BOSTON — The first Beanpot Monday of 2009 also happened to be Groundhog Day, a day which is famously known for repeating things.
This can be a nightmare for some, but for the Boston University Terriers, Monday was just another win to add to their Beanpot stats against the Harvard Crimson. BU has now won the last six meetings with Harvard as well as 16 of its 20 first-round meetings with the Crimson in the tournament.
The day also brought more repeated feats to the Terriers: a No. 1 ranking for the second time this season, and for only the second time in program history the team came into February with 19 wins.
Despite being the new No. 1 team in the country, it was a surprising come-from-behind win for BU.
“This was like the Super Bowl yesterday,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “You know, who’s going to get the last shot? Who’s going to get the last chance?”
Down 2-0 in the second period, it looked as if Groundhog Day for the Terriers would be a repeat of last year’s semifinal nightmare, but BU made sure to set the alarm and show up this year.
“The Beanpot consolation game — we haven’t been in that game too often,” said Parker. “It was hard for us to be there last year and we wanted to make sure we didn’t get hung up a second time. … I said ‘We might be down 2-0, but let’s not get distracted, let’s not get off track here.’”
The Terriers came back anything but distracted, and gave meaning to the often-used term “The BU Invitational.”
Sophomore Nick Bonino may not have been around to see BU’s repeated appearances in the tournament, but he repeated some actions of his own in Game 1 of 2009. He got BU’s first goal to cut the deficit in half, and then he scored again a minute later on the power play.
“I just wanted to get back on track,” said Bonino, who had only one goal in his last 10 games. “It’s been frustrating, but it was good tonight to get them in and gain momentum.”
That momentum helped the Terriers propel themselves once again to the Beanpot title game — for the 24th time in the last 26 years. Part of that success has to do with BU’s power play, ranked first in the nation at 23.8 percent.
“The power play wins it for us,” said Parker. “Our power play has been playing great all year.”
Dj vu, Groundhog Day — whatever you want to call it — senior Jason Lawrence seems to get power-play goals over and over. Monday, he tallied his 10th of the season, which ranks second in the nation. Lawrence not only repeated his feat on Punxsutawney Phil’s famous day, but his game winner also landed on his own birthday. It’s safe to say that his Terrier teammates are sure glad he was born.
We were on the power play,” said Lawrence of his score. “We did a great job on the faceoff. We got control, Chris Higgins got the puck up high, gave me a low pass and I beat the defenseman … I just put my head down, drilled it, and it went in.”
And another Terrier that the team is glad to have is senior co-captain Matt Gilroy, who last year at this time was contemplating going pro.
“I told him not to come as a freshman and I told him to leave as a junior,” said Parker. “He doesn’t listen to his coach, thank God. But if Matt came back and never played a game for us, and was just the captain, it would have been worth it because as good as he is on the ice, he’s an unbelievable captain.”
Gilroy’s decision to play and lead again could help his team in repeating another Beanpot title.
So as one February day closed out, BU relived some great accomplishments, whereas Harvard had to yet again sleep with the thoughts of another loss in a five-win season.
And don’t forget that Phil saw his shadow earlier in the day, which means six more weeks of cold, hard winter — especially for the Crimson.