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Live Beanpot updates: Northeastern dynasty is alive and well! Huskies upset BU, 4-3, to win fifth title in six years

Northeastern Global News provided live updates and analysis before, during and after Monday night’s 71st Beanpot final between the Huskies and Terriers.

Gunnarwolfe Fontaine celebrates Northeastern's victory over Boston University on the ice at TD Garden.
Northeastern’s Gunnarwolfe Fontaine celebrates his overtime goal in the Beanpot final at TD Garden. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

Kansas City defeated San Francisco to defend its Super Bowl title on Sunday. It was the Chiefs’ third championship in five years.

Are they a dynasty? That’s open to debate.

What’s not debatable is Northeastern University’s Beanpot dynasty.

It’s alive and well!

Five titles in six years.

And Husky fans have Gunnarwolfe Fontaine to thank for that.

And Cameron Whitehead. And Justin Hryckowian. And Jack Williams. And Matt DeMelis. 

And the list goes on…

Fontaine scored his second overtime goal of the tournament — this one with 28 seconds left — to give the Huskies an improbable 4-3 victory over Boston University before a sold-out and raucous crowd Monday night at TD Garden.

Hryckowian assisted on the winner by Fontaine, whose OT goal 38 seconds into OT beat Harvard in the semifinals. Hryckowian, the Huskies’ captain, also set up that goal.

“I’m glad that we just won as a team out there and glad to be a two-time Beanpot champion,” said Fontaine, the 10th Husky to earn MVP honors in the tournament’s 71-year history. “This will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Fontaine added two assists in the championship game, which clinched back-to-back Beanpot sweeps for the Northeastern men’s and women’s hockey teams. The women defeated Boston University, 2-1, at TD Garden last month.

If Monday’s OT goal looked familiar, it should. The execution — a textbook give-and-go — and result were nearly identical to the clincher vs. Harvard.

Fontaine dropped the puck to Hryckowian, who muscled past his defender before backhanding a return pass back to a wide-open Fontaine waiting at the left post.

Like the Crimson goalie a week ago, Boston University’s Mathieu Caron didn’t have a chance.

The Huskies’ bench emptied, fans cheered and wept, the pep band played “Stacy’s Mom,” and Northeastern School of Law graduate and Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey handed over the Beanpot trophy.

On paper, Fontaine was the hero of this tournament, but he was quick to credit his teammates, especially Hryckowian.

“It’s easy when everyone is playing great around you, playing the right way,” Fontaine said. “Obviously there were those two great plays out of Justin in two back-to-back overtimes so I owe a lot to him.”

Northeastern coach Jerry Keefe said Fontaine has a knack for scoring big goals in the biggest games.

And there’s no bigger stage in college hockey than the annual audience of 17,500 in Boston on the second Monday in February.

“I feel like he seems to really get going the last couple of years at this time of year,” Keefe said of Fontaine. “He’s been playing his best hockey. And, you know, the coaches see it every day.”

The Huskies (13-12-1) won their ninth Beanpot overall.

And they did it against one of the nation’s best teams.

Boston University entered the game with an 18-7-1 record and ranked third in the country.

Northeastern, meanwhile, was ranked 20th.

But that didn’t matter to Keefe’s upset-minded team. They’re a resilient bunch.

“We were confident in our ability to play any team, any game. And we know if we play our style we can win any game,” Fontaine said.

Good goaltending certainly helps too.

Northeastern was outshot, 36-17, but Whitehead played like a seasoned veteran, not a freshman. A worthy replacement for Devon Levi, now with the Buffalo Sabres, Whitehead stopped 54 of 59 shots in the two wins.

Like Levi a year ago, Whitehead won the Eberly Award as the tournament’s best goalie.

“He just keeps getting better every single week,” Keefe said. “His preparation is outstanding.”

Keefe said Whitehead was dialed in from the start. And he needed to be. BU held a 23-8 advantage in shots through two periods.

“He’s got a lot of confidence in himself and obviously our group has a lot of confidence in him,” Keefe said. “But to do it on the big stage as a freshman, that’s huge.”

BU entered Monday’s final in search of its 31st Beanpot title. 

The Terriers are still searching.

The victory is Northeastern’s sixth in a row dating back to mid-January and second straight over BU. The Huskies also defeated the Terriers in overtime, 4-3, on Jan. 30 at Matthews Arena.

Others might, but Keefe never considers the Huskies underdogs, especially in the Beanpot.

“We expect to win,” he said. “I think our program is in a spot now that when we go out and we feel like we play our game, we should win.”

