No. 17 Men's Hockey Foiled By BC in Beanpot Semifinal
For the second year in a row, No. 17 Harvard (11-7-3, 8-5-2 ECAC) was served with disappointment at the Beanpot, this time at the hands of the Eagles (10-12-3, 9-4-3 Hockey East) in a tight 2-1 game. BC nabbed its first ticket to the championship game since winning it three years ago. In the process, the Eagles also beat a regular season non-conference losing streak dating all the way back to 2016.
“I thought the game was pretty much back and forth for the most part,” said Crimson head coach Ted Donato ’91. “For me, I was I think frustrated with the amount of time we spent in the box. It made it difficult for us to get any kind of flow in the game…. [BC goaltender] Woll made the saves that they needed late in the game.”
“Hindsight is 20-20 there,” said Crimson co-captain Michael Floodstrand, recalling the turnover that led to the goal. “[Jack Donato] tried to feed it to me. It was a tough pass to handle, but I’ve got to have those kind of things… A good team like [BC] capitalizes on those.”
At the other end of the ice, junior goaltender Joseph Woll was a steady presence for BC, but had not faced a significant threat yet from Harvard’s offense. The team's vaunted man-advantage squad, operating at an efficiency of 34.3 percent coming into the game, hadn’t been able to set up as effectively as usual. Even worse, having already conceded a goal, the Crimson found itself in the box three times in the middle frame.
The Eagles broke the stalemate halfway through the third period, again on an odd man rush. This time, rookie Oliver Wahlstrom dropped a pass for fellow freshman Jack McBain, who fired over Lackey’s glove for his sixth goal of the season. Wahlstrom, a former Crimson commit, collected his sixth assist of the year on the play.
“This year’s different,” said McPhee, looking ahead to the championship game. “Everyone in the locker room really trusts each other…. We know if we stick to our system we can get the job done.”
Harvard still had eight more minutes in regulation to bring the contest back to a tie. But penalties had hampered the team all game, and the crucial next few moments were no exception. Another trip to the box put the Crimson under pressure, and ultimately the squad was unable to regain momentum. The closing 6-on-4 was too little, too late.
“I told Joe Woll, ‘Make a lot of saves,’” joked Eagles coach Jerry York when asked about the team’s penalty-killing strategy. “Your goalie has to be your best PKer. We tried to key in on Fox... [since] he distributes the puck so well…. And we got lucky, we got some bounces too.”
The Eagles did succeed in limiting Harvard’s considerable offensive talent. Of the Crimson’s top five scorers, only one, sophomore defenseman Reilly Walsh, picked up a point on the night. The usual suspects, like junior blue-liner Adam Fox and rookie forwards Casey Dornbach and Jack Drury, were held to three shots each, though Fox did hit the pipe with one of those tries. Meanwhile, co-captains Floodstrand and Lewis Zerter-Gossage, who stole the show against Dartmouth on Friday, were held to two shots and one shot respectively. Harvard’s own defense corps blocked 17 BC attempts on the night, but could not entirely keep the Eagles to the perimeter — both BC goals came from the slot.
—Staff writer Stuti Telidevara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @StutiTelidevara.