In the Beanpot, the difference between 6:15 and 9 p.m. is much more than two hours and 45 minutes. After the early arrivals at Boston Garden Monday night suffered through a sleep-inducing B.U. Harvard contest, the late-night fans saw Boston College squeak past Northeastern, 3-2 in overtime, in a vintage Beanpot heart-stopper.
With the Garden filled close to capacity, the Eagles and Huskies played a fast-skating, hard-hitting shootout, and goalies Bob O'Conner of B.C. and Mark Davidner of Northeastern responded with dozens of spectacular saves. Eagle winger Chris Delaney put an end to the excitement 55 seconds into overtime, lifting the puck over a supine Davidner after the Husky netminder had made two tough saves.
The Eagles' biggest heroies came from O'Connor, who is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the top goalies in Beanpot history. With his exciting flop-to-the-ice style, he repeatedly stopped Husky slapshots, deflections, and one breakaway in the last second of the first period, while B.C. was building a 2-0 lead.
The first tally came 11:41 into the match, when Ed Rauseo flipped the disk from 15 feet out past a sleeping Davidner. The Huskies came back with renewed pressure, but the opportunistic Eagles created a three-on-one break. Jeff Cowles took it all the way and best Davidner from the faceoff circle at 13:55.
Northeastern finally broke through at 6:54 of the second period when scott Mc Kenney poked in a rebound of Glen Giovanucel's shot on a two-on-one. O'Connor stopped the 16 other Northeastern shots in the period to keep B.C. shead.
Midway through the third stanza McKenney ned the game, converting a rebound off of O'Connor fourth save in 30 seconds.
The last 10 minutes of regulation were a blur of end-to-end action, as O'Connor and Davidner each thwarted numerous would-be game-winners. The Huskies though they were on their way to the championship round when, with 2:32 left, two Huskies, one Eagle defenseman and the puck all barrelled into O'Connor at once Northeastern's Giovanucci claimed O'Connor's glove had nabbed his shot six inches past the goal line. But the red light never went on, and the contest hurtled forward until Delancy stopped the show minutes later.
O'Connor and the Eagles cancount on some more exciting late-night hockey next week, when they face B.U. in the final. For B.C., it is a familiar situation: the Eagles have been in the past three finals. And they have lost each time, despite O'Connor's outstanding performance against harvard last year. O'Connor's second-to-last chance for a Beanpot comes next Monday at 9 p.m.
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