Boston College and Boston University may have been the two schools to celebrate wins last Monday night in the Beanpot semifinals, but that didn’t keep Northeastern and Harvard from celebrations of their own. The two schools that fell to defeat on the ice made history off it, as each had a representative inducted to the Beanpot Hall of Fame.
The two inductees, Northeastern University’s former head coach Ferny Flaman, and Harvard University’s Randy Roth, were inducted between games at last Monday’s Beanpot opener, becoming the 28th and 29th members of the distinctive group.
Flaman, who coached the Huskies for 19 seasons from 1970 through 1989, was the king of the Beanpot in the 1980s, leading his team to championships in 1980, 1984, 1985 and 1988.
“We had a tremendous decade in the 80’s,” said Flaman after the induction ceremony last week.
The first of those wins was the school’s first Beanpot championship, and came as the result of what is often referred to as the storied tournament’s most dramatic moment. Wayne “Beanpot” Turner’s goal at 2:47 of overtime sent the Beanpot faithful to the rafters as the Huskies knocked off Boston College, 5-4.
Flaman reflected on the Beanpot and its role not just in college hockey, but in Boston sports history.
“You come to the Beanpot here and you see so many alumni,” Flaman said. “A lot of the people here played on the different teams — and not only the four here — it’s like a union of the colleges. It’s a great night out for sports.”
Flaman also identified his greatest Beanpot moment, which surprisingly was not the dramatic first Beanpot championship from 1980; rather, it was the 1984 championship that was most special.
“1980 was one of the greater [memories] because we’d never won [the championship] in the 27 years,” Flaman said. “But 1984 is one of the greatest memories from my entire hockey career.
“The boys played a tremendous game to win the Beanpot that year, and when they won it, they skated over to the glass in the corner, where my son, who had cancer at the time, and my wife, who was in a wheelchair with a fractured kneecap, were sitting.”
Flaman, whose son tragically lost his battle to cancer, still gets emotional today when he talks about the moment.
“[The team] presented [the Beanpot] to them up in the stands. It was very emotional for everyone,” he said.
A longtime member of the Boston Bruins, Flaman became a Boston hockey icon well before his tenure at Northeastern. Of his 16-year NHL career, 11 of those came with Boston. His great career as a player and coach make the Beanpot induction only one seven Halls of Fame of which Flaman is a member, along with the NHL Hall of Fame, the Boston Garden Hall of Fame, the College Hockey Hall of Fame, the Providence Reds Hall of Fame, the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame and the Northeastern Hall of Fame.
On top of the four Beanpot titles that Flaman won with the Huskies, which happen to be the only four in the school’s history, Flaman also guided his club to the 1988 Hockey East title, beating Maine, 4-3, for the Huskies’ only Hockey East championship. Six years earlier, in 1982, Flaman’s squad qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time, making it all the way to the Final Four before finally falling to eventual champion North Dakota.
This year’s other inductee, Randy Roth, made his Beanpot history on the ice. A native of Kitchener, Ontario, Roth placed his name in the record books when he notched the overtime game-winner in the 1974 Beanpot as Harvard knocked off Boston University to capture the school’s sixth Beanpot title and first since 1969. For his heroics, Roth earned tournament MVP honors, joining the likes of Walt Greeley, Billy Cleary (who was Harvard’s head coach at the time), and Joe Cavanaugh.
Having come from Canada, Roth admits that he didn’t really know what the Beanpot was, or its significance to Boston.
“I grew up in Ontario and I didn’t really understand the college hockey scene in Boston,” said Roth. “But it didn’t take you long to figure out how important the tournament was.”
Roth noted that as a freshman he wasn’t allowed to play varsity hockey at Harvard, so his first Beanpot experience wasn’t even on the ice.
“My freshman year, we came down with the team and watched it from the stands,” Roth said. “So I got myself all worked up about wanting to play, seeing this tournament.”
Like Flaman, Roth notes that the Beanpot is more than just hockey.
“The bands, the energy, the city and going to the [Boston] Garden to watch college hockey, it was all just such a thrill.”
Besides the 1974 Beanpot win, Roth led Harvard to the NCAA Final Four twice, in 1974 and 1975. As a junior, Roth played in what he recounts his most memorable game at the Boston Garden, when Harvard fell, 6-5 in overtime, to Michigan Tech.
“I have two memories from the Garden,” said Roth. “One obviously is winning the Beanpot in 1974, but the other was losing to Michigan Tech in the [NCAA] semifinal.
“We were up by two goals with five minutes left and they stormed back to tie it and win it in overtime. It’s probably not the greatest memory, but I’ll just never forget the excitement in the building that day.”
In 1974, Roth was named the ECAC Player of the Year and received the John Tudor Memorial Cup Award, given annually to the most valuable member of the Harvard hockey team. In only 80 games with the Crimson, Roth notched 122 points (54 goals, 88 assists) and currently ranks 12th on the all-time scoring list.