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Northeastern beats Harvard 3-2 in the Beanpot’s first shootout

Northeastern senior left wing Aidan McDonough of Milton scored the lone shootout goal to give the Huskies a 3-2 victory over the No. 10-ranked Crimson (17-7-1).

Liam Izyk (26) of Boston College slides in-between Case McCarthy (2), Lane Hutson (20) and Drew Commesso (29) of Boston University during the second period of the consolation round of the Beanpot game at the TD Garden on Jan, 13, 2023 in Boston.
Matt Stone / TNS

(TNS) — Harvard and Northeastern clashed in the title game for the first time in the 70-year history of the Beanpot and the tournament’s perennial also-rans staged a classic.

The game remained tied 2-2 after a thrilling exhibition of three-on-three overtime action in which both goalies, Harvard’s Mitchell Gibson (27 saves) and NU’s Devon Levi (32 saves), making exceptional game-saving stops. Levi was awarded the Eberly and MVP Awards in the post-game ceremony. Levi missed last year’s Beanpot representing his native Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“Everyone says how big the Beanpot is but I didn’t realize it until I was here,” said Levi. “Standing in my blue crease and seeing all the fans go crazy in a packed NHL rink, it is a really cool feeling and not something you do everyday. Being here with the Beanpot in our hands is crazy.”

The Beanpot winner was to be decided in a shootout for the first time. Northeastern senior left wing Aidan McDonough of Milton scored the lone shootout goal to give the Huskies a 3-2 victory over the No. 10-ranked Crimson (17-7-1). The 20th-ranked Huskies (15-10-4) captured their eighth Beanpot title and fourth in the last five tournaments.

“That was designed,” said McDonough. “I usually have one or two things that I try to do in a shootout given the magnitude of the game and the nerves. I just try and keep it simple and see what the goalie is giving me.”


Levi deftly dealt with the volume of Harvard’s shots on goal in the first period. Gibson held up admirably under the Huskies’ quality offerings as both maintained a scoreless game after 20 minutes. The Crimson exited the first period with a decisive 12-7 advantage in shots on goal.

The Huskies got on the board at 1:27 of the second during an extended stay in the Harvard end. Freshman defenseman Jackson Dorrington delivered a pass to Sam Colangelo outside the right circle. Gibson handled Colangelo’s shot, but junior right wing Gunnarwolfe Fontaine poked in the rebound for his eighth of the season.

Harvard tied the game on the power play at 2:59 of the second period on another splendid connection between playmaker Sean Farrell and sniper Matthew Coronato.

Farrell got the puck from defenseman Ian Moore and slid it across the slot to Coronato at his sweet spot in the left circle. Coronato one-timed the feed past Levi for his 17th goal of the season. Farrell and Coronato collaborated on a similar pair of goals in Harvard’s Beanpot opener against Boston College.

Harvard went ahead 2-1 on Coronato’s second of the game at 8:55 of the second. Levi stopped defenseman Ryan Siedem’s shot from the left point, but Coronato got the rebound at a bad angle and flipped it inside the far post.

NU tied the game 2-2 at 4:57 of the third on Fontaine’s second of the match. Center Matt DeMelis got the puck in the corner and fed defensemen Jayden Struble, who pinched down through the left circle. Struble slid the puck across the slot to Fontaine who backhanded it by Gibson.

Boston College 4, Boston University 2

Rivalries matter, even when the game is for third place in a four-team tournament.

Boston College netted the final two goals of the third period and held on to beat longstanding rival and No. 5 ranked Boston University 4-2 in the consolation game of the 70th Beanpot tournament at TD Garden.


BC improved to 10-12-6 while BU dropped to 20-8-0 in the first consolation meeting between the schools in the tournament’s history. BU lost two games in a row for the first time this season, but its Beanpot losses to Northeastern and BC do not count in the Hockey East standings.

“A consolation game does not always carry as much weight as a championship game,” said BC first year coach Greg Brown. “But for us, whenever we play BU, it always matters and we really needed to get a win.

“I think these two teams could play anywhere at any time and there is going to be a rivalry there with a competitive edge.”

BU had more weighty issues on its agenda than just the Terriers’ long-standing rivalry with the Eagles, a blood feud that transcends the Beanpot. BU entered the game fighting for favorable seedings in the upcoming Hockey East and NCAA tournaments, so in the Terriers’ case every win going forward has March implications.

“Sometimes it feels like we want an easy game and that is what it felt like to me,” said BU first year coach Jay Pandolfo. “I know it was the consolation game, but it was against BC and that is a big deal.”

The Eagles had been on the business end of a weekend sweep by BU back in January, the first since 2017. That alone proved to be a motivating factor for BC, which jumped to a 2-1 lead in the first period.

Eagles’ junior left-wing Nikita Nesterenko opened the scoring with his seventh of the season at 1:52 of the period. BC went up 2-0 when freshman center Cutter Gauthier set up defenseman Eamon Powell on the power play at 11:45 for his fourth of the season.

BU got on the board at 12:53 when Domenick Fensore and Quinn Hutson collaborated on freshman center Ryan Greene’s seventh goal of the season. The teams skated a scoreless second half and BC exited the sheet with an 18-15 lead in shots on goal.


BU tied the game 2-2 when Jay O’Brien of Hingham flicked home a Jeremy Wilmer rebound for his fifth at 8:16 of the third. BC regained the lead when freshman left wing Andre Gasseau’s wobbler from the left circle that went over goalie Drew Commesso’s glove for his ninth of the season. BC junior left-wing Trevor Kuntar scored an empty netter with 4.7 seconds to play.

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