all set. And a lot of them played in the World Juniors as well. Especially USA-Canada. That was a loud game for them.”

DS: “I think Christmas break definitely helped [the freshman], playing in the World Juniors. Playing in Canada against Canada is a pretty chaotic place to play. They definitely learned a lot from there. We learned a couple lessons last week. Definitely I’ll just tell them to enjoy as much as they can because you don’t get this experience too often.”

DQ: “We’ve been fortunate this year, whether it be at Denver or Michigan or up in Vermont or up in Maine, we’ve played in some very very big atmospheres. The guys who played at the World Juniors certainly played for 20,000 people up in Canada so we can draw from experiences. I don’t think nerves will be an issue for us.”

Sean Maguire signs entry-level contract with Pittsburgh Penguins

Goaltender Sean Maguire has signed a two-year, entry-level contract with Pittsburgh Penguins beginning in the 2016-17 season, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

He will first join the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL on an amateur tryout contract for the rest of this year.

A fourth-round selection (113th overall) by the Penguins in the 2012 NHL Draft, Maguire ended his senior campaign with a .920 save percentage and 2.41 goals-against average. Maguire also earned the 2016 Beanpot MVP and Eberly Award for the top goaltender of the tournament in his final year on Commonwealth Avenue.

Maguire ended his BU career with a 29-29-2 record and .922 save percentage in three seasons.

He is the fourth player since the end of the season to sign a professional contract, joining Matt Grzelcyk, Danny O’Regan and Matt Lane.

Pluses and Minuses: BC prevails over BU in overtime, claims Beanpot championship


None from the current crop of players on the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team was on the 2012 BU team that lost to Boston College in the Beanpot championship in overtime.

This year’s seniors were still a few months removed from Commonwealth Avenue when BC forward Bill Arnold scored the game-winning goal at TD Garden.

But four years later, this year’s team is pretty engrained in the Beanpot tradition, and now well acquainted with a similar heartbreak.

A scoreless, physical game throughout Monday night, No. 3 BC finally broke through 1:57 into overtime when Alex Tuch wristed home the first and only goal, defeating BU 1-0 in the Beanpot title game.

BC (20-4-4, 11-1-4 Hockey East) has now won the Beanpot five times in the last six years.

“Certainly an exciting game for everybody in the stands, and the last two periods it was a competitive hockey game,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “That’s what people expect when they see BU and BC play, and up-and-down action, both teams had great chances in the second and the third, they certainly had a majority of the chances in the first and we felt very fortunate to get out 0-0 after one.”

It was scoreless for almost 62 minutes, but that’s not to say there isn’t a lot to talk about. We’ll break this one down in this Beanpot championship Pluses and Minuses.


Untimely screen

Senior netminder Sean Maguire was on his game throughout the title game and really the entire Beanpot Tournament. BC had a good deal of chances throughout the first three periods of the game, but Maguire stood on his head just about every time.

One of the few times Maguire didn’t see the puck, though, things went wrong for BU (16-8-4, 9-4-3 Hockey East). After both teams tried to get their legs back at the beginning of overtime, the Eagles got the first real opportunity about two minutes in and made it count.

As Tuch skated into the high slot area, BU’s defense tried to contain him before he could shoot, but the bodies standing in front of Maguire caused an unintentional screen, setting up an unpleasant result.

“I think if I saw all of it I would’ve stopped it,” Maguire said after the game. “But he [Tuch] made a great shot, and the shot crossed body post in. That’s a pro-level shot.”

Slog of a start

Against a rival like BC, and in a game of importance such as this one, it’s generally pertinent to get things started in the first period on the right foot. The Terriers, however, did not have one of their better opening periods on Monday night.

One thing that stands out right away on the shot chart is the fact that BC not only attempted 32 shots in the opening stanza, but a majority of them came in the slot and home plate area. Life was not easy for Maguire, to say the least.

BU was mostly kept to the outside of the faceoff circles and did not really kick things into gear until the second period.

Sloppy play, Greenway to the box

For anyone who’s watched a BU-BC, you know it can get chippy and downright nasty during and after the play. This one was no different, especially on the BU end of things.

Freshman forward Jordan Greenway seemed to be in the middle of it all on Monday, drawing the ire from a lot of the BC contingent in the arena.

Greenway was involved in a play in the third period in which BC goalie Thatcher Demko was knocked down for a few minutes, and he also drew three penalties during one scrum in the second period, including a 10-minute misconduct. BU killed off all of the penalty time, but was without Greenway’s presence until early in the third period.

“Well certainly missed him, but I thought we continued to play a pretty good second period,” Quinn said. “…But any time you’re missing a guy who’s 6 foot 5, 230 pounds against that team with the big, strong D corps that they have for an extended period of time, it’s not going to help you, that’s for sure, but I don’t think that had anything to do with the outcome of the game.”

Power outage

BU’s offense could not muster a goal in what turned to be Demko’s ninth shutout of the season (a new single-season BC record), but the real issue tonight was the lighting at TD Garden.

