There was some controversy surrounding Monday’s second BC goal, which was scored by Eagle forward Brian Gibbons as he crashed the net and Boston College tied the game at 2. After the goal, Harvard coach Ted Donato could be seen arguing with the referees to no avail.
“When I first saw the goal, my first reaction was that it was kicked in,” said Donato. “But with the benefit of having seen a replay, now I’m certain that it was kicked in.”
With the Beanpot games played in the TD Banknorth Garden, video replay technology is present, and used regularly for Bruins’ games.
“I don’t understand why there was no replay,” Donato continued. “If the goal was the other way around, and it might have affected the outcome for an NCAA bubble team [like BC], I would feel very bad for the kids who would have had an illegal play stand despite the technology being available and being unused.
“I’d think they would review every goal. Maybe they are afraid it would take too long and delay the start of the later, more important game. This is the way it was explained before the games, that there would be no automatic review of the goals. But I’m not sure why.”
Motivating the Troops
All four Beanpot coaches have said that it is neither easy nor desirable to play in the consolation game. The 17,000-seat arena is mostly empty, the rink is cold without all the bodies providing the heat, TV coverage does not extend to this game of the tournament, and the only thing the teams are playing for is to avoid finishing last.
Getting young players ready to face such an environment can be a real challenge.
“I talked to the team about this before the game,” said BC coach Jerry York. “Regardless of whether the game is at 5 o’clock or at 8 o’clock, whether it is home or away, let’s play. This game has ramifications for us for the [NCAA selection criteria]. It’s important for us to start earning some ‘W’s now, because we are on the bubble. We’re not trying to win third place in the Beanpot. We took the Beanpot out of it.”
On top of the factors coming into play with the consolation game, Harvard found itself facing its fourth ranked opponent in the last five games — current No. 19 Dartmouth, No. 1 Boston University and No. 15 Boston College in the Beanpot, and No. 10 Yale sandwiched in between. The Crimson are 0-3-1 in those four games. The only other game, against unranked Union, was a 3-1 win.
“Coming out of our exam break, I think we’ve played some pretty good games,” said Donato. A tie with Dartmouth was followed up with a one-goal loss to the No. 1 team in the nation in the Beanpot semifinal, and then this game with BC, also a one-goal affair.
“Whatever the circumstances, it shouldn’t take a lot from a pride standpoint to play the national champions anytime,” added Donato.
Starting In Goal …
For the Crimson, skipper Donato informed sophomore Ryan Carroll Sunday that he would be getting the start in Monday’s Beanpot consolation game.
“It was just enough time, I guess,” chuckled Carroll.
It was the first start in Carroll’s collegiate career, and he impressed, stopping 42 BC shots in the loss.
“Ryan Carroll gave us a chance to win the game,” said Donato. “But unfortunately we had a tough turnover at the end.”
His counterpart, Eagle John Muse, returned to Beanpot play after being chased from the net for the first time in his two-year career at the Heights in last week’s semifinal after allowing all six goals against Northeastern. Some coaches might have allowed the backup netminder to get the start in a consolation game, but the important nature of the game led York to return to his regular goalie.
“I thought John Muse survived a tough exchange there, and played steady after that point,” said York. “We get back to league play Friday and are trying to get home ice. This was an important game for us.”
The scoring in the game was back and forth: Harvard, BC, Harvard, BC, Harvard, BC. The pattern was finally snapped with just 41 seconds left in the game, as BC’s Benn Ferriero scored to give the Eagles the lead for good. It looked like the game might be headed for overtime, which, according to Beanpot rules, would end after a five-minute OT if the two teams are still tied. In the 57-year history of the tournament, no game has ever ended in a tie.
With the loss, Harvard is still searching for its first win away from its home, the Bright Center, and for its first nonconference win.