The No. 20 Boston University men’s hockey team found itself in the Beanpot championship for the fourth time in as many years. However, just like the past two seasons, the Terriers (15-11-3, 10-7-3 Hockey East) were unable to pull out a victory.
No. 12 Northeastern University came into the contest tied for sixth in the nation, converting a quarter of its power-play chances, while BU entered the tilt tied for 10th in the nation in penalty minutes. This created a perfect storm for the Huskies (17-8-5, 11-6-3 Hockey East) to convert on all three power-play chances they had in the contest against the Terriers.
“We’re hitting at 25 percent … I think we’re number one in Hockey East,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “… We’ve got good players and we’ve got a coach in associate coach Jerry Keefe who’s worked with this group who’s worked with this group for six years and is just a great offensive mind.”
BU head coach David Quinn further stressed the importance of killing penalties.
“You got to kill some penalties,” Quinn said. “We’ve been killing penalties well lately, it’s been our Achilles’ heel all year.”
Senior forward and assistant captain Nikolas Olsson found himself in the box 13:24 into the first period for tripping. Just over a minute later, Northeastern senior forward and captain Nolan Stevens found the back of the net.
Stevens recieved a pass from freshman forward Zach Solow by way of sophomore defenseman Jeremy Davies and deeked out Terrier sophomore defenseman Chad Krys, then found an opening to light the lamp for the 20th time this season.
Northeastern scored once more in the first period while on the power play.
Senior forward Chase Phelps committed an interference penalty 16:09 into the first. Terrier sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger saved a shot from senior forward and assistant captain Dylan Sikura, which was recovered by junior forward Adam Gaudette, who found the back of the net for the 22nd time this season.
The Braintree native currently leads the NCAA in points and is second in power-play goals, with 47 and 10, respectively.
Both first period penalties were committed by BU’s fourth line in the offensive zone.
“Two offensive zone penalties, which we just can’t against that team,” Quinn said. “You can’t take penalties like that, if you’re going to take a penalty to prevent a goal that’s one thing, but you can’t being taking penalties of that nature and expect to give yourself a great chance.”
Since the middle of January, the Terriers had the best power play in the country among teams that have had at least 20 chances. On the season, BU entered the contest converting 23.5 percent of its power plays, a mark which put it ninth in the country.
BU received its first chance on the power play at 16:08 in the second period. Gaudette was called for roughing, but Northeastern successfully killed off the penalty.
With just over 30 seconds left in the middle stanza, freshman forward Brady Tkachuk found himself in the box for cross-checking.
Just 31 seconds into the power play, Gaudette struck again after taking a pass from Sikura and shooting the puck off Oettinger’s leg to give Northeastern a 4-1 lead.
BU went on the power play for the second time at 10:58 in the final period. Sophomore forward Matt Filipe was on the wrong end of a tripping call, but the Huskies killed off their second penalty of the night.
BU’s streak of seven straight games with a power-play goal came to end during the contest.
“We’ve got a pretty good power play too,” Quinn said. “We had two chances and we couldn’t bury one, and we had some chances, but we couldn’t get it by them.”
Quinn added that the power play played a crucial role in the outcome of Monday’s matchup.
“The story of the game are power plays,” Quinn said. “They get three power play goals [and] we get none.”