Kevin Roy converted a bad turnover from Boston University senior Ben Rosen into a gift goal that broke a 1-1 tie and finished with a hat trick to lift Northeastern to a 3-2 win over the 11th-ranked Terriers on Monday night at TD Garden in the opening game of the 61st Beanpot Tournament.
Chris Rawlings turned aside 32 of the 34 shots he faced to lead Northeastern into the Beanpot final for the third time in five years. However, Northeastern, which will play the winner of the Boston College-Harvard nightcap, hasn’t won the tournament since 1988. The 25-year drought is the second-longest in the history of the tournament. Northeastern went the first 27 years without winning the title before breaking through in 1980. Harvard’s last championship came in 1993.
The win also snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Terriers in Beanpot play, dating back to the 1988 championship game, the last time Northeastern won the prestigious Boston tournament.
Roy put Northeastern (8-13-3) on top just 2:09 into the game. But the Terriers responded when Danny O’Regan beat Rawlings for his 10th of the season just over three minutes later.
Roy was charging down the slot and applying forechecking pressure when Rosen put the puck in front of his own crease, expecting goalie Matt O’Connor to be there. When O’Connor couldn’t handle the puck, Roy put the puck in an open net with 8:24 left in the second.
The Huskies then showed their skill on special teams, killing off a 5-on-3 Boston University advantage for 1:56. Just 10 seconds after that kill, they picked up another boarding penalty but killed that off to end the second and open the third, gaining momentum for the rest of the game.
With 4:38 left in the third, Roy completed the hat trick, beating O’Connor short side for his 15th of the season. Sahir Gill scored with 1:11 left to make things interesting in the final minute but the Terriers couldn’t find the equalizer, and Northeastern punched its ticket to next Monday’s final.
Boston University (13-11-1) lost in the Beanpot opening round for just the third time since 1994. It also marks the first time in over four decades that an entire BU class has gone without a Beanpot title, something that made senior center Wade Megan tear up in the postgame press conference. BU’s last title came in 2009. The last time the Terriers went that long without raising the pot of beans was a seven-year stretch from 1959 to 1965.