After dropping the Beanpot semifinal in double overtime to Boston University last Monday, then losing a tight, 3-2 contest Friday with UMass Lowell, Boston College made up for a lost opportunity with a 7-2 defeat of Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game Monday at TD Garden.
“We’re disappointed that we’re not playing for a trophy tonight at 8 o’clock,” said BC coach Jerry York. “We don’t shy away from that fact, and we didn’t get a chance to do that tonight. But it’s a good win . . . as far as national seeding.
“You’ve got two goals: to win trophies in our own league, but also, you’re trying to qualify for the national tournament. We’ve succeeded in one of those.”
Harvard’s top line combined to score quickly, with Casey Dornbach netting one off a pass from Nick Abruzzese just 2:13 in. But the Crimson (11-8-4), who were missing top defender Reilly Walsh, couldn’t hang on to the lead, and David Cotton knotted the game with 14:11 gone in the first period.
BC (17-8-1) scored five straight goals, two of which came shorthanded, before R.J. Murphy tallied again for the Crimson at 13:54 of the second period.
Six skaters scored for the Eagles, with Jack McBain scoring twice and Matt Boldy enjoying a 3-point night with a goal and two assists. Senior Julius Mattila notched his 100th point with an assist on Cotton’s goal.
Looking to March
With the NCAA Tournament looming – brackets will be announced March 22 – the Beanpot games couldn’t help but affect the PairWise rankings.
The PairWise rankings compile teams’ head-to-head records, records vs. common opponents, and RPI — which considers winning percentages of a team and its opponents — to seed teams for the NCAA Tournament.
Heading into Monday’s games, Boston College was ranked sixth in the PairWise, followed by Northeastern (12), Harvard (21), and BU (28).
The matchup between Northeastern and BU was especially important, with more on the line than Boston bragging rights. Heading into Monday’s championship, the Huskies led BU in total comparisons won, 2-1, with the Terriers taking the advantage in head-to-head matchups.
BC’s consolation game win gave the Eagles the advantage in the PairWise matchup with BU, moving ahead on common opponents.
Viewers on the rise
Official attendance for the Beanpot’s second night was announced as 17,850, a tournament record.
The Beanpot was broadcast across the country and outside of it this year, with TSN taking hold of programming rights across Canada and the NHL Network airing the tournament outside of New England.
Back home, NESN announced that its telecast of the Beanpot semifinals had 642,000 unique viewers throughout New England, earning a 0.71 average rating for adults 25-54, the best average rating for the semifinal games since 2009.
The first semifinal game, Northeastern’s 3-1 win over Harvard, earned a 0.88 household rating and 1.14 for adults 25-54. These ratings were the highest of any 5 p.m. Beanpot semifinal, and the highest rated semifinal in the demographic since 2009, and the highest household rating since 2013.
Struble’s season over
Northeastern blue liner Jayden Struble suffered a season-ending lower-body injury Friday night in a loss against Maine, according to the Associated Press.
Northeastern did not comment on the injury, but the Montreal Canadiens prospect missed the Beanpot championship game Monday.
The Cumberland, R.I., native, who was picked in the second round (46th overall) in 2019, has three goals and seven assists through 21 games this season.
Steve Nazro, who was the Beanpot tournament director for five decades, was inducted to the Beanpot Hall of Fame.
Nazro, an Arlington native and Dartmouth College alum, was assistant sports information director for the Big Green before serving two years in the US Army. After his military service, he began his career in entertainment as group sales director at Boston Garden. Through five decades, he booked nearly 8,000 events – including 50 Beanpots.
When Nazro retired in 2017, he was honored with a ceremonial puck drop ahead of that year’s Beanpot championship and the Beanpot MVP award was named in his honors beginning in 2018.
In addition, Hockey East honors his contributions to the sport by releasing the Steve Nazro All-Tournament team following the championship.Jenna Ciccotelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.