Beanpot Recap and  Finals Prediction

Beanpot Recap and Finals Prediction

The greatest college hockey tournament ever pits four Boston schools, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern against each other on the first and second Monday in February every year at the TD Garden. The first two semi-finals were last week and the finals go down tonight. Last Monday did NOT disappoint.

Northeastern 3- Harvard 1. Norheastern entered this years tournament as two-time defending champions. This is unprecedented territory for the Huskies who won just their first championship in 30 years back in 2018. They’ve lost a lot over the past couple years including Hockey East’s best goalie, Canadians prospect Cayden Primeau. But they’ve found a more than adequate replacement in grad-transfer Craig Pantano. The former Merrimack Warrior has been everything the Huskies have needed him to be and last Monday’s win was a complete microcosm of that. Pantano was the best player on the ice for either team especially in the third when Harvard had countless chances particularly with the man-advantage. But the netminder was unable to be solved as Huskies were able to hold onto the 2-1 lead that they entered the period with.

Boston University 5- Boston College 4 OT. The second half of the semi-final double header was an all-time game. BC entered it ranked 4th in the nation and looked like they would cost into the finals against their unranked rivals jumping out to a 3-1 lead midway through the game. With the highest regarded US born goalie prospect maybe ever in between the pipes, the prospect of BU winning seemed slim to none. But the second half of the game was all Terriers. BU even took a lead late in the third thanks to an absolutely sick feed from future Anaheim Duck Trevor Zegras. With a 4-3 lead and Knight out of the net for the extra attacker, BU took a penalty. BC converted the power-play to force OT. The last ten minutes had incredible momentum shifts. Overtime was more of that before Wilmer Skoog cemented his incredible name into Beanpot lore with the game winner.

Finals Prediction: BU 4-3. I like the Terriers. I think they’re playing with house money which makes them dangerous. The expectations are relatively low this year in large part because of their issues in the net. They currently sit outside of the top 20 rankings and will need to do some work in order to make it to the NCAAs. But, like most BU teams, they have a ton of skill and this year’s team is certainly capable of going on a late run to put them in the postseason. They are also capable of losing to Merrimack on home ice which they did last Friday. I’m also going with BU because I’m just not sold on Northeastern. Since losing their big line feature Hobey Baker winner and current Canuck, Adam Gaudette after the 2018 season, this team is lacking something. They’re obviously a talented team, like the Terriers but I haven’t seen them play many games this year where they assert themselves as the high-ranking team they are. Pantano is good enough to win them this game, but I wouldn’t count on it.

MVP: Patrick Harper, BU

Photo credit: couchguysports

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