You know you've seen a special sporting event when hollow, worn cliches begin to ring true.
For any one of the 14,456 present at last night's 28th Beanpot final, cliches like "A season in itself," "It's never over," and "Anything can happen" acquired meaning.
When the ice chips cleared at 2:47 of overtime, Northeastern had captured its first Beanpot ever, a stunning 5-4 triumph over the heavily-favored Eagles of B.C.
The Huskies (or "UnderDogs") won when star senior center Wayne Turner deftly notched the tiebreaker after picking up a shovel pass from linemate Dale Ferdinandi.
Turner lifted the puck over B.C. freshman goaltender Bob O'Connor, sending the Garden--particularly the noisy N.U. contingent--into a frenzy. The cheering did not abate long after Turner and Co. had circled the rink in a gleeful victory celebration, and captain Dave Archimbault had captured the tourney MVP.
As the cliche goes, the Huskies made their own breaks. But the outcome stood in jeopardy throughout the game.
Northeastern had knotted the contest with only 3:36 left in regulation. Stationed in the slot, Paul McDougall beat O'Connor for his second marker of the evening on a power play, moments after the B.C. netminder had successfully frustrated several N.U. threats.
The Huskies began tentatively, feeling the pressure of their first final since 1967. B.C.'s Bill Army sandwiched a pair of first period goals past the tourney's top goalie, freshman George Demetroulakas, around a spectacular individual effort by Huskie Gerry Cowie.
After the Eagles Paul Hammer scored at 14:20, Northeastern trailed, 3-1, at the end of one.
The Huskies came out strong as the second stanza opened, and promptly evened the contest at three. Larry Parks narrowed the gap to 3-2 after only 48 seconds, and McDougall echoed Cowie's superb individual effort with a goal he slid into the net while flat on his stomach.
Nothing the frustrated Eagles--whose normally harmonious attack had suddenly turned discordant--tried could expropriate the second period from the hungry Dogs. The shots would up 11-3 in favor of the Huskies.
The second period set the stage for the dramatic third, not to mention a host of cliches. At 6:27, B.C.'s Bob Hehir sent the Eagles into a precarious lead, flipping in the rebound of a Jeff Cowles slapshot.
Even after McDougall added the equalizer, the game refused to go gently into that good night. End-to-end action ensued right up to the Turner gamewinner. Then, a good old Beanpot deluge.
And a final cliche: "There's a first time for everything."