Beanpot Post-Mortem

Another Beanpot has passed with plenty of excitement, some outstanding story lines and enough to keep the Boston hockey community talking for a while.

Boston College came out on top for the 14th time, this time as the favorite entering the tournament. The Eagles road was far from simple – needing overtime in both its semifinal win over BU and the title game over Harvard.

Some things that stood out:

– The story line of Nick Petrecki was one that was extremely captivating. He rode the ultimate roller coaster throughout the championship game. Even though the BC roster lists him from Clifton Park, N.Y., Petrecki’s mother hails from nearby West Roxbury, Mass., and has brought Nick to the games since he was 5 years old. Scoring his first career goal, a true highlight reel snipe if I may say, in the second period had to be a career highlight. Just as much so, crashing into the linesman late in the third leading to Harvard’s fourth goal and ultimately their dramatic comeback was an equal low-light. But to get redemption all in one large breath, scoring the OT game-winner was one of the best story lines of the tournament.

– Harvard really shocked a lot of people – even some of its own fans – with their gutsy, never-say-die performance in the title game. Head coach Ted Donato said after the game that he hopes this year’s tournament changes the mentality of his team in the Beanpot moving forward. If you show each and every team last night’s third period, you’d have to believe would happen.

– Northeastern truly got hosed in last night’s consolation game. Granted, the Huskies blew a two-goal lead against Boston University. But it was inexplicable how two referees missed a pretty obvious penalty late in the game when a BU player held, grabbed and threw an NU defenseman’s stick, leading to the game-winning goal. Even if both referees missed the infraction, the stick went about 10 feet into the air and seemed to be airborne forever, providing plenty of evidence for the officials to deduce that an infraction had occured. Instead, NU was one again relegated to a fourth-place Beanpot finish.

– The fact that BU wasn’t in the title game actually seemed to give a different sort of life to last night’s championship game. I’m not sure what it is, but I know that people can get sick of the status quo. Having NU and BU in the consolation game made for a very different atmosphere as arguably the two most passionate fan bases squared off in back-and-forth volley chants. BU might have gotten the better of the game, but the 3,000+ Northeastern students in the balcony sure made a heck of a statement for the pride NU fans are feeling for their program.

– Those BU and NU fans that remained for the title tilt became a bit of the show as the game wore on. It was pleasing to see and hear both fan bases unite to support the Harvard band and bring with them all of their typical respective cheers.

– Picking an MVP for this year’s tournament may never have been more difficult. No player immediately stuck out. But because there is the need to coordinate the awards ceremony immediate at the conclusion of the game, media director Ed Carpenter was charged with polling the media and determining the game’s MVP before the winning goal was scored. In years past, the determination was to give the award to the person who scores the game-winning goal, but there’s nothing worse than seeing a player do nothing the entire tournament and score a garbage goal to earn tournament MVP (a la Chris Bourque in 2005). Brian Gibbons was the choice if BC won, though following the old method and giving Petrecki the award would have been equally justified.

19 COMMENTS

  1. As an RPI fan, this did not sound elitist, to the contrary, thank you for giving the ECAC some credit for their success this year instead of saying how teams from your league are way better than the ECAC teams that are ranked and how they don’t deserve to be talked about in the same context. Hopefully the UND trolls that seem to plague the ECAC blog posts will leave this one alone…

      • RPI spanked BU 4-1, who at the time were ranked #7, and tied with Colorado College, Yale has beaten CC 5-1. Those are the only currently ranked non-conference wins for these ECAC teams just by a quick check, but others they have played have either been ranked at some point throughout the season or are receiving votes (Union vs Minnesota for example). Let’s not forget the Yale win over Russia under 20s and RPI’s over US under 20s made up of many of your young stars. The problem with the ECAC and non-conference opponents is that they have a limited number of non-conference games that they can schedule (esp the ivy schools) and certain rivalries (RPI/BU, RPI/Army that I know of) are longstanding and are usually tried to be fit in every year. If you are only scheduling a limited number of non-conference games, the odds that all of them will be against a top 20 team are less. ECAC teams play more of their non-conference games against Atlantic and HE teams I think because they are closer to travel to and perhaps are easier to work into the schedule.

  2. I still have to shake my head at this one. I am a UMaine homer and wont deny it, but who have UNION and RPI and Yale for that matter beaten? UMaine swept North Dakota in 2 games and has beaten BC, yes they gave a game away to UNH as well but we have them for 2 more upcoming. I look at the PWR comparison table and it give North Dakota the comparison over Maine even though the Bears swept them in Orono???

    • It’s because without those two wins against north dakota as well as the bc game (both at home i remind you), maine has not beaten a team that is over .500. In addition to this, they have only two road wins and a neutral ice win to their credit. that is the biggest if not the only reasons why they are ranked where they are in the pwr rankings. in order for maine to reach they ncaa tournament for the first time in 4 years, they must win out at home (which they certainly can and must) as well as steal 4 or 5 games on the road out of the 6 at the minimum. If they fail to do this, they will find themselves in the same position they were last year. clinging on to a win in the hockey east tournament to qualify. don’t be surprised to see a very talented maine team left out of the tournament because of their inability to show up to play consistently and their coach’s lack of discipline for his players.

