Beanpot final 2016: Welcome to the dark side.
On a snowy and bone-chilling wintry evening in the old West End, our city’s epicenter of hockey memories, the TD Garden’s lights went dim for nearly a half-hour Monday night in the first period of the Beanpot championship final between Boston College and Boston University.
The lights eventually came back on, play resumed, and ultimately it was Alex Tuch’s turn to dim the lights for good.
The sophomore right winger skated into the slot with 1:57 gone in OT and handed BC the only 1-0 victory in the 64-year history of the tournament.
Tuch’s shot from the slot sailed by BU goalie Sean Maguire, roughly halfway up the left post on his blocker side. Maguire was stellar in net all night, turning away 41 shots, 23 of them in the first period, and was named both the tourney’s outstanding goalie and its Most Valuable Player.
“Terrible,’’ said Maguire, a senior, when asked how he felt during an interview with NESN immediately after the loss. “I wanted to win this really bad this year. I gave it my all, so I am happy I played my best.’’
Only some 24 hours after Carolina quarterback Cam Newton played the role of a sulking, pouting brat in the wake of the Panthers losing the Super Bowl, a composed but disappointed Maguire told NESN, “It’s part of the game — you have to learn how to lose.’’
While Maguire was interviewed on the ice, the celebrating BC team hooted and hollered over their triumph. They had persevered, leaving BU now with a 12-10 edge in the 22 times the teams have met for the title.
“Right now,’’ mused Maguire, watching the Eagles celebrate, “I want to do what they’re doing.”
The first period lacked in goals, but not in memorable moments (measured in minutes), thanks to the Garden’s main bank of overhead TV lights going dark at 7:59 p.m. with only 11:07 burned off the clock.
The power outage, due to a power surge, according to Garden officials, kept crowd and players in the partial darkness for 29 minutes before play finally resumed at 8:28 p.m. Prior to action restarting, players from both teams returned to their respective dressing rooms at 8:19, only to be called back out when most of the arena lights were back in proper working order.
Overall, the Eagles carried the period, on both sides of the intermission, despite not being able to put a puck by the sensational Maguire. The Eagle were faster to pucks and faster to create offense off transition, rolling up a bountiful 23-12 shot edge over the first period, which took 1:03 to play, factoring in the trip to the dark side.
The outage was somewhat reminiscent of the Bruins-Oilers matchup on Causeway Street in the 1988 Stanley Cup Final. Trailing in the series, 3-0, the Bruins were locked in a 3-3 tie with the Oilers when a power transformer at the side of the old Garden exploded, casting the building into utter darkness at 16:37 of the second period.
With no chance of getting the power back on, the game was called, the score voided, and the series moved to Edmonton for a Game 4 do-over. The Oilers made easy work of the Bruins in Game 4A — played in Northlands Coliseum because the Garden was booked — and swept the series.
According to the release issued after the game, the power surge caused the TV lights to go out in the Garden ceiling. Garden officials were unable to determine what caused the surge.
The Terriers weren’t nearly as overwhelmed by the Eagles’ speed and finesse in the second period, limiting BC to a 9-8 shot advantage. They were quicker to pucks and also quicker tempered, nearly to their detriment.
With 7:27 one in the period, just as Tyler Demko tied up a shot at the top of his crease, a crisscrossing Jordan Greenway collided with the goalie as he tried to find space in front with BC freshman defenseman Casey Fitzgerald. The whistle blew and so did the elbows. When the ice chips cleared, Greenway was tagged with 14 minutes in penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct. Fitzgerald only picked up a two-minute minor. The Terrier penalty-killers rubbed out the two-minute advantage with no issue.
Later in the period, BU’s Mike Moran dropped Josh Couturier with a hit along the boards, one that appeared to be a flagrant slash. No call. Couturier was slow to get up and his coach, Jerry York, usually reserved, made an animated “slashing” call from behind the bench.
Midway through the third period, the scoreboard still 0-0, Greenway again was in the thick of things when he charged hard to the net with Michael Kim chasing him. Greenway, a 6-foot-5-inch freshman, barreled directly into Demko, who appeared to take the brunt of the blow to his right knee. After needing four minutes to gain his feet and shake off the hit, Demko returned and finished the night with his career-high ninth shutout of the season.
“Well, that was something,’’ said Steve Nazro, the decades-long director of the Beanpot, presenting awards in the postgame ceremony. “Certainly one of finest championship games I’ve ever seen. I felt like 60 minutes of overtime — a fantastic game.’’Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.