Harvard celebrates its first Beanpot since 1993. (WEEI.com)

Harvard dominates BU, wins first Beanpot title in 24 years

Scott McLaughlin
February 13, 2017 - 5:09 pm
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Finally. For the first time in 24 years, someone other than Boston University or Boston College has won the Beanpot. Harvard beat BU 6-3 Monday night to capture its first Beanpot title since 1993 and end a drought that was older than all but one player on its current roster. It was supposed to be a heavyweight bout between two top-five teams, but instead the Crimson dominated all night, minus a brief hiccup early in the second period. The Crimson outshot BU 18-2 in the first period and went on to finish with a 46-17 advantage, as they continuously generated possession, pressure and chances, drawing five power plays, including two extended 5-on-3s, along the way. The one point in the game when the Terriers showed some life was early in the second period, when they turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals three minutes apart. But the Crimson weren't deterred. They went right back to work and found themselves in control once again by the second intermission. Harvard began to reset itself with some good shifts after BU's second goal, then tied the game with 9:14 left in the second on a beautiful through-the-legs tip by Luke Esposito on a slap pass from Clay Anderson. The Crimson once again assumed the driver's seat and regained the lead with 1:06 left in the frame after some sloppy play by BU. Following a bad Terrier turnover in the neutral zone, defenseman John Marino led a rush into the BU zone and dropped a pass for Nathan Krusko. That shot was blocked, but the puck went right to Marino, who then centered a pass that deflected to Krusko for the easy finish and his second goal of the game. BU's Dante Fabbro took a penalty on the same play Krusko scored, then Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy took a bad penalty late in the period when he stuck his foot out and tripped Alexander Kerfoot as Kerfoot cut inside him. The Crimson made BU pay, scoring their second 5-on-3 goal of the game 31 seconds into the third. Tyler Moy hit Kerfoot with a cross-crease pass and while Jake Oettinger made a great save on Kerfoot's first try, Kerfoot was able to jam in the loose puck. Bruins prospect Ryan Donato made it 5-2 Harvard with 7:13 to go when he made a great play cutting past two BU defenders before beating Oettinger for his 16th goal of the season. Clayton Keller scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds later to cut the lead to 5-3, but that was as close as BU would get. Adam Fox added an empty-netter with 1:50 to go. The first period set the tone for the game, as it was all Crimson. Harvard outshot the Terriers 18-2 in the frame and out-attempted them 33-4. A big part of that was the fact that the Crimson got three power plays in the period, but they were dominating even before that. Their early pressure forced BU to burn its timeout just 9:05 into the game after back-to-back icings. Harvard's power plays all came in a six-minute stretch beginning at the 10:53 mark, including an extended 5-on-3 on which it scored. The Crimson moved the puck well on their first two power plays, but couldn't score. Then they caught a break when McAvoy got called for boarding on a clean hit on Donato that only looked bad because Donato was already off balance before the hit. Harvard took advantage when a Sean Malone shot squeaked behind Oettinger just enough for Krusko to scrape the puck off Oettinger and knock it in. The second period got off to a much more promising start for BU, as Jordan Greenway drew a penalty 52 seconds into the period on a hard drive to the net. The Terriers took advantage of their first power play of the game, as Brandon Hickey found Bobo Carpenter for a redirect in the slot that led to a juicy rebound for Kieffer Bellows to bury. The Terriers, while still getting nearly quadrupled in shots on goal, then took the lead three minutes later when Keller scored on a pretty deflection of John MacLeod's shot from the point. But the Crimson weren't going to let BU hold onto the momentum. What could've been a turning point in the Terriers' favor wound up being just a blip on the radar as Harvard cruised to its 11th Beanpot title and denied BU its 31st.