Kimberly Black / Gavel Media

Huskies Hold Off Eagles in Beanpot Semi-Finals

After taking 2021 off due to the pandemic, the Beanpot returned to Boston for its 69th iteration on Monday night at TD Garden. After Boston University beat Harvard earlier in the evening, the Boston College men’s hockey was defeated by Northeastern 3-1 after a game-clinching goal in the final minute.

The Eagles last hoisted the pot in 2016, while the Huskies advance to the final as the defending champions, having won the last three tournaments.

Northeastern controlled the momentum in the opening minutes, logging the first four shots on goal, and finally breaking through with a ninth minute goal from left winger Gannarwolfe Fontaine, with assists from Jack Hughes and Matt DeMelis. His first shot in front of goal was deflected by Eagles’ tender Eric Dop, but Fontaine collected the puck and slotted it into a gaping goal.

Boston College almost equalized immediately on the other end, but Colby Ambrosio’s shot was saved by Huskies’ tender T.J. Semptimphelter’s left leg at full extension.

An 18th minute hooking penalty by Northeastern’s Sam Colangelo gave Boston College a power play. Trevor Kuntar made a strong effort at point-blank range, and he thought that the puck crossed the line, but no goal was granted after his appeal to the officials. Northeastern survived the power play and the first period ended with the Huskies on top.

The second period was more of the same for both sides. As in the first, the Eagles put more shots on target than the Huskies, but conceded the only goal of the period to the Huskies, a power play score by right winger Sam Colangelo on the near-side of the left faceoff circle, with an assist from Gannarwolfe Fontaine. The power play came on an Aidan Hreschuk goaltender interference penalty, when Hreschuk skated into Semptimphelter after his close range shot on the break was saved.

The officials also kept their whistles stowed in the first two periods, only calling two total penalties—perhaps one of the reasons for the relatively low scoreline through the first two periods.

The Eagles finally managed to get on the board in the sixth minute of the final period with a goal by forward Patrick Giles. He guided the puck past a pair of defenders, sent it left over to Nikita Nesterenko, who sent it back to Giles, where he finished the play with a flick past the tender and into the bottom right corner.

BC continued to apply pressure with a couple of close attempts in the following minute. But momentum briefly swung back to Northeastern in the ninth minute after a Patrick Giles hooking penalty. Boston College held strong on the power play, thanks to a number of deft saves by Eric Dop.

Northeastern gave BC a chance to respond after an eighth minute holding penalty on Riley Hughes, but the Eagles once again failed to score on the power play.

With time quickly running out to score an equalizer, Boston College nearly broke through in the 18th minute when a pair of shots by Marshall Warren and Colby Ambrosio were deflected and then caught by the tender.

In the final minute, with Dop off the ice and the Eagles on the attack, Nikita Nesterenko was sent to the box for cross-checking. Huskies’ center Justin Hryckowian quickly scored the game winner on a power play after gathering a deflected shot by Jordan Harris.

Finishing was Boston College’s biggest challenge of the night, scoring only one of their 42 shots compared to Northeastern’s 29.

Both tenders played strong games, but NU’s Hryckowian was the star, logging a team-high 5 shots on target, including the game-clincher.

Boston College will face Harvard for the consolation game, followed by the final between Northeastern and Boston University, back at TD Garden next Monday, February 14.

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