BOSTON — A year ago, Northeastern earned its 30-year drought in the Beanpot behind an effort by a number of the greatest players in the program’s history, most notably Hobey Baker Award winner Adam Gaudette, who netted a championship game hat trick.
On Monday, the Huskies punched their ticket to advance to the finals and have a chance to go back-to-back for just the second time, the other being 1984 and ’85. And this win came off the stick of someone who could be the next generation of Northeastern greats.
Tyler Madden took a long outlet pass while splitting defensemen and fired a low shot that squeaked through Boston University netminder Jake Oettinger just 51 seconds into overtime as Northeastern advanced, 2-1.
Northeastern will face Boston College in next Monday’s championship game.
Tyler Madden's breakaway goal in overtime lifts Northeastern over Boston University in the Beanpot semifinal. pic.twitter.com/fdLahJkvF2
— NESN (@NESN) February 5, 2019
Madden was one of the best players on the ice for Northeastern throughout the evening. Besides scoring the overtime goal, he finished with six shots on goal, second only to the Huskies other dominant performer Jeremy Davies, who registered nine.
No surprise, Davies was the one who connected on the 100-foot pass to Madden.
“[Davies] got the puck and I just got on the ice,” said Madden. “I got the pass and took the shot, luckily it went in.”
Seventeen days ago, Madden was also the overtime hero, that time burying a backhanded to give the Huskies a 2-1 win over then-No. 1 Massachusetts. His celebration that night was a canoe row on Matthews Arena ice.
On Monday it was a sliding snow angel.
For Northeastern coach Jim Madigan, he didn’t care what the celebration was because he understands how difficult it is to even have the opportunity to repeat as Beanpot champions. Madigan was a part of the 1984 and ’85 teams and talked to his team about simply how difficult it can be to get reach the title game as defending champs.
“We talked about that here is an opportunity to step up and put ourself in position to be one of the best Northeastern teams,” said Madigan. “The senior class should walk away with the most wins [as a class] in the program’s history. Here’s an opportunity to get their second Beanpot.
“We compartmentalized and talked about taking care of part one and be able to compete for the championship. We took care of business tonight and now we’re in position to compete for another Beanpot.”
The penalty kill was critical for both teams, though Northeastern had to kill double the power play attempts (four-to-two) as did BU. Both teams, though, had to kill penalties in the final five minutes of regulation with the game knotted at 1.
Northeastern opened the scoring on what could have been a penalty. Patrick Schule appeared to hook a BU defender, causing turnover. Schule then got himself immediately into position to bury a feed from Liam Pecararo at 3:14 of the first.
The Terriers tied the game late in the opening frame when Joel Farabee may a head’s up play to watch a slapper by Cam Crotty go wide but, when the rebound caromed off the backboards, Farabee banked it off the skate of Cayden Primeau.
Somehow that was all the scoring until the Madden game winner, but not for a lack of trying.
Farabee had two breakaways in the final five minutes of the second, both stopped by Primeau. And in the third, Northeastern threw everything at Oettinger but the kitchen sink and the veteran net minder stood solid finishing the period with 24 saves and 47 through regulation.
With the loss, this BU senior class will walk away without having captured the Beanpot, something that since 1966 has happened just twice, when Boston College went on a five-year winning streak between 2010 and 2014.
It was also the first time since 1980 that Northeastern has beat Boston University in an overtime game at the Beanpot, having lost many heartbreakers in that span. Ironically, Madigan had just watched the 1980 semifinals victory over BU, a slightly crazier 6-5 victory.
“I went out on Saturday night with the 1980 Beanpot class and they had the tape and I watched it,” said Madigan. “It was a good omen I saw that game.”
Semifinal #1: Boston College 2, Harvard 1
Boston College advance to the Beanpot finals on Monday with a 2-1 win over Harvard, but that was hardly the biggest storyline for the Eagles.
The win for BC snapped a 25-game losing in streak in non-conference play dating back to November 13, 2016 when BC handed Arizona State a 3-1 loss.
Since then BC not only hadn’t won a Beanpot game but hadn’t beaten anyone except a Hockey East opponent.
“I thought it was 45 [games], it was only 25?” joked BC coach Jerry York when asked about the streak. “We’ve had some great streaks outside out conference, so I’ve been at both ends of it.”
The Eagles got the game-winning goal with 7:38 remaining when Jack McBain buried a feed from Oliver Wahlstrom that hit a Crimson defender and bounced to McBain in the slot.
BC opened the scoring early when Patrick Giles scored his first career goal at 4:57 of the first. Harvard stood tall, though, and netted the equalizer at 15:37 of the second.
The downfall, though, for Harvard may have been its power play. The Crimson entered the night with the nation’s best man advantage, but couldn’t score in four attempts, including in the game’s final two minutes when Harvard pulled its goaltender for a two-man advantage.