The 61st Annual Beanpot took to the ice Monday night, and for the second time in three seasons the tournament's historically most dominant team will be missing from the championship game on the following Monday. Thanks to a hat trick from freshman Kevin Roy, Northeastern upset Boston University 3-2 in the first semifinal. The Huskies will meet Boston College, 4-1 winners over Harvard, in the finals.
Besides the obvious in Kevin Roy, there were three key factors in why Boston College and Northeastern will match up in the finals next Monday night at 8:00p.m.
1. Seeing BU play a number of times this season, it is obvious that Jack Parker's squad has plenty of skilled players. The inconsistency, mental mistakes and lackadaisical approach have caused the Terriers so many up and downs this season. Monday night was no different. All three Northeastern goals were scored on either blatant turnovers or situations where BU could have moved the puck up ice in its favor. Instead, BU couldn't clear the zone or had the puck taken away in the neutral zone. Obviously, the goal that everyone will remember is the second goal where Ben Rosen passed the puck right out in front of his own net and Roy tapped it into a practically open net. The first and third goals also resulted from BU failing to move the puck up ice and turning it over. Jack Parker described the team's play since January, including last night, as "up and down." He emphasized his team right now is in a "bad frame of mind. It was not a solid sixty minutes by us. We didn't compete at times like we needed to." BU is in a tough spot here, sitting precariously close to the Pairwise bubble. The rest of BU's season will hinge on the ability to play a more focused sixty minutes and eliminate or at least cut back on the mental mistakes and turnovers.
2. Chris Rawlings has had a largely up-and-down career on St. Botolph Street. The senior from North Delta, British Columbia has had some superb games where he has stood on his head to stop goals and then some games where he inexplicably let in several soft goals. Last night, there was not really one save he made that stood out as a game changer, but it was what he didn't do that stood out. He didn't let in a soft goal and made all the necessary saves to keep Northeastern on the right side of the scoreboard. With such a young defense Rawlings will be a key factor in determining whether next Monday's championship game is close or a BC blowout in the Eagles quest for a fourth consecutive championship.
3. Harvard has had an extremely disappointing season with on and off ice issues. The Crimson were the heavy underdogs in last night's second game against BC. Ted Donato's team played fairly well for the majority of the first period until a BC power play turned the tide in the Eagles favor. However, Harvard was still in the game until a late period goal by Quinn Smith gave BC all the momentum. The score would remain 1-0 BC until very late in the second period when BC would strike twice with under two minutes to play. It is one of the things coaches always talk about. Do not give up a goal in the first or last minute of a period. The Crimson gave up three late goals in the first two periods. Donato described the goals as "demoralizing" and talked about poor "clock management." The Eagles were clearly the better team, but the result might have been different had Harvard kept the Eagles out of the net in the late minutes of each of the first two periods.