After all, this is not the same Northeastern team that lost seven straight games before Thanksgiving. Injuries had a lot to do with that. Still, the Huskies heard the whispers from the naysayers.

“We kept receipts at the beginning of the year. We heard all of the noise and stuck together through it,” Hryckowian said. “We’re a resilient group now and we’re kinda gelling at the right time.”

Northeastern has seven games left in the regular season before the Hockey East Tournament, beginning with a home-and-home series vs. UMass-Lowell this weekend.

Momentum is everything in hockey, Keefe said.

“This is kind of a stepping-stone victory,” he said. “This is something we can build on.”

Williams’ power-play goal, his 15th of the season, pulled the Huskies even, 3-3, with 10:09 left in the game. Williams one-timed a pass from Vinny Borgesi past Caron. Fontaine earned the second assist.

Hryckowian and DeMelis also scored for Northeastern, while Lane Hutson, Devin Kaplan and Macklin Celebrini had the BU goals.

Hutson’s goal made it 3-2 Terriers with 7.2 seconds left in the second period.

After Kaplan’s fifth goal of the season put BU ahead, 2-1, at 9:11, Hryckowian answered just 29 seconds later for Northeastern.

Hryckowian’s eighth goal of the season was assisted by Alex Campbell, but this one was all Hryckowian.

Streaking down the right side of the ice, the junior captain took a shot that went wide of Caron. But the puck bounced off the end boards and directly back to Hryckowian, who backhanded the rebound into the net.

DeMelis scored his second goal of the season at 5:52 of the second. It was assisted by Fontaine and Cam Lund, who helped finish a 3-on-2 break.

Celebrini’s 23rd goal of the season at 14:41 of the first period gave BU a 1-0 lead.

Northeastern, BU heading to overtime

The 71st Beanpot final is heading to overtime.

Defending champion Northeastern and Boston University are tied, 3-3, after regulation at TD Garden.

It’s now three skaters aside, then a shootout if the game is still tied.

Jack Williams’ power-play goal, his fourth of the season, pulled the Huskies even with 10:09 left and goalie Cameron Whitehead kept it that way.

The freshman made several key stops down the stretch, finishing with 27 stops through three periods.

Williams pulls Huskies even. Northeastern, BU tied, 3-3, with 10:09 left

Finally a Boston University penalty.

And a Northeastern power-play goal.

And the 71st Beanpot championship is tied, 3-3, with 10:09 left.

Here we go.

Jack Williams’ one-timer off a perfect right-to-left feed from Vinny Borgesi pulled the Huskies even.

Gunnarwolfe Fontaine earned the second assist.

It didn’t take Northeastern long to capitalize on a Gavin McCarthy holding penalty at 8:36.

Northeastern still searching for its first power play

When’s the last time the Northeastern men’s hockey team didn’t have power play in a game?

Well, the Huskies are still searching for their first PP with 12 minutes left in their Beanpot final against Boston University at TD Garden.

Northeastern, meanwhile, has killed all three Terrier power plays, including one to begin the third period when Hunter McDonald was whistled for a leg check.

BU leads defending champion Northeastern, 3-2, entering third period

The Northeastern men’s hockey team is one period away from winning its fifth Beanpot title in six years.

The Huskies just need a little more offense.

Northeastern trails Boston University, 3-2, after two periods in the tournament’s 71st final at TD Garden.

Justin Hryckowian and Matt DeMelis have the Northeastern goals, while Lane Hutson, Devin Kaplan and Macklin Celebrini have scored for BU.

Hutson’s goal came with 7.2 seconds left in the second period after Hryckowian had pulled the Huskies even.

Cameron Whitehead has made 20 saves for Northeastern, while Matthieu has stopped six of the Huskies’ eight shots.

Illustration by Northeastern Global News


Kaplan scores for BU, Hryckowian answers for Northeastern

The game has opened up at both ends of the ice.

After Devin Kaplan’s fifth goal of the season gave BU a 2-1 lead at 9:11, Justin Hryckowian answered just 29 seconds later for Northeastern.

Hryckowian’s eighth goal of the season was assisted by Alex Campbell, but this one was all Hryckowian.

Streaking down the right side of the ice, the junior captain took a shot that went wide of BU goalie Mathieu Caron, but the puck bounced off the end boards and directly back to Hryckowian, who backhanded the rebound into the net.

DeMelis goal pulls Northeastern even at 5:52 of second period

Matt DeMelis’ second goal of the season at 5:52 of the second period has tied the 71st Beanpot for the Northeastern Huskies.

