Beanpot Tournament 2020

Story posted February 6, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Christopher Hess

On the first and second Mondays of February each year, the four Boston-area schools of Boston University, Boston College, Harvard and Northeastern compete in the Beanpot tournament at TD Garden.

Each of the four programs have extremely rich traditions and bring their own unique style of play to Boston’s North End in the shadows of North Station and the Bunker Hill Bridge.

Boston University has won the most Beanpot titles with 30. However, Northeastern has won the last two tournaments, while the programs of Boston University and Boston College were down and out the past few seasons.

The two opening games provided plenty of emotion and passion, and now Northeastern and Boston University will square off in the finals with Harvard and Boston College meeting up in the third-place game.

Let’s take a look at how the two first round matchups went.

Northeastern 3, Harvard 1

Harvard opened up the scoring just 5:17 into the first period, as Jack Drury rifled a shot past Craig Pantano to give the Crimson an early 1-0 lead. That was Drury’s team-leading 14th goal of the season, assisted by Nick Abruzzese and Reilly Walsh on the power play.

From that point on, the Huskies took over. Zach Solow’s 11th goal of the season, which also came on the power play, matched Drury’s goal to knot the game at 1-1 at the 12:20 mark of the first period.

Brendan van Riemsdyk then added the game winner at the 19:30 mark of the second period, which was followed by Ryan Shea’s empty-netter at 19:09 in the third period. With the win, the Huskies have a chance to play for another Beanpot championship.

Craig Pantano was able to stop 27 shots on 28 attempts for Northeastern, and Harvard’s Mitchell Gibson tallied 21 saves on 23 shots faced on the night.

Boston University 5, Boston College 4 (2OT)

The second game of the evening did not disappoint in the slightest, as the fans inside TD Garden were given free hockey.

Boston College got things started early and often, as Patrick Giles found the back of the net just 2:15 into the first frame, and Alex Newhook followed at 7:19 on the power play to give the Eagles a quick 2-0 lead.

Boston University then cut the deficit in half as Patrick Curry found the back of the net at 9:13, and the scoreboard read 2-1 at the end of the first.

David Cotton made the Boston College lead 3-1 with his 11th goal of the season at the 17:48 point of the second, and that score held going into the third period.

Then the game was flipped on its head.

David Farrance narrowed the Eagles’ lead back to one on his 12th of the season at 12:36, then Patrick Harper evened the score just 1:10 later.

As time began to wind down, Boston University completed the improbable comeback and took a 4-3 lead with just 1:42 to go on Robert Mastrosimone’s sixth goal of the season.

However, Boston College had other plans. While on the power play with an extra attacker, Boston College tied the score as Cotton put through his second goal of the game with 58 seconds left.

Wilmer Skoog was the hero of the second overtime, as he was able to sneak the puck past Boston College netminder Spencer Knight to send the Terriers to the Beanpot championship game.

Now let’s look at the final matchups.

Third-place game: Boston College vs. Harvard

Boston College is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and the Eagles will likely be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed depending on their PairWise ranking at the end of the season. Harvard, on the other hand, is on the bubble.

The Eagles’ attack is led by David Cotton, Julius Mattila and Logan Hutsko. The three have combined for 88 points this year, and other players such as Alex Newhook and Aapeli Räsänen are also reliable when Boston College has possession.

On the back end, Ben Finkelstein, Jesper Mattila and Marshall Warren are the notable names for the Eagles defense, and freshman sensation Spencer Knight has a .928 save percentage in net.

Harvard is anchored by the three-headed monster of Jack Drury, Casey Dornbach and Nick Abruzzese on offense. The trio has 84 points in 21 games played.

On defense, Reilly Walsh, Jack Rathbone and Henry Thurn have been the leaders for the Crimson. Defense is a main point of emphasis for this team, and those three have been strong.

In net, Mitchell Gibson has posted an impressive .922 save percentage as a freshman, allowing only 35 goals in 15 games played.

There’s still a lot to play for in this game even though it’s for third place. You never want to finish last, but it appears that Harvard will be that last-place team. Look for the Eagles to overwhelm the Crimson and use the game as a building block for the rest of the season.

Prediction: Boston College 4, Harvard 1

Championship game: Boston University vs. Northeastern

Boston University is on the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament and will likely need some help. Northeastern, however, seems to be in relatively good shape.

On offense, the Terriers have four top scoring talents in David Farrance, Patrick Harper, Trevor Zegras and Patrick Curry. Curry leads the team with 15 goals, and Farrance is a points weapon with 32.

Zegras, the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft to the Anaheim Ducks, has an extremely high ceiling and could make the jump to the NHL soon.

Farrance and fellow defenseman Domenick Fensore have been strong all season. However, goaltending with Ashton Abel and Yale graduate transfer Sam Tucker has been a bit of a problem.

Northeastern is a team that knows how to play a complete 60 minutes, and those efforts are led by their do-it-all player in Tyler Madden.

Madden has 17 goals and 17 assists through 24 games and has a knack for coming through in the clutch on the big stage.

Zach Solow is another name of reference on this talented team. His 26 points are second on the stat sheet, and he averages just over a point per game.

On defense and in net, the Huskies are strong. Defenseman Ryan Shea has 24 points with 20 of them being assists. Between the pipes, Merrimack graduate transfer Craig Pantano has filled in Cayden Primeau’s shoes nicely with 15 wins.

The goaltending issues on the Terriers’ end raises the question of whether they can stop Northeastern’s offensive attack that is ranked No. 10 in the nation. The defense must be up to the challenge, and it will be.

However, Northeastern is hot and is the more complete team. With that being the case, the Huskies will raise the Beanpot championship trophy for the third consecutive year.

Prediction: Northeastern 4, Boston University 2

 

Christopher Hess is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email christopherhess22@gmail.com.