Part of the Donato family of Scituate spent Monday wrapped up in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. But enough Donatos stayed around to help Harvard take a 5-4 overtime win over Boston College in the Beanpot consolation game Monday at TD Garden.
Harvard (11-10-4) squandered a two-goal lead as BC freshman Logan Hutsko competed a third-period hat trick, but Crimson senior Seb Lloyd decided the contest at 2:43 of overtime.
The Crimson were missing junior Ryan Donato their leading scorer, but freshman brother Jack Donato scored his first collegiate goal in the third period, giving Harvard a 4-2 lead.
“The first thing I thought of was Mom [Jeannine], who would’ve been most excited, was probably somewhere over the North Pole on her flight over to South Korea,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “I was real happy for [Jack]. I thought he played an excellent game. I thought we had some guys that stepped in who haven’t played as much that gave us some jump in the lineup.”
Goalie Cameron Gornet who has played most of the season on junior varsity, made 30 saves, as the Crimson regained their composure in overtime.
“It’s not as exciting as playing the final, obviously,” said coach (and father) Ted Donato, who plans to travel to the Olympics after Harvard games this weekend. “Our guys handled some adversity, some of it we created ourselves, when it looked like we had the game in decent control. I liked the positive energy going into overtime.”
BC (14-13-3) also went with a backup goalie, Ryan Edquist (31 saves), and marked the return of defenseman Kevin Lohan, who had not played since sustaining a broken jaw in an off-ice incident last month.
Harvard took control after Lohan was penalized for cross-checking at 12:32, of the first, as the Crimson opened the scoring 66 seconds later. Lewis Zerter-Gossage finished back post into an open net off a rebound of a Ty Pelton-Boyce shot from the upper right circle at 13:38. It was his eighth goal of the season.
BC equalized on Christopher Brown’s shorthanded goal, capitalizing on a turnover after Harvard controlled a faceoff in BC ice at 17:49 of the second. Brown converted his seventh goal of the season after gaining possession near the blue line, then speeding in to finish past Gornet.
Harvard twice took two-goal leads in the third period, which featured six total goals.
Sophomore defenseman John Marino snapped the deadlock, finishing a rebound of a Henry Bowlby shot for his first goal of the season, at 4:22. Bowlby scored his sixth of the season, stuffing in his own rebound on a power play at 6:34.
Hutsko pulled BC within 3-2, falling backward while deflecting in a Lohan drive from the right point at 7:01.
Jack Donato scored in his third varsity game, finishing under Edquist at 12:02. Hutsko then converted on a power play at 17:26, and equalized on a rebound,, giving him five goals in two games and 10 for the season.
“[Hutsko] is becoming an emerging player in Hockey East,” BC coach Jerry York said. “Three goals in the third period is impressive for anybody. Disappointed not to get that third-place trophy but we move on [BC visits UMass on Thursday].
“I told our team, ‘We just have to keep getting better so we can play longer at a high tempo.’ ”
Lloyd decided things with his second goal of the season, off assists from Adam Fox and Zerter-Gossage.
“Foxie has got probably the best vision in college hockey,” Lloyd said. “I just knew I had to find a spot and he made a great pass, and I was lucky to get some great wood on it and it went in.”
Just being a dad
Harvard coach Ted Donato, who played in the 1992 Winter Olympics, plans to watch son Ryan in PyeongChang.
“Not exactly like heading over to Bajko Rink in Hyde Park, as far as the travel time,” Donato said. “But it’s one of these events that happens in life, you just need to be there for.
“I’ll see at least one, maybe two games. Certain times and opportunities in life that maybe trump work, or the coach card . . . I’m going to go on the weekend, in a spot where I wouldn’t miss any of our games, I’ll just miss practices.”
Gornet gets call
Gornet, who totaled 54:32 shutout minutes in three games last season, made his season debut after playing for the Crimson junior varsity most of this season.
“He’s played great in practice and deserved the opportunity,” Donato said.
“This game, as far as our league implications were concerned, wasn’t as much of a factor, and it was a chance to get a look at Cam. And I thought he played well. It was an opportunity for our players to get excited for all the unselfish work he does in practice.”
Lohan makes return
Lohan, recovering from a broken jaw sustained in an off-ice incident last month, played for the first time since Jan. 14.
“I thought right after the injury there’s no way he’s going to get back and play,” York said of 6-foot-5-inch Lohan. “But the surgeon did a terrific job putting plates in his jaw, wired it shut for three weeks. He lost 12 pounds, but’s got full clearance now.
“I think he’s going to be big for us down the stretch. He’s a person on defense we don’t have — big, strong, stay-at-home defenseman. So, I think he’s going to be really big for us down the stretch.”
BU finds game
Boston University started the season high on everyone’s list of top teams, but then struggled to find its footing as it went 8-10-1. However, the Terriers have played itself into the national rankings, landing at No. 20 this week. The Terriers got there with a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2), tied for the longest active streak in the nation. BU has not had an unbeaten run of longer than eight games since the 2008-09 national championship team went 14-0-3 from Jan. 16 to March 13.
Northeastern came into the Beanpot ranked 11th in the nation, the first time since the start of the USCHO.com poll (1997-98 season) that NU was the highest-ranked Beanpot team.
Northeastern is 15th in the all-important PairWise rankings, which determine the NCAA field and seedings. BU is 19th. The Huskies will probably move up after their 5-2 win in the title game.
The Beanpot has been won by a different school in each of the last four years: Northeastern, Harvard in 2017, Boston College in 2016, and Boston University in 2015. That also happened in 1981-84.
This is the first Beanpot in 50 years played without Jack Grinold, longtime Northeastern sports information director who died in April at 81. Grinold, described as a “one-man Beanpot library,” produced the programs each year and was instrumental in making the Beanpot a major event on the hockey — and Boston — calendar. No doubt he would be dismayed to see the falling attendance.
Since scoring only two goals in two games against Northeastern in November, BU has recorded four or more goals seven times. Through January, the Terriers had six players with 20 points or more: Bobo Carpenter (28), Jordan Greenway (25), Shane Bowers (24), Brady Tkachuk (23), Dante Fabbro (23), and Patrick Harper (21). In coach David Quinn’s five years, only once has BU eclipsed this sum for an entire season (eight in 2015-16) . . . BU has six active players or alumni playing at the Olympic Games. On men’s teams are Greenway; 2008-09 captains Matt Gilroy and John McCarthy; and Chris Bourque, who spent the 2004-05 season with BU. Two alumnae from the women’s team play for Team Canada: Marie-Philip Poulin and Jenn Wakefield . . . For the fourth time, both the BU men’s and women’s teams are playing for Beanpot championship. The last time both made the final was 2012.