DeMelis’ goal was assisted by Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and Cam Lund, who finished off a 3-on-2 break.

BU leads Northeastern, 1-0, after first period

Macklin Celebrini’s 23rd goal of the season at 14:41 of the first period gave Boston University a 1-0 lead over defending champion Northeastern in the final of the 71st Beanpot.

The goal was assisted by Jack Harvey, who pounced on a turnover by a Huskies defenseman. It was a rare mistake by Northeastern, which has limited the Terriers’ chances so far.

Freshman Cameron Whitehead has made 10 saves for Huskies, while junior Mathieu Caron has stopped all three of Northeastern’s shots.

Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and Pito Walton had the Huskies’ best scoring chances late in the period.

Northeastern, BU scoreless midway through first period

The 71st Beanpot is scoreless midway through the first period here at TD Garden.

Northeastern has taken two shots and Boston University seven.

The Huskies’ best scoring chance so far is a near-breakaway feed from defenseman Jackson Dorrington to left wing Alex Campbell.

Dorrington’s chip pass from between the Northeastern faceoff circles just hopped over Campbell’s stick at the Terriers’ blue line before being swatted aside by BU goalie Mathieu Caron.

The Terriers’ best opportunities so far include a Cade Webber backhander from just outside the crease that was gloved by Cameron Whitehead, and a failed Nick Zabaneh redirect of a Dylan Peterson shot.

Starting lineups for Huskies, Terriers

We are about five minutes away from puck drop here at soldout TD Garden.

The 71st Beanpot final between defending champion Northeastern and Boston University is shaping up to be another classic.

The Huskies, one of the hottest teams in college hockey, are wearing their red jerseys; the Terriers, the No. 3 team in the nation, are dressed in their whites.

Junior captain Justin Hryckowian is centering Northeastern’s top line between his younger brother, freshman Dylan Hryckowian, on the right side and senior Alex Campbell on the left. Sophomores Hunter McDonald and Vinny Borgesi are on the blue line.

Former Husky Jack Hughes will start on left wing for Boston University alongside freshmen Macklin Celebrini and Jack Harvey. It’s Lane Hutson and Case McCarthey on defense.

Are the Huskies a Beanpot dynasty? You bet!

Kansas City defeated San Francisco to defend its Super Bowl title on Sunday. It was the Chiefs third championship in five years.

But are they a dynasty?

That’s open to debate.

What’s not debatable is Northeastern University’s Beanpot dynasty. After all, the Huskies have won four of the last five Beanpot championships.

Coach Jerry Keefe’s team is looking to make it five titles in six years when it takes on Boston University in the 71st Beanpot final at 7:30 tonight at TD Garden.

Northeastern Global News is providing live updates and analysis before, during and after the game.

The No. 20 Huskies (12-12-1) advanced to the championship game with a 3-2 overtime win over Harvard, while the No. 2 Terriers (18-7-1) advanced with a 4-3 win over Boston College.

Boston University has won a record 30 Beanpot titles to Northeastern’s eight, but recent history is on the Huskies’ side, winning four of the last five tournament meetings.

Northeastern defeated BU, 3-1, in last year’s semifinals before defending its title with a shootout victory over the Crimson. The only blemish on the Huskies’ recent Beanpot resume is a 1-0 championship loss to the Terriers in 2022.

Northeastern and BU last met on Jan. 30 with Northeastern prevailing, 4-3, in overtime at Matthews Arena. Dylan Hryckowian scored the game-winner, while Matthew Staudacher, Jack Williams and Jackson Dorrington had the other goals.

Boston University defeated Northeastern, also 4-3 in OT, on its home ice on Jan. 9.

“We know if we play a certain way we can have success against them,” Huskies coach Jerry Keefe told NGN. “From a confidence standpoint we should feel good about that.”

Hughes on other side of Northeastern-BU rivalry

Jack Hughes’ college hockey career has been a Beanpot rollercoaster.

In 2022, he was a freshman on the Northeastern team that lost to BU, 1-0, in the final.

As a sophomore, he helped the Huskies defeat BU, 3-1, in the semifinals before hoisting the Beanpot trophy after a shootout win over Harvard.

Tonight, Hughes will take the ice again — this time for Boston University.

The 6-foot junior is slated to start the game on left wing alongside freshmen Macklin Celebrini and Jack Harvey.

David Nordman is executive editor of Northeastern Global News. Meghan Donovan and Mark Conti contributed to this story.