BOSTON — Northeastern goaltender Devon Levi is competing in a pretty big tournament right now, representing Team Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. But back home, freshman TJ Semptimphelter had a pretty tall task to contend with as he readied for an important tournament of his own — his first Beanpot.
And thanks to a massive performance from Semptimphelter, Northeastern is headed to the Beanpot championship game. Semptimphelter made 41 saves as the Huskies held on for a 3-1 semifinal victory over Boston College, their first win over the Eagles since March 23, 2019.
“Coming in, I was just excited to have this unbelievable opportunity and I just wanted to make the most of this position that I’m in,” Semptimphelter said after the win. “It was awesome to go out there and experience it as a player and play in the first Beanpot that I’ve been a part of.”
Semptimphelter was quick to credit his teammates for their role in the win, but head coach Jerry Keefe noted the rest of the team was giving it right back to the rookie throughout the night.
“When you’re a coach on the bench and he makes a big save, you can just hear the whole group get excited about that,” Keefe said. “I heard his name an awful lot on the bench tonight from his teammates. He was outstanding. He was athletic. He was confident in there. He was finding the puck and I really liked his compete at the net, because I thought BC went to the net pretty hard. There were some scrums around our net and I like that he hung in there.”
The Huskies held a 2-0 lead after two periods, even though the Eagles had a 24-20 advantage in shots after 40 minutes. There was a noticeable uptick in pressure from BC as it chased from behind. The Eagles outshot Northeastern 18-9 in the final frame, which included a four-shot power play that was backed by the momentum of the Eagles’ having scored their first goal.
“(Semptimphelter) played very, very well. I know Levi’s overseas and everything, but the kid stepped up,” Boston College head coach Jerry York said. “He made some really, really good saves. You’ve got to give him some credit.”
Semptimphelter improved his goals against average to 2.12 and his save percentage to .941 with the win and now posts a 2-1 record.
The Huskies will look to win their fourth straight Beanpot title on Monday against Boston University. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN.