|Harvard senior Michael Del Mauro celebrates his game-winning goal to stun Boston University in the Beanpot consolation game. (photo: Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)|
BOSTON — For Harvard, it was a game it didn’t want to be in. For Boston University, it was a game it couldn’t afford to lose.
For just the fourth time in the 59-year history of the Beanpot tournament, BU is leaving as the last-place finisher. Leading 4-3 with a little more than four minutes to play in regulation Monday, it allowed Harvard to score a pair of goals two minutes apart and steal a 5-4 win in the consolation game at TD Garden.
Michael Del Mauro’s second goal of the season was the game-winner with just over two minutes remaining. Danny Biega had managed the equalizer two minutes earlier.
For the Terriers (14-9-7), the loss was potentially costly to their NCAA tournament hopes. They currently sit in 17th place in the PairWise Rankings, and conclude regular-season play with series against Providence, Vermont and Northeastern, all teams that are below them in the Hockey East standings.
“I think it’s going to be the last straw for us,” said BU coach Jack Parker (Somerville, Mass.). “We’ve got to get many more games over .500, and this makes it more difficult. As far as the NCAA selection process, this was a huge loss for us”
The last time BU lost both its Beanpot games was in 1980. It's the first time it's lost to Harvard since 1994.
Top-ranked Boston College (21-6-0) and Northeastern (10-11-6) played for the championship in the nightcap Monday night.
The prelim was a game of runs, with the last one belonging to the Crimson, who were outshot 49-29 in front of a sparse crowd but got a 45-save effort from Ryan Carroll, seven days after he’d been yanked during a 4-0 first-round loss to Northeastern.
“I’m happy for our guys,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato (Dedham, Mass.). “BU’s a good team, a team we have a lot of respect for. There’s no denying both teams would rather be playing in the championship game, but we’re glad to get this win nonetheless.”
Trailing 1-0 and shorthanded for five minutes at the start of the second period after a five-minute penalty to Daniel Moriarty for hitting from behind, the Crimson (5-18-1) not only killed off the extended power play, but tied the game 1-1 when Alex Killorn scored.
Killorn’s second goal of the night — and Harvard’s third in 73 seconds — made it 3-1 by the time six minutes had elapsed in the third. But BU scored the next three goals, two on power plays by defenseman Garrett Noonan (Norfolk, Mass.) and Alex Chiasson, to take a 4-3 lead into the game’s waning minutes.
Ryan Grimshaw had Harvard’s other goal. Peter Starrett assisted on each of the game’s final two goals, his first two assists of the season.
Adam Clendening also scored for BU. Chris Connolly and Matt Nieto each had two assists, and goalie Kieran Millan made 24 saves.
Mike Zhe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org