It was another one of those nights that Northeastern, its former players, and all of its fans have been seeking for the better part of three decades. The No. 14 Huskies beat Boston College 4-2 in the final of the 67th Beanpot at TD Garden on Monday night in a celebration of their first back-to-back triumphs since 1984-85 in Boston’s elite college hockey tournament.
With 5.3 seconds remaining, the upper deck of Northeastern students and fans made enough noise to fill the building as Zach Solow finished the night with an empty-net goal that enabled these Huskies to celebrate as no team has since those days when their coach, Jim Madigan, was winning successive Beanpots as a player.
When you’re trying to achieve something that hasn’t been done in 34 years, it isn’t supposed to happen easily.
Northeastern opened the scoring with 38.8 seconds left in the first period, when a shot by Jordan Harris was picked up behind the goal and wrapped around by Lincoln Griffin. BC goaltender Joseph Woll appeared to lose touch with the puck: His glove had saved it, but he was looking behind him to see if it was in the net. Before he realized the puck was still in play, Austin Plevy—a fourth-line forward with only two goals this season—knocked it loose puck for the opening goal. It was a heartbreaking result for the Eagles, who had withstood an early run of attacks by the Huskies.
The Eagles were controlling possession in the middle period—leading scorer David Cotton, was in the middle of everything—but they entered the third with a two-goal deficit thanks to a virtuoso move down the right side by Tyler Madden, the freshman whose overtime goal won the semifinal over Boston University last week.
This time, Madden beat two Eagles and then crashed the net in an extraordinary diversion that enabled Matt Thomson to find Patrick Schule for a slap shot past Woll.
Within a half-minute, the Huskies were threatening to put it out of reach when Woll succeeded in snuffing out a breakaway by Lincoln Griffin. Based on Cayden Primeau’s goaltending, however, Northeastern had to be confident with a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Huskies extended their lead to 3-0 early in the third period when Griffin roofed a backhanded shot over Woll.
But BC cut the lead to 3-1 two minutes later when Cotton lofted a backhanded shot over the right pad of Primeau.