Northeastern experienced a Beanpot breakout last year, winning the tournament for the first time since 1988. Now, after a 2-1 overtime victory over Boston University at TD Garden on Monday night, the Huskies have a chance for consecutive Beanpot titles, 34 years after their only back-to-back championships in the event.
“We’ve only won five, so only five kicks at the can,” NU coach Jim Madigan said. “It was ’84-85 and I was fortunate to be a player on both those teams. It’s special when you do it. We’ve only done it once, Harvard, long-standing tradition they have, and I don’t think they’ve done it. That tells you how hard it is.
“So we talked about that. Here’s an opportunity for this team to step up and put itself into a category of one of the best Northeastern teams. The senior class is going to walk away with the most wins in the history of the program. Here’s an opportunity to get a second Beanpot.
“It’s special if you can get to that repeat. [But] a lot of work to do still.”
Freshman Tyler Madden’s breakaway goal 51 seconds into overtime made the difference as Northeastern (16-8-1) qualified to meet Boston College in next Monday’s title contest. Madden converted his ninth goal of the season, finishing off Jake Oettinger’s glove with Jeremy Davies getting the assist.
“We were outplaying them and outworking them and we knew it would fall soon,” Madden said. “This one was definitely unbelievable. I’ve been coming to the Garden for a while – the bright lights are out there and I shine in those.”
BU (10-12-3), which has a roster filled with 12 NHL draft picks (including Bobo Carpenter, who missed the game with an injury), has won 30 Beanpot titles. The Terriers had a streak of five consecutive final appearances snapped in a game that became a duel between Oettinger (47 saves) and Cayden Primeau (26 saves), who twice stopped Joel Farabee on breakaways.
“I thought Joel was dynamite,” BU coach Albie O’Connell said. “Obviously, you’d like to bury those chances, but to put yourself in a position to get two breakaways in a game shows a high level of intelligence and skill.
“Primeau’s great, two huge saves. We score one of those and the game’s in essence over. So, they made a play on a breakaway, we didn’t.”
Northeastern capitalized on aggressive forechecking as Patrick Schule opened the scoring with his eighth goal of the season. The Huskies then protected the advantage, killing two penalties in succession, until the final seconds of the opening period.
Schule harassed Cam Crotty from behind, Liam Pecararo taking possession in the left circle and centering for Schule’s one-timer at 3:14.
Patrick Curry nearly equalized on a power play, Primeau saving, the puck sliding across the crease and out, before Biagio Lerario covered, earning a delay-of-game penalty.
BU tied the score, taking possession on a Madden turnover. Farabee scored his 10th goal of the season, swooping in as Crotty fired off the boards, and finishing back post off Primeau’s skate at 19:39.
Primeau kept things even, twice stoning Farabee on breakaways late in the second period. BU came close on a power play late in regulation, but Primeau covered a Dante Fabbro drive with Ty Amonte and Shane Bowers on the doorstep.
“He had them from quite a ways out, so I tried to get out as far possible,” Primeau said of the Farabee breakaways. “The ice wasn’t too great, so I didn’t think he was going to do too much as far as the deke went. I tried get as big as possible and just seal the ice.
“You can just look at the shot chart going into overtime. We were dominating them. We had all the confidence and we knew we weren’t leaving this building without a win. We knew we were going to come out on top.”