With 8:53 to play in the first period, the main lights above the ice slowly dimmed and then turned out. The teams skated around the ice to stay loose, but were eventually sent back to their respective dressing rooms. The situation was finally resolved after nearly 30 minutes, but it took longer than a normal intermission to get the lights up and running.

BC head coach Jerry York said after the game said both teams were offered the chance to play a 29-minute second period instead of finishing the first, but York said he and Quinn declined the opportunity.


Maguire nearly perfect

We’ve mentioned it in this article a few times already, but Maguire was good in this one — really good.

He kept BU in the game with 23-first period saves and finished with 41 stops on 42 chances. Maguire, for the tournament, saved 65 shots on 67 opportunities for a .970 save percentage. He wouldn’t carry the Beanpot trophy, but he did earn Beanpot MVP and the Eberly Award for the highest save percentage in the tournament.

The only two goaltenders to have a higher single-tournament save percentage than Maguire were former BU netminders John Curry (.985) and Rick DiPietro (.981).

Sarah will have more on Maguire’s stellar performance in her sidebar.

Mid-game adjustments

The first period was not one BU will be writing home about anytime soon. The rest of the game, especially from a defensive standpoint, the Terriers did a much better job in their own end.

BU pushed the Eagles to the perimeter and limited the number of “Grade-A” opportunities they could get on net. By game’s end, the total shot attempts were closer than the first period may have indicated, with BC holding a slight 68-62 edge.

“…I thought in the second and third period we did a much better job of being decisive and just making a decision and doing it with conviction,” Quinn said, “and that made everybody else’s job easier and that’s why you saw the dramatic drop in shots and scoring chances and made it a hockey game.”

Best of 2014-15: Ranking the top 10 games from last season

In our next installment for the “Best of 2014-15” BU hockey season recap, the Boston Hockey Blog went through the difficult task of narrowing our favorite games from last season down to 10 picks.

Disagree with our list? Give your own rankings in the comment section below! And without further ado, here are our picks:

10. Jan. 9 — BU at Wisconsin, T 3-3 (OT)

A tie most certainly wasn’t the result BU wanted, especially given that BU on paper was a much stronger team than Wisconsin. But in a lot of ways, it exemplified what the Terriers were made of this year — even when they were buried in a hole, they managed to salvage at least a somewhat adequate result.

This is the game where that ugly, ugly own goal happened, where a puck that Matt O’Connor should have had under control ended up hitting Brien Diffley in the head and careened into BU’s net.

But Ahti Oksanen scored two goals in the final 1:51, including one with 2.2 seconds left, and BU eked out a 3-3 tie.

Also importantly, as we learned from The Season (at around 3:24), this is the game where the now-infamous move of Evan Rodrigues to the first line happened. This game, in many regards, was perhaps one of the biggest turning points of the year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDmtW2_D6as — Sarah Kirkpatrick

9. Nov. 21 — BU vs. Maine, W 3-2 (OT)


BU’s first of six overtime victories during the 2014-15 season was generated from freshman center Jack Eichel’s first of three OT tallies on the year.

Following along with a trend set throughout the season, BU entered the final period of play down, 2-0, against the Black Bears.

Maine could do little to keep BU’s high-powered offense in check during the third, as junior forwards Ahti Oksanen and Matt Lane scored to knot the game at 2-2 going into the extra period.

As he exhibited countless times throughout the season, Eichel then left Maine skaters in the dust, soaring into the Black Bears zone before ripping a wrister into the net to hand BU the dramatic 3-2 win.

For a team that made its bones on gritty, tenacious play in the third period and overtime, BU’s thrilling victory against their Hockey East foe from Orono proved to be one of the first signs of this Terrier squad’s resilience in the face of adversity. – Conor Ryan

8. Jan. 18 — BU vs. Lowell, W 4-3 (OT)

Getting the “W” against the River Hawks had proved to be a difficult task for the Terriers entering this January matchup at Agganis Arena.

After posting an 0-6-1 record in its last seven tilts against Lowell, BU seemed destined to add another notch in the loss in the win column, falling behind 3-1 early in the second period.

In typical Terrier fashion, however, the home team would storm back, lighting the lamp twice in the second before a missile of a one-timer off the stick of Jack Eichel ended the contest at 1:18 in overtime. — CR

7. Jan. 24 — BU at Vermont, W 2-1 (OT)

BU’s late-January road trip up to Burlington to face then-No. 12 University of Vermont in a two-game set was one of the most crucial series all season. The Terriers handily beat the Catamounts in the Friday game, 4-2, but in the second game, it looked for a while like BU might have to settle for just the two points.

Vermont clung to a 1-0 lead until the final 2:18 of regulation, when Evan Rodrigues knocked home the tying goal. He later assisted on Jack Eichel’s overtime winner.

The win gave BU a four-point lead in the Hockey East standings, and also gave the Terriers an important confidence boost, according to Rodrigues.

