The Boston University men’s hockey team dropped its fifth consecutive game Monday night, falling to Harvard University 5-2 in the consolation game of the 2019 Beanpot.
“We wanted a nice game of shinny, and [Harvard] wanted a real game of hockey,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said.
The two sides would remain scoreless after the first 20 minutes. Harvard (13-7-3, 9-5-2 ECAC) attempted 31 total shots in the period, but BU freshman goaltender Vinnie Purpura, making just his second start with the Terriers, was up to the task for the 12 shots on target.
BU (10-14-3, 8-7-2 Hockey East) tallied five shots on goal in the opening frame. O’Connell said the discrepancy in shots early in games continues to be a concern for BU.
“It’s frustrating because that’s probably one of the only things we talked about — being ready to show up on time, being ready to go,” O’Connell said.
The lopsided offensive play continued into the second period, with the Crimson leading in shots on goal by 32-14 after 40 minutes. As the opportunities piled up, Harvard were eventually rewarded for their persistence.
Nearing the halfway point of the period, forward Frédéric Grégoire drew first blood on a rocket from Purpura’s left that snuck in under the bar. The assists were credited to defensemen John Marino and Reilly Walsh.
Walsh was involved in a second Crimson tally seven minutes later, receiving the puck from forward Colton Kerfoot and feeding it to his uncontested linemate Jack Badini outside the BU crease. The sophomore converted easily, giving Harvard a 2-0 lead they would hold into the second break.
“It wasn’t a good first period, and the second was even worse,” O’Connell said.
The game opened up in the third, starting with BU finally getting on the board six minutes in.
A driven pass by sophomore defenseman David Farrance at the blue line was knocked into the center by freshman forward Joel Farabee, where linemate Patrick Curry tapped it in. The goal was the junior’s 10th of the season, and it made the game 2-1.
BU could not capitalize on the momentum of Curry’s tally, as Harvard restored their two-goal lead at the 12:28 mark. In four-on-four play, a trio of Crimson attackers flooded the BU zone, and Grégoire drilled one into the net for his second goal of the game.
Purpura would vacate the Terrier net in exchange for an extra attacker with just over three minutes left in the match, but Harvard defenseman Adam Fox took no time to toss one in from distance and extend the lead to three. It was the 100th point of the junior’s career.
Junior forward Gabriel Chabot got one back for BU with less than two minutes to play off of passes from freshmen forwards Mark Cheremeta and Jack DeBoer.
After striking the post with an initial effort, Chabot corralled his own rebound and slotted it past Harvard goaltender Michael Lackey for the first goal of his junior campaign and his fifth as a Terrier.
BU pulled their goalie pulled again, and the Crimson would have the last laugh. Forward RJ Murphy made a slick move to find space and walk the puck into the Terrier net with 43 seconds to go.
The game would finish 5-2 in favor of Harvard. After appearing in the Beanpot final for four consecutive years, BU finished last in this year’s tournament.
“You can’t play a D1 hockey team and expect to win when you don’t show up,” O’Connell said.
Harvard attempted 76 shots in the contest, including 39 on target. As has been the case for BU lately, the Terriers could not match their opponent’s offensive output — tallying 42 shots of their own with 26 reaching Lackey between the pipes.
“[Harvard] were more competitive,” O’Connell said. “They were skating harder.”
Still in search of their first win since Jan. 25, the Terriers now turn their attention to the seven Hockey East fixtures remaining to conclude their regular season.
The conference clashes begin this upcoming weekend, as BU will travel to the University of Connecticut for a 7 p.m. puck drop on Feb. 15 and then host the Huskies in Boston the following night at 7 p.m., as well.