Beanpot Semifinal Notes: Blunt Intermission Message Helps BU Stage Comeback Vs. BC


BOSTON — Things really were not looking good for Boston University on Monday night.

Boston College had controlled play for much of the two sides’ Beanpot Semifinal at TD Garden, and with the game in the back half of the third period and the Terriers down 3-1, things started looking bleak.

But a David Farrance one-timer pulled BU within one, then Patrick Harper tied the game up 70 seconds later at 13:46. At 18:18, Robert Mastrosimone put the Terriers up with a tip-in off a Trevor Zegras pass. And though BC’s David Cotton would tie the game up to force overtime, it was Wilmer Skoog whose tally at 7:20 in the second overtime sent BU back to the final after a one-year absence from the title game.

So, how did BU turn things around? It started with a message to the team during the second intermission.

“After the first and second we didn’t have too much going,” Harper said after the game. “But we spoke to the group in between the second and third and we just spoke about resiliency and doing it for the guys who only have one Beanpot left.”

Message received.

Now, the Terriers will face Northeastern next Monday, Feb. 10, after the Huskies knocked off Harvard 3-1 in the earlier semifinal.

Here are some other notes from Monday’s Beanpot semifinal action:

— Some of Northeastern biggest contributors against Harvard were playing in their first ever Beanpot.

And nope, they weren’t freshmen.

NU netminder Craig Pantano, a Bridgewater, Mass., native who transferred from Merrimack, turned away 27 of the 28 shots he faced. When Northeastern was bending in the third period, the 24-year-old made sure it didn’t break, coming up with a handful of huge saves to secure the win.

And there also was Trevor van Riemsdyk, a grad transfer from UNH, who scored the eventual winner for the Huskies.

It’s taken the 24-year-old a bit of time to get going offensively — he entered Monday slashing 1-4-5 — but suffice to say he made things happen at the right time.

“It was definitely a huge goal and coach was talking about the quality over quantity at this point, and (he’s) half joking, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the coaching staff,” van Riemsdyk said. “Obviously not the most productive year for me, but they’ve stayed positive with me, never really get down on me. And same with … the other leaders on the team. I couldn’t be more thankful, and thank god I buried a quality one tonight.”

— Things could have unraveled quickly for Northeastern early in the third period.

Jayden Struble was whistled for tripping right as the horn sounded to end the second, then 16 seconds into the third, Mike Kesselring’s cross-check gave Harvard 1:44 of 5-on-3 with NU trying to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Though the Crimson had the puck in their attacking zone for almost the entirety of the man advantage, Northeastern successfully killed off both infractions.

“I think killing penalties gives us more motivation than scoring a power-play goal. All the guys are up on the bench, everyone’s alive and every play matters.” Huskies captain Ryan Shea said. “The 5-on-3, I think (Harvard’s) got the No. 1 power play in the country, … but our compete level just went up five notches once that happened and we shut them down. And I think that’s what gave us momentum to shut them down the rest of the game.”

— As far as the NCAA is concerned, the BU-BC game was a tie.

The two sides first played a five-minute 5-on-5 overtime period, but neither team scored. Because of that, the game was ruled a tie for bookkeeping purposes, meaning the only reason BU and BC kept playing was to determine who went to the Beanpot Final and who went to the consolation game.

As such, no stats will be added to any of the players’ stats for the 7:20 they played in second overtime period where Skoog’s winner was scored. And instead of BU climbing to 11-8-6, they now are considered 10-8-7.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter screengrab/@nesn

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