Northeastern is the first team to advance to the Beanpot Championship game as they await the winner of BU vs BC

By Chloe Wojtanik

Boston University News Service

The Northeastern Huskies’ ticket to the Beanpot championship game is signed, sealed and delivered as they beat the Harvard Crimson in the first game of the Beanpot semifinal round 3-2 in overtime at TD Garden. 

Close to the halfway point of the first period, Northeastern opened up the scoring of not only this game, but also the 71st annual Beanpot tournament. Huskies captain Justin Hryckowian lightly passed the puck over to senior forward Alex Campbell in Northeastern’s zone, and Campbell skated the puck up alone to the Crimson’s zone. Campbell was able to get his shot off while falling down, and he blasted the puck past Harvard’s goalie Derek Mullahy down low for the game’s first goal. 

After a large stint of sustained offensive pressure from Harvard, the Crimson evened the score at 1-1 just nearly three minutes into the second period. Harvard freshman Ben MacDonald’s laser of a shot from above the faceoff circles buzzed right past Northeastern goalie Cameron Whitehead for a tie game. Northeastern used its coaching challenge to challenge Harvard’s goal for goalie interference, but it was eventually ruled a good goal, keeping the score tied and causing Northeastern to forfeit its timeout. 

After he was taken down by Northeastern defenseman Vinny Borgesi while charging the net for an offensive chance, Harvard’s Ryan Healey was awarded a penalty shot. With the chance to give Harvard the lead on his stick, Healey was immediately stopped by Northeastern’s Whitehead, keeping the score knotted at one goal each. 

Harvard, who was outshot 15-7 in the first period, bounced back offensively in the second period as they outshot Northeastern 10-7. Both teams’ goalies looked strong in the crease, with the Huskies’ Whitehead allowing only one goal on 17 faced shots and the Crimson’s Mullahy also allowing only one goal on 22 faced shots. 

The 1-1 tie wouldn’t hold for long in the third period as Harvard freshman Matthew Morden shot the puck point blank past Whitehead from the blue line to give the Crimson a 2-1 lead with nearly 15 minutes left to play in the game. Morden’s game-leading goal in Boston hockey’s biggest tournament of the year is his first goal in his collegiate hockey career. 

Northeastern quickly spoiled Harvard’s celebration when Huskies tied up the game 2-2 just six minutes after the Crimson took their first lead of the night. The game tying goal came off of Hryckowian’s stick as he shot the puck on his backhand into an empty net that saw Mullahy far out of position. This was Hryckowian’s second point of the game (1 goal, 1 assist) and his goal sent the semifinal game to overtime at the Garden.

Just 33 seconds into the overtime period, Northeastern’s Gunnarwolf Fontaine punched the Huskies’ ticket to the Beanpot championship game with the golden goal. Fontaine caught a quick cross ice pass from Hryckowin, and he was able to beat Mullahy to put the puck in the back of the net for the win. 

Northeastern will face the winner of the later semifinal game, Boston University versus Boston College, next Monday in the championship game at TD Garden. Harvard will play the loser of the BU and BC game next Monday as well in the consolation game for third place. 

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