By Josh Brown
For the third time in four years the Northeastern Huskies will play in the Beanpot Championship game. The Huskies defeated Harvard 6-0 in the Semifinals Monday night at the TD Garden. The win was Northeastern’s largest margin of victory in a Beanpot game since beating Boston College 6-1 in 2009. Six different Huskies scored in the winning effort. The Huskies will face Boston College in the championship game, who defeated Boston University 3-1 in the 8:00 game.
Northeastern got on the board quickly, only 5:57 into the game, on a Dalen Hedges unassisted goal. 6 minutes and 11 seconds later Kevin Roy got in on the action, scoring his 6th career Beanpot goal assisted by John Stevens and Hedges.
It was a penalty ridden first period for the teams who combined for 9 penalties for 31 minutes, including a Josh Manson game misconduct for contact to the head. In what was a change of pace for the usually out-shot Huskies, Northeastern was able to get 15 shots on Raphael Girard as opposed to the 8 Harvard got on Clay Witt.
31 seconds into the third period, Northeastern extended their lead to 3-0 on a Torin Snydeman goal assisted by Mike Szmatula. 3:51 later Szmatula got another helper, this time feeding the puck to Braden Pimm. Colton Saucerman also got an assist on the goal.
The second period featured much of the same penalty wise with the team’s combining for 18 penalty minutes in the frame, with the Huskies raking up 4 penalties in that span.
In what seemed to be a theme on the night, Northeastern scored early in the third on a Colton Saucerman goal, assisted by John Stevens and Kevin Roy to give the Huskies a 5-0 edge. With time running out, and Northeastern’s win all but sealed Mike Szmatula picked up his third point on the night with his 8th goal of the season, to send the Huskies faithful home with Beanpot fever once again.
Clay Witt ended the night with 27 saves, in what was Northeastern’s first Beanpot shutout since 2011 vs Harvard. 76 total minutes were amassed between the two teams in the contest.
Coach Madigan sees a different Northeastern team as opposed to the Huskies who lost 6-3 to Boston College last year.
“This is a different team than last year…there’s an infusion of young, energized men out there,” Madigan stated.
Madigan’s freshman class chipped in with 2 goals and 6 assists, on what was yet another impressive effort by the Beanpot newcomers.
Szmatula was in awe to be playing in the tournament he has watched all throughout childhood.
“Growing up, I always watched it on TV…tonight we just wanted to give ourselves an opportunity to play in the finals,” Szmatula said.
When it comes to the Beanpot championship game Madigan emphasized the importance of goaltending, special teams and playing disciplined hockey. The Huskies will face Umass-Amherst Friday night at Matthews Arena before taking on the Eagles for the trophy.