Since the women’s Beanpot Tournament debuted in 1979 alongside the men, Harvard’s hockey programs have played for the championship 35 times. That’s more often than the men and women of Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern.
When it comes to the Beanpot, Harvard’s hockey clubs often hang out late and often. Crimson hockey fans were treated to another title match Tuesday night (Feb. 15) when the women looked to capture a record-tying 14th Beanpot, against host Boston College. Unfortunately, despite holding their own for most of the game, the Crimson fell to the Eagles, 3-1, after two B.C. goals in the third period put the Eagles on top. The Crimson will host Colgate Friday (Feb. 18) and Cornell on Saturday (Feb. 19) at Bright Hockey Center to finish the regular season.
Monday night, the Harvard men scored a pair of third-period goals to dump No. 14 Boston University, 5-4, in the consolation round at TD Garden. It was Harvard’s 15th third-place showing in the 59-year-old men’s tournament. The men had lost in the opening round to Northeastern.
The Harvard women, after edging Northeastern Feb. 8 in a gripping shootout, 2-1, after the teams were tied 3-3 in regulation, looked to avenge a seventh-ranked Boston College team that prevailed, 1-0, with a hard-to-swallow shorthanded goal two years ago in the Beanpot final. More recently, Harvard (14-8-3), which is coming off an overtime tie and overtime victory this past weekend against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, respectively, dropped a 6-2 decision to the Eagles in December. The Crimson women did win the Beanpot last year.
In the teams’ 46 prior engagements, Harvard had dropped just 10 games to the Eagles. But the reality check was that B.C. had yet to lose back-to-back contests all season. Yet, for their part, the women from Cambridge had erased repeated deficits late in games, including come-from-behind efforts in their past three outings. It’s a talent that might drive head coach Katey Stone a little batty, but it’s a talent that’s also managed to give the Crimson a second-place standing in the ECAC.
The Harvard men showed how to come from behind in Monday????s consolation game. Harvard’s rally versus the Terriers got under way late in the final period when sophomore defenseman Danny Biega fired the puck through a bevy of defenders to knot the score at 4-4. Less than two minutes later, senior forward Michael Del Mauro knocked a rebound past Terrier net minder Kieranto Millan to score the eventual game-winner. In the final 2:08, Ryan Carroll ’11 made a glove save to collect his 45th stop on the evening. With the win, Harvard’s record was 5-18-1 on the season, with five games remaining.
From the department of surprising stats, consider the following. Against BU, Harvard managed just nine shots on goal in the third period, whereas the Terriers had 20. And in another indication of hockey’s mysterious ways, BU was 3 for 6 in scoring on the power play. The Crimson went 0 for 4.
For longtime Beanpot top dog BU, the defeat marked just the fourth time that the Terriers had lost games in both rounds of the tournament. What’s more, the setback could hinder BU’s postseason trajectory. In the title game, Boston College netted a goal at the 6-minute mark of overtime to edge Northeastern, 7-6. With the win, the Eagles clinched their 16th championship.
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