Alex Tuch, Teddy Doherty, and Thatcher Demko all stumbled into the pressroom fresh from their euphoric locker room celebration after winning the Beanpot Championship. Tuch was the first one to enter the room, looking like a deer in the headlights, it seemed as though the fact that he scored the overtime winner in the Eagles’ 1-0 victory—over BU nonetheless—to bring the Beanpot back to Chestnut Hill still hadn’t hit him yet.
Demko and Doherty followed suit, but a minor problem: the stage that was a chair short and it threw everyone into a frenzy. While media relations frantically scrambled to find an extra chair, the three boys didn’t skip a beat; they cozied up, created a bench out of the two they had and threw their arms around each other laughing and smiling as they told everyone “we’re good.”
That scene is the epitome of BC Hockey. It makes lemons out of lemonade, finds its way over speed bumps, and creates good friendships along the way. There was no shortage of true character for this BC team in Monday night’s championship game, it proved that hard work, team chemistry, and maybe a little skill will lead to victory.
“That was not easy at all, they gave us everything they had,” said Captain Doherty. “It could have been won by anyone,” added Tuch.
The teams battled hard through 60 minutes of scoreless play, but a small hiccup with 8:53 left to play in the first period had the potential to be disastrous for the Eagles. They built up play in the BU zone and garnered offensive dominance, leading BU on the shot count 14-5, the momentum was in their favor. As an an offensive attack was developing for the Eagles, a light in the arena went out, and then some more went dark, and this trend continued until all the lights on the ice were off.
Playing an absolute dominant first period, the lighting failure and impending break could have slowed the Eagles’ momentum and changed the game. The 28-minute delay, however, just granted them more opportunity to fire each other up.
“I think our four captains really brought us in the locker room together and said 'be calm, make it simple, get pucks in the net,' like coach has been saying all day,” said Tuch. Those words resonated, and they followed the team through a frustrating and relentless three periods.
The Eagles continued to dominate post-power outage. They ended the first period outshooting the Terriers 23-12. The 60 minutes of regulation seemed to be a blur of big hits, big plays, big saves, and the type of energy that you’d expect from a BC vs. BU championship match---on and off the ice.
It took 61 minutes and 57 seconds for either team to get on the board, and because of that, the first goal of the game would be the game winner in the historic 1-0 victory. Both teams had their chances, but in the end it was Tuch who rose to the occasion to win BC their 20th Beanpot title.
He carried the puck across the blue line into the Terrier zone; skating across the ice he took the no look shot through traffic and just beyond the stick of Sean Maguire. “I saw (Zach) Sanford was driving the net on the left side and I just tried to put it low and on net,” said Tuch.
He credited his game-winner to luck, but the sophomore is no stranger to big plays and scoring game-changing goals throughout the season. Tuch came into the Beanpot riding a five game point streak; with last night’s game-winner he now has three goals and four assists in his last six games.
Tuch wasn’t the only one who held a key role in the Championship win; Thatcher Demko’s 30-save night was crucial in the victory.
But, there were some scary moments throughout the game where the Eagles composure would be tested. About seven minutes into the second period, Demko made a glove save and was immediately side swiped by Jordan Greenway skating across the crease. With Demko on the ground, Casey Fitzgerald sprung into action to stick up for his teammate.
Pouncing on Greenway, Fitzgerald wanted to make his message clear: don’t mess with his Demko. He was awarded a roughing penalty—well worth his point—and Greenway was awarded a double minor for goaltender interference and hitting after the whistle, as well as a ten-minute misconduct.
Ten minutes into the third period was a defining moment for the Eagles. Ryan Fitzgerald was denied on the breakaway by Maguire and BU got a fast break up the boards. Greenway had the breakaway on Demko, but following his save the two collided, sliding into the net.
As Demko was down on the ice, it was Miles Wood who got to Greenway this time. This time, however, all eyes were on Demko, who was not getting up. Ian Milosz was warming up by the bench, ready to replace the banged-up star.
Leaving the game, however, was something that never even crossed Demko’s mind. As the trainer tried to help Demko off the ice, it looked like his night was over; but he had different plans. He was going to help his team win a Beanpot. “You know, I kind of told him to get out of my face,” said Thatcher. “He asked me if I could finish the game and I kind of just looked at him like he was crazy.”
As he limped out of the pressroom following the game, it was easy to tell the collisions took a toll on him, but in Demko’s mind it was well worth it. “Last year, obviously, we weren’t satisfied with the outcome, it wasn’t something we weren’t proud of,” said Demko. “It’s not something you take lightly here, Beanpots are a big deal and were really happy we can send our seniors out with one more.
The Eagles made history, winning the first 1-0 game and the fourth-ever shutout—first since 1981—in the tournament’s 64-year history. With that shutout, Demko also made some history of his own, setting the single season record for shutouts with at nine games. Jerry York also made history with his ninth Beanpot win, breaking the previous record of eight set by John "Snooks" Kelley.
With the Beanpot win, the Eagles extend their unbeaten streak to nine games and have yet to lose to BU in the 2015-16 season.
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