BOSTON — The lasting image of the 2016 Beanpot tournament for Boston University fans will be that of Sean Maguire, sprawled out face-down in the crease he’d protected brilliantly for nearly 62 minutes.
Maguire, BU’s senior goaltender, was sensational Monday night in his final Beanpot appearance, stopping the first 41 Boston College shots he faced, including 23 in the opening period. He could not stop the 42nd, however, as Alex Tuch’s no-look wrist shot 1:57 into overtime split two Terriers defenders and found the back of the net to give a Eagles a 1-0 victory and their 20th Beanpot title.
As the goal horn sounded and the Boston College bench emptied, Maguire sank first to his knees and then to his stomach, agonizing over the one mistake that spoiled his nearly flawless effort.
“I think (if) I would have saw all of it, I would have stopped it,” Maguire said. “But he made a great shot. He shot cross-body, post in — I mean, that?s a pro-level shot. Kudos to him. I guess I didn?t see too much of it, but I?ve made that save 1,000 times. But it?s just one that has to beat me, so good for him.”
After he got to his feet and skated through the customary handshake line, Maguire twice was called to center of the postgame trophy ceremony. He’d earned each of the tournament’s two individual honors: the Eberly Award, given annually to the goaltender with the highest Beanpot save percentage, and the Most Valuable Player trophy.
He was the first goalie to take home MVP honors since BC’s John Muse did so in 2010, and his .970 save percentage between Monday’s loss and the Terriers’ semifinal win over Northeastern was the third-highest mark in the tournament’s 64-year history, trailing only two of his BU precursors: Rick DiPietro (.981 in 2000) and John Curry (.985 in 2007).
“Maguire played unbelievable,” said BC goalie Thatcher Demko, who made 30 saves in the first 1-0 shutout win in Beanpot history. “All the accolades he got after the game were very well-deserved. It was kind of a goaltending battle (Monday night), and luckily (Tuch) was able to get one past him there.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@TerrierHockey