    • Look at Maine’s record against teams under consideration and then look at North Dakota’s record in the same category. UND is 16-5-1, Maine is 1-6-2 so I think it is fair to say there is an easy and understandable reason as to why UND wins the comparison.

  3. Maine doesn’t deserve to even be in the discussion. They are terrible thanks to their complete lack of coaching. This will be Tim Whitehead’s 10th season in Maine, and he has accomplished just ine thing – winning the HEA tourney in 2004. Otherwise, 10 years without a HEA regular season title. 10 years without a national championship. Unacceptable.

  4. I hope Maine doesn’t make the tournament. That will be four years running. Maybe the new AD and incoming President will do the right thing be Maine fans and students and send Whitehead on his way. Time to let someone else – like a certain Walsh-coached player who played on the 1999 national championship team – take over this program before it is dead for good.

  5. While your name implies a bit of a bias, I must agree with you firetimwhitehead. First thing to get it out of the way, I am UMaine hockey die hard and have been since I was born, which was the beginnings of the Shawn Walsh era. Secondly, Maine does not deserve to be higher than any of the teams that are mentioned as above them in the RPI. They have beaten 2 quality opponents this season. They beat North Dakota twice at home and beat BC once at home. That’s it, outside of that they have not beaten a single team with a winning percentage above .500. They tied lowly UConn and blew leads against Michigan St. to start the season. They were swept by BU and BC in convincing fashion in Boston. They tied Providence. Hell, they blew a 3 goal lead going into the third period at home against UNH. In the winter classic tournament they lost to Miami and needed OT against Cornell. Worst of all Merimack dragged them all over the ice in a 7-1 romping which they followed up the next week by needing overtime to beat Providence at home. They get a solid win against BC at home and follow it up by tying Northeastern. They are a model of inconsistency and a reflection of their coach. They are a one dimensional team that lacks any semblance of discipline and they play down to the level of lowly teams. Furthermore, it appears that Whitehead lacks any ability to make in game adjustments and on the fly decisions. I also wonder how a team that did not lose the majority of it’s core goes from the best power play in the country to one of the worst? Oh wait the answer is simple, people have figured out Whitehead’s game plan, and the game plan never changes. And if Whitehead wants solid goal tending he is going to have to let one goalie start more than 2 games in row, aka he needs to pick a guy and stick with him to see what he can do instead of this rotating 3 goalies deal. I think Maine fans should be calling for his firing, all though we may disagree here firetimwhitehead, because I have said for the last 3 years that UMaine should be making an attempt to pull Greg Cronin away from Northeastern. Cronin was an assistant under Walsh and also a candidate for the job when Whitehead was hired. If you watch the way his team plays and the way he approaches the game and coaches on the bench it is almost like watching a mini version of Walsh. This is exactly what Maine needs, a disciplined hard nosed coach with passion for the game oozing from him. That is what UMaine used to have under Walsh that it doesn’t now. They need to return to playing smart, disciplined, and passionate hockey the way Walsh coached the old teams to play. And just so I can throw this in their (remember I am a die hard Maine fan), Jerry York is the best coach in college hockey in my opinion, and that the type of coach Maine needs.

    • To make a slight correction, maine tied bu down in boston this year. only game they’ve played with them so far (two games in orono this weekend). and i agree with everything you said. except i don’t think greg cronin is a real possibility at this point. but you never know. i would like to see them hire Jim montgumery who is an assistant at rpi. if not, let corkum take over. you can tell by watching his demeanor that he is holding in his frusteration. this program needs to be rekindled. and before it’s too late. if maine does not make the tournament this year, they probably never will under whitehead again.

  6. Hey Whit, Union whipped Maine twice last year. I understand that it was last year, but this Union team is much better than last years team.

    • maine won the championship back in 1999. so what? last year doesn’t matter one bit. plus that was at union. on neutral ice no question it would be different. but last year was last year. and i’m sure if union made the trip to orono they would be rudely awakened

  7. Union is on the high wire having lost to Dartmouth. A victory Friday night over Yale would enhance their cause markedly. The more likely outcome is a”L”, leaving them quite possibly on the outside looking in, unless they win the ECAC tournament. Their OOC record is not impressive against good teams save for Minnesota.

  8. There is no doubt that ECAC is the better conference this year. ECAC is 8–9–4 against Hockey East this year. What the real tell tale difference is however, is that ECAC went 8–8–4 against the best conference in D1, the WCHA. Hockey East was 5–9–1 .

    Never mind that Hockey East could only go 9–4–4 against the pitiful Atlantic conference, ECAC went 27–6–5.

    There is no debate that ECAC is better this year.

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