NCAA: Boston College wins Beanpot Tournament

By DJ Powers





Boston University’s goaltender Sean Fields wasn’t good on this night he was spectacular. But when you give the top ranked team in the nation enough chances they will capitalize, and that was exactly what Boston College did. The Eagles thoroughly dominated Boston University for much of the championship game and as a result won the 52nd Annual Beanpot Tournament 2-1 in overtime. Fields stopped 50 of 52 shots, many of which were difficult ones.

Both teams were missing key players going into the championship game due to injury. Boston College team captain, Ben Eaves (PIT) is out with a shoulder injury, but was behind the Eagles bench for the entire game. Boston University was missing senior Kenny Magowan (NJ), who is still out with a knee injury and sophomore David Klema (PHX), who is out with a separated shoulder suffered in the opening game versus Northeastern.

While Boston College dominated and controlled much of the game, it was the Terriers who would draw first blood. At the 3:30 mark of the opening period, freshman Kenny Roche (NYR) got BU on the board, thanks to a terrific individual effort by sophomore John Laliberte (VAN). Laliberte’s hard work along the boards resulted in getting puck possession. He moved around an Eagles defender to get the pass off to Roche. Roche fires a wrist-shot that beats Eagles goaltender Matti Kaltiainen (BOS) just inside the near post for the score. For the rest of the period and throughout much of the rest of the game, it was the Sean Fields show. Fields made save after stellar save on Boston College. The Eagles kept pressing and pressuring the Terriers but Fields was there to shut the door every time. It wasn’t until the third period that things would go the Eagles way. At the 6:06 mark of the period, BC senior defenseman J. D. Forrest (CAR) appeared to have tied the game on a goal that was the result of some nice heads up play by towering freshman Brian Boyle (LA). However, the goal was waived off due to freshman Adam Pineault‘s foot being in the crease. Although it was a huge break for Boston University, it didn’t stop or slow down the Eagles. Their relentless battling for puck possession and to get shots on Fields got even more intense. At the 16:30 mark, that relentlessness and hard work paid off when senior Ty Hennes notched the equalizer. Fields intially stopped shots taken by juniors Ned Havern (DAL) and Ryan Murphy (LA), but ended up leaving a rebound. With traffic in front of the BU net, Hennes fends off a BU defender to pick up the loose puck and flip it past Fields for the goal.

In overtime, the Terriers looked to have won the game on a partial breakaway for junior Brian McConnell (CGY), but he couldn’t quite corral the puck and it ended up off his stick. At the 4:36 mark, BU freshman defenseman Thomas Morrow (BUF) would be sent to the penalty box for a hooking call, putting the Eagles on the power play. At the 6:07 mark, BC forward Ryan Murphy would put the frosting on the cake with the game-winning power play goal. Murphy intercepted a poor clearing attempt by BU sophomore David Vander Gulik (CGY) in the right faceoff circle. From there, Murphy spun around and fired the puck that made its way into the net just inside the far post. Boston College had mounted a come from behind win. For Boston University, especially Sean Fields it was a bitter pill to swallow. His outstanding play went all for not, despite being named tournament Most Valuable Player and being the recipient of the Eberly Trophy, which is awarded to the tournament’s top goaltender. Fields gave his team a chance to win, but it was his team who let him down on this night. The elated Boston College bench rushed to the ice to hug one another and start the celebrations. But perhaps the most defining moment of what the game (and tournament) is really about in all the jubilation, was the glow and sheer joy that Ben Eaves displayed when he was holding the Beanpot Trophy standing amongst his teammates. It was the perfect picture of the consummate team player.

In the consolation game earlier in the day, Northeastern beat Harvard 3-1. The game featured stellar goaltending by Northeastern junior Keni Gibson and an excellent performance by San Jose Sharks prospect, Northeastern sophomore Mike Morris. The game didn’t see any scoring until the third period. Harvard started the final stanza on a power play that carried over from the second period to Huskies defenseman Jon Awe. Just as the penalty had expired, Northeastern sophomore Mike Morris (SJ) made a nice heads ups play to pick up the loose puck. He skated out with it and junior Jason Guerrero in tow on a 2-on-1 play. Morris makes a nice set up pass to Guerrero who deposits the puck past Crimson goaltender junior Dov Grumet-Morris (PHI) for the score at the 56 seconds mark. Harvard top scorer junior Tom Cavanagh (SJ) would get the equalizer at 6:51 on the power play, thanks to a beautiful set-up by junior Brendan Bernakevitch. At the 11:48 mark, Morris would again put Northeastern ahead with a terrific individual effort that would be the game-winner. He flew down the right sideboards, cut in and roofed a wrister over the shoulder of Grumet-Morris. Harvard had some quality scoring chances late in the game created by forwards Kevin Du and Dan Murphy, but thanks to some tremendous stops by Gibson Harvard could not score. With the Harvard net empty, the Huskies put the game away for good at the 19:44 mark. Senior Eric Ortlip strips a Harvard player of the puck, moves in towards the Harvard zone and fires into the empty net for the score. Harvard played without sophomores forward Charlie Johnson, who suffered a separated shoulder in Friday’s game versus Yale and defenseman Peter Hafner (FLA), who was a coach’s decision.

THE OPENING MATCHUPS:

In last week’s opening, semifinals matches Boston University defeated Northeastern 5-2 in the first game and Boston College defeated Harvard 4-1.

The BU/Northeastern game featured some stellar goaltending by senior goaltender Sean Fields. Terriers top scorer, defenseman Ryan Whitney (PIT) tallied a goal and assist in the game to along with some top notch play. Boston University dominated much of the game despite being without one of their top forwards. The Terriers played without senior Kenny Magowan (NJ), who was out with a knee injury. BU’s line combination of seniors Frantisek Skladany (COL) and senior Mark Mullen and sophomore Brad Zancanaro had an outstanding game as they had a hand in two of the Terriers’ five. Two 2004 NHL draft prospects in defensemen Steve Birnstill of Northeastern and Kevin Schaeffer for Boston University continue to be impressive in their freshman campaigns for their respective teams with strong games. Schaeffer notched an assist on the power play goal by junior Brian McConnell (CGY) in the second period.

In the latter match up between Boston College and Harvard, the Crimson helped the Eagles cause with two fluky goals. The Eagles’ first goal came courtesy of Harvard junior Tom Cavanagh (SJ) who scored into his own net on what looked like a reactionary play. BC sophomore sensation Patrick Eaves (OTT) was credited with the goal. The Eagles second goal came as a result of a poor clearing attempt by Harvard junior defenseman Ryan Lannon (PIT), who unintentionally ended up shooting it into his goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris (PHI) instead. The puck ended up banking off of Grumet-Morris’ skate and into the net. BC junior forward Ned Havern (DAL) was credited with the goal. Turnovers were one of the key areas that led to Harvard’s demise. Sophomore Charlie Johnson tallied Harvard’s lone goal. The Eagles line combination of Ned Havern, freshman Adam Pineault and senior Justin Dziama (NJ) had a strong outing in this game. Junior Matti Kaltiainen (BOS) made 19 saves in the contest to notch his 18th win of the season for Boston College.