BOSTON — Rub them all you want, Northeastern hockey fans, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.
The Huskies have won back-to-back Beanpot titles.
A 4-2 win over the Boston College Eagles on Monday night at TD Garden sent a swift-moving current from Causeway Street to Huntington Ave. — the Huskies are turning the tide surrounding college hockey in the sports’ hub.
It only is their sixth time raising the cup, but Monday further erased a long-suffered 30-year Beanpot drought and sent a message to their three crosstown rivals. BC might have the history, Boston University might have the gluttony of titles, but for now, the city belongs to the Huskies.
Northeastern overthrew each of the mighty Beanpot staples — BU and BC — in their first back-to-back title run since 1984-85. It is the first school to repeat as Beanpot champs since Boston College did so in 2013-14.
The Huskies have been to the finals five of the last seven years, and now, after many years of waiting, they reign.
“I always talk about how you need to continue to elevate your program,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said after the game. “We play in a town with three other 800-pound gorillas … they have had a lot of success in this tournament. … For us to continue to grow our program, we had to win the back-to-back. Now we have to win three. We have never won three.”
After being propelled into the finals by freshman Tyler Madden, who netted the overtime winner in the semifinal against BU, the Huskies were paced by those who there when Northeastern exorcized the demons last year.
Seniors Patrick Shule and Lincoln Griffin each scored, with Griffin adding two assists. Cayden Primeau, who dominated in last year’s tournament, once again was superb in the crease, earning tournament MVP honors.
“I think not having won it in so long, there was obviously some pressure, but I think everyone in the locker room was so eager to break that streak,” Northeastern senior captain Eric Williams said. “Being able to do that last year, got us to experience that feeling and it made us want to experience that feeling again, and every year going forward.
“It’s an amazing feeling, it’s something none of us are ever going to forget,” Williams added. “I wish I could play in this tournament every year until the day I die.”
Here are some other notes from Monday’s Beanpot final:
— It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Huskies en route to raising to pot. Northeastern took a startling 3-0 lead 1:25 into the third period with Griffin’s goal, but Boston College came roaring back, answering at 4:09 and then making it a one-goal game at 12:14.
“Tight,” is the term Madigan used in reference to the Huskies’ bench when it was suddenly a 3-2 game.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Williams said. “I think we were a little too worried about protecting the lead at times rather than going out and winning the game and putting the nail on the coffin. … We tried to stay positive on the bench, keep the energy up and stick to the staples of our game.”
— Primeau made 33 saves in the final and stopped 59 of the 62 shots he faced in the tournament (.952 save percentage), earning the Eberly Award as the most outstanding goaltender of the tournament. Joseph Woll made 31 saves for BC in the final.
— Northeastern blocked a staggering 20 shots, with Jordan Harris and Jeremy Davies each notching four.
— Austin Plevy netted the first goal of the game for Northeastern. A transfer from UMass Amherst, it was the seniors’ first Beanpot, and it was just his third goal in a Northeastern sweater.
— With the title, Madigan has won back-to-back Beanpot titles at Northeastern as a player (1984-85) and as a coach.
— In the four games of the tournament, teams went a combined 0-for-21 on the power play.
— In Monday’s consolation game, Harvard came up with a 5-2 win over Boston University. Harvard’s Adam Fox — A Hober Baker contender — notching his 100th career point in the win.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick McAvoy