“You look around the room,” he said said after the game, “and from top to bottom, you believe in the guys that are sitting next to you.” — SK

6. March 28 — BU vs. Minnesota Duluth (NCAA Regional Final), W 3-2

This game had a little bit of everything — blood, nifty goals (Evan Rodrigues’ golf swing early in the game wouldn’t even be his most fun goal to watch that day) and a spot in the Frozen Four on the line.

Expectedly, the game had plenty of nail-biting moments, too. The game remained tied until the final 2:24, when Rodrigues’ beauty of a toe drag and ensuing goal pushed BU into the Frozen Four. Rodrigues was named Most Outstanding Player of the regional tournament as a result. — SK

5. Nov. 7 — BU at Boston College, W 5-3

Any rivalry game is bound to be entertaining, but this game, between then-No. 5 BU and then-No. 3 BC, remains one of the best games we watched all season.

BC controlled play for the most part, and BU was forced to rally from three deficits in the game before eventually coming out on top in the third period. Thanks to the game-winner from Evan Rodrigues and an empty-net sealer from Nikolas Olsson, the Terriers left the BC fans at Conte Forum stunned.

It was one of the biggest impact wins of the year, and it enriched the tone that BU had set in the early part of the season — you couldn’t ever count BU out, especially in the third period.

4. March 27 — BU vs. Yale (NCAA Regional Semifinal), W 3-2 (OT)

BU had its hands full in its first tilt of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, facing off against a Yale squad that boasted the nation’s best defense at 1.59 goals per game.

Things appeared bleak after 40 minutes, with a power-play goal from Yale defenseman Nate Repensky standing as the lone score of the contest.

BU’s third-period magic once again took hold at Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, with the Terriers outscoring the Bulldogs 2-1 in the period to force overtime.

With the game on the line, Danny O’Regan managed to cash in on a rebound off of Yale netminder Alex Lyon at 7:27 in overtime, sending the Terriers onto the regional final against Minnesota Duluth.

The thrilling match stood as BU’s sixth overtime victory of the season — setting a new program record. — CR

3. Feb. 23 — BU vs. Northeastern (Beanpot Final), W 4-3 (OT)

It would be a cardinal sin to leave off any Beanpot title game from this list — especially one that resulted in a BU championship.

Thankfully, this one lived up to the hype.

The conclusion to the 63rd annual Beanpot Tournament had a little bit of everything, with BU jumping out to a 3-1 advantage before a late run by the Huskies forced overtime — with both teams deadlocked at 3-3.

Under the bright lights of TD Garden, BU’s captain led the way, as Matt Grzelcyk scored twice — including the game winner on the team’s first shot in overtime — to help the Terriers secure its 30th Beanpot title and first since the 2008-09 season. — CR

2. Oct. 25 — BU vs. Michigan, W 3-2

The Michigan game, for all of us on the blog, stands as one of the earliest moments in the year where we first thought, “wow, maybe this team could actually be pretty good.” The Terriers had shown flash in games prior to that — BU’s 8-1 win over UMass was fun to watch, and of course, OC’s first career shutout against Michigan State the night before the Michigan game was a big win.

But at the time, then-No. 14 Michigan was BU’s toughest test so far. And BU found themselves in a 2-1 deficit entering the third period. But as they would become known for as the season progressed, the Terriers rallied in the final frame, with Jack Eichel scoring the tying goal and Matt Lane giving BU a 3-2 lead with 3:10 left in the game.

From our viewpoint in the press box, and for perhaps all BU fans, this was the game where we got an initial glimpse that BU could be resilient and, indeed, elite. — SK

1. Feb. 3 — BU vs. Harvard (Beanpot Semifinal), W 4-3 (2OT)

It seems rather fitting that the longest game in Beanpot history stands as our favorite game from the 2014-15 season.

In a game that featured yet another late comeback from the scarlet and white, along with both superb goaltending from both squads and over 22 minutes of nail-biting overtime drama, the Boston Hockey Blog staff were universal in picking BU’s 4-3 victory over Harvard in the first round of the Beanpot tournament.

The Terriers were on the ropes midway through this match, with the Crimson jumping out to a 3-1 lead just over eight minutes into the second period. There would be no third-period turnaround for BU on this night, however.

Rather, the Terriers made use of what time was left in the middle frame, as both Nikolas Olsson and Ahti Oksanen lit the lamp to even the score.

After Oksanen’s tying goal with 23 seconds remaining in the second, neither team managed to find netting for the next 42:42 of play. During that time, BU peppered goalie Steve Michalek — who set a Beanpot record with 63 saves.

Ultimately, there was little that Michalek could do to stop Danny O’Regan’s bid in double overtime. With just over two minutes eclipsed in the period, Evan Rodrigues intercepted a pass in the Crimson zone, holding onto the puck before feeding O’Regan in the slot.

O’Regan tipped the puck past Michalek to send BU off with the dramatic 4-3 win.

In a season filled with a bevy of incredible games and moments, BU’s double-overtime triumph against Harvard stands alone as our favorite game from 2014-15. — CR