David Quinn’s first Beanpot as the Boston University men’s hockey coach mirrored the Terriers’ play so far this season: Impressive at times but overall too inconsistent to do the job.
BU’s first Beanpot of the post-Jack Parker era concluded Monday night at TD Garden with a 6-2 loss to a Harvard team that Northeastern thoroughly dismantled last week. It was the second consecutive fourth-place finish for the Terriers, who placed last in back-to-back Beanpots for the first time, and their four goals scored over the two games was the lowest total for a BU squad since the 1963 tournament.
“It’s disappointing for us,” Quinn said. “I thought we made a lot of progress in the last few weeks. I know the wins and losses didn’t show it, but we could feel a little bit of momentum and a little more of a purpose to our game. I thought we really reverted back to what we looked like three weeks ago [Monday night].”
Harvard was shelled 6-0 in its semifinal loss to Northeastern last Monday, and it fell into an early hole again when BU’s Evan Rodrigues scored the game’s first goal at the 10:42 mark of the first period.
That score held into the intermission, but the Crimson (8-12-3) came out firing in the second. Kyle Criscuolo beat BU goalie Sean Maguire with a rocket from the right circle just 1:14 into the frame, and Brian Hart scored less than two minutes later to give Harvard its first lead. A Luke Esposito tally at the 6:57 mark of the second extended the Crimson advantage to two goals.
The Terriers (8-16-4) made things interesting in the third, with Ahti Oksanen taking a beautiful feed from Rodrigues and hammering it past Harvard goalie Steve Michalek to pull Terriers within one.
That rally lasted all of 37 seconds, though, as an Esposito pass from behind the BU goal deflected off Terriers captain Patrick MacGregor’s stick into the net. That score all but sealed the Crimson’s win, as Michalek blanked the Terriers the rest of the way and Jimmy Vesey and Tyler Moy added garbage-time goals.
“We all know it’s a tough game to play, but that’s no excuse,” Quinn said. “I wasn’t expecting this tonight because we’ve been going in the right direction over the last two and a half, three weeks. It’s just disappointing, with our lack of preparation. [We have] an opportunity to play in a game where we haven’t beaten Harvard in two years. That should be incentive enough.”
BU now has lost eight of its last 10 Beanpot games since winning the tournament in 2009. Harvard, meanwhile, has been the king of the consolation game, placing third in each of the last four Beanpots.
“No matter what kind of game it is, you have to find a way to get up,” Rodrigues said, “and we just didn’t tonight.”
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