Boston, MA — For the first time since 1998, Northeastern played Boston College in the Consolation Round of the Beanpot Tournament. Behind Matt Filipe‘s two goals and Dylan Sikura’s game-winning goal with under a minute remaining, the Huskies prevailed by a score of 4-2. It was Northeastern’s 50th win all-time against BC, the first time since 1993 that BC finished last in the Beanpot, and the first time that happened under coach Jerry York.
— Northeastern MHKY (@GoNUmhockey) February 14, 2017
The game was not televised, so a recap is rather difficult. Blending reports from friends at the game, excellent coverage by Rob Rudnick of Huskies Radio, and the game recap provided by GoNU.com, we get an excellent picture of how the game went. The Huskies were without captain John Stevens, missing the game after returning to the lineup last week against UMass.
BC scored first late in the first period when David Cotton potted a shot past goaltender Ryan Ruck. The shot deflected off the sliding Northeastern defenseman, altering its course to get past Ruck’s stick. The Huskies tied the game midway through the second period when Filipe collected the puck in the defensive zone, skated up on an odd-man rush, and rifled a shot to the net that “whizzed by Woll’s ear,” as Rudnick put it on radio, tying the game at one. It was Filipe’s first Beanpot goal, something he has dreamed about his whole life. The score would stay tied until the third period.
— Matt Filipe (@MFilipe4) February 6, 2017
The Huskies took the lead seven minutes in after Brendan Collier forced a turnover and fed Filipe in the slot, and the freshman buried the one timer, giving the Huskies a 2-1 lead. Boston College tied the game seven minutes later when Casey Fitzgerald would collect a Huskies turnover and feed Colin White on the doorstep for the easy tap in goal. The Eagles appeared to take a 3-2 lead with under two minutes to go on a scrum at the netfront, but the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference. Just seconds after play resumed, Zach Aston-Reese made a tremendous individual effort to beat one Eagles defender, control the puck, and slide it to an open Sikura in the slot who buried it glove-side, giving Northeastern a 3-2 lead with forty-two seconds left. Adam Gaudette would add an empty net goal for insurance, giving us the 4-2 final score.
This was a major win for Northeastern that the Huskies can help propel them forward as we go into the home stretch of Hockey East play. Coach Madigan said as much in his post-game press conference:
Madigan: We're looking at this as an opportunity to jumpstart our team in these last few games and postseason. We did it this time last year
— WRBB Sports (@wrbbsports) February 14, 2017
This game did snap the Huskies’ streak of games with at least one powerplay goal at 18. Their powerplay now sits at tied for second in the nation at 27.27%, tied with UMass-Lowell. The Huskies also were outshot, 32-30, and in the words of former editor of BC Interruption Joe Gravellese “It was even in the first. BC controlled the second and third but made bad turnovers.” In the end, the win is what matters, and the Huskies beat a very good Eagles team that sits on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The Huskies will play UConn this weekend, first away on Friday and then home for Senior Night on Saturday. That will be the last home game of the year unless the team can jump into the top eight in Hockey East.