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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Home Sports NHL Terriers edge Harvard to gain Beanpot final berth; win streak reaches...

Terriers edge Harvard to gain Beanpot final berth; win streak reaches five


# 20 Terriers used a pair of power play goals to build a 4-1 midway through the second and held off Harvard for a 4-3 win in the first round of the Beanpot at TD Garden. Junior Ethan Phillips’ goal at of the middle period proved the game-winner as BU advanced to the championship game for the 55th time in 69 tournaments. Juniors Jay O’Brien and Matt Brown had the power play goals, while Captain Logan Cockerilla super-charged force throughout the game, scored BU’s opening goal.

Vinny Duplessismaking his second start since Drew Commesso left to join Team USA at the Olympics, stopped 22 of 25 shots and stood tall when the Crimson pushed for the equalizer. Earlier in the day, the sophomore from Quebec City, was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Weekfollowing his shutout win against Maine.

With the win BU improved to 15-10-3 overall with an 11-1-1 mark since the end of November.

The Terriers sported a jersey from the past, one that featured mascot Rhett’s head on the front. It was first introduced at the 1973 Beanpot opener, an 8-3 win against Harvard.

Continuing the trend of the last dozen games, BU came out fast and physical with a hard forecheck that led to a 14-8 first period shot advantage. At 13:52, Cockerill took a pass in stride from Case McCarthy and raced into the offensive zone. He motored around a defender, cut across the crease and backhanded a shot in off the right post for his third career Beanpot tally.

The lead lasted less than a minute as a defensive zone turnover created an opportunity for the Crimson. A Harvard pass went off a BU stick to Captain Casey Dornbachwho flipped the puck past Duplessis.

Two minutes later BU regained the lead on a power play after Brown broke between two Harvard defenders and was held on the play. An exchange of passes between O’Brien and Domenick Fensore allowed O’Brien to close to the right circle. With Wilmer Skoog screening goalie Mitchel Gibsonthe Flyers’ draft pick rifled a shot home to the short side.

BU continue to hold the upper hand through half the second period and extended lead at 4:10 on another power play that mirrors the one in the opening period. Terriers lost the offensive zone draw but Robert Mastrosimone forced to turnover to keep the puck alive.

Fensore slid to the center point and got the puck to Brown who skated into the left circle — as Skoog dashed across the crease — and fired a shot that beat Gibson high to the stick side.

Following the tally, Brown, whose mother, Debbie, passed away on January 30, immediately pointed to the sky as he headed to the bench.

At the nine-minute mark, BU nearly added another when
Jamie Armstrong‘s shot from the high slot rang off iron. Moments later, O’Brien won a puck battle along the right boards and dropped the puck to Ty Gallagher
at the right point. The freshman defenseman quickly wristed a shot that Philips, at the bottom of the right circle, redirected past Gibson’s glove for a 4-1 lead.

However Harvard began to create more puck possession and scoring chances. A roughing penalty to Dylan Peterson put them on the power play and with less than two minutes left in the period Zakary Karpa converted a rebound from the doorstep to narrow the margin to 4-2.

Just 21 seconds later, Harvard cut the lead to one. A shot from the top of the right circle was blocked by Terrier skate into the slot. Duplessis saved the follow-up attempt but could not control the rebound and
Jack Donato popped it home.

Terriers clamped down on the Crimson in the final 20 minutes, limiting them to just seven shots and most from the outside. Harvard pulled Gibson with two minutes left and, despite some extended puck possession, was unable to produce a tying goal.

Commenting on his captain who had returned to BU as a graduate student for an opportunity to win a Beanpot title, among other things, Coach Albie O’Connell
said, “This guy here played one of his better games at BU –– he was dynamite tonight. He led by example and kind of led the way to victory. ”

He offered praise for Duplessis in his first TD Garden appearance. “That was big crowd and on a big stage. I thought he handled himself really well, ”O’Connell explained. “He was pretty poised at times going out to handle the puck and he gave us an opportunity to win the game. That’s all you can ask for. ”

“The third period I thought we kind of locked it down, not a lot happened for either side,” O’Connell said. “It was a really good third and I thought we closed out really well.”

BU held a 33-25 shots advantage and blocked 23 Harvard shots, with McCarthy having a game-high four. Despite BU having a first-period advantage at the face off dot, the Crimson won 38 of 68.

Ty Amonte left the game after a heavy hit in the opening period and did not return. Sam Stevens moved up to the third line, which extra forward Nick Zabaneh took his place on the fourth unit. Stevens controlled 15 of 23 face offs.

Following Friday’s visit to Providence, BU which won the silver trophy 30 times, the most recent in 2015, will face defending champion Northeastern in next Monday’s Beanpot final.

● GoTerriers.com recap
and comprehensive box score

Video highlights

Post-game comments O’Connell and Cockerill

Photo Gallery

● NESN BU Turns to “Gamer” Vinny Duplessis with Starter at Olympics

● NESN Days After Death Of Mother, BU’s Matt Brown ‘Difference-Maker’ In Beanpot

● Boston Hockey Blog recap

WTBU Sports recap


►Commesso and O’Brien were named semifinalists for the Walter Brown Awardgiven by the Gridiron Club of Boston to the top American-born player among New England-based Division I men’s programs.





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