Beanpot: What could have gone differently?

So I just wrote a post about what it means to be a Northeastern Husky. I really didn’t want to fill that post with any of the what-if scenarios, because being a proud husky is so different than wanting to talk about what could have changed the outcome of the game. I’m now going to combine my commentating hat with that of my passionate fan hat and go over my opinion of what happened in that game.

So first of all, I didn’t turn the game on until there were 12 minutes left in the third period, because that’s when I got home from lacrosse practice (post about this coming soon, so keep an eye out). About a minute later, Kevin Roy scored to make it a one goal game. 1:35 later, Dustin Darou bangs home a loose puck that was sitting in front of the BU goalie for 10 seconds before he hit it to the back of the net. Kevin’s goal was, to use one of the commentators words, a goal-scorers goal; he carried the puck in and it was just able to find the back of the net. He’s one of the players who needed to step up and he did. After that goal, the Huskies played with a spring in their step, they wanted it badly, and that’s how the 3rd goal happened. There must have been four BU players and three Northeastern players already in front of the net before Dustin Darou got to the crease. Bodies were falling all over the ice, players were pushing and slashing each other, and he walks in from the blue, takes a whack or two, and then it goes in. Matt O’Connor (the BU goalie), didn’t have a chance at saving it, but his team members should have done a much better job of clearing the puck out. If they had cleared it, Northeastern wouldn’t have scored, and the game would have ended differently.

After Northeastern scored that goal, BU called a time out, a good move in my opinion by the coach; your players are shell-shocked, this team just tied the game within two minutes, and you can barely hear yourself think because the NU DogHouse is singing the Hey Song and Stacy’s Mom so loud it’s drowning out your thoughts.

While I’m here, I just want to say bravo to the DogHouse. You were honestly so loud that I could hear and understand every single chant you were singing. I’m so proud of all of you for showing up, let’s keep it up for the last game of the year on Saturday. Especially proud of Mike, the leader of the DogHouse for being with the boys every step of the way. Now back to hockey.

After the timeout, BU started playing a little bit better, but Northeastern still had enough confidence to be very dangerous as the clock was winding down. Here’s the time, we’re heading into OT. I don’t know how many DogHouse fans took their shirts off, but I’m guessing that there were a lot of hairy chests on display. NESN was definitely not too keen on showing that on camera. The period started and right away Jack Eichel gets the puck and carries it well into the zone, and a penalty is drawn. BU to the power play.

Here’s where I stand on the call: from where the ref was, he must have seen something. Benning’s stick was a little bit high and he was impeding the BU player slightly, but I don’t think that the penalty would have been called if they hadn’t fallen over Clay Witt’s extended left pad. Also, the puck was nowhere near Benning and the BU player, and when it was finally shot at the net by Eichel, neither of them were in a good position to be able to play the puck had they not been tangled up. Bottom line is that the penalty was called merely 10 seconds into overtime, giving BU only their second powerplay of the game. That’s honestly very impressive for this Northeastern team to only take one penalty in a game. Discipline has been a problem for the boys the whole year and it goes to show how badly they wanted it because they were staying out of the box.

The powerplay starts, and after a while, the puck ends up on the half-wall (boards) to the left of Clay Witt. The three BU forwards are battling with the puck, along with three of NU’s penalty killers. That’s a big mistake. Northeastern’s lone defenseman now has to cover the two BU defensemen, who granted are all the way at the blue line, but when the game is on the line, you want to stick to the fundamentals and the systems that are put in place by the coaches. The puck is dug out to the blue line, a D to D pass is made, and #5 takes a wrister from 10 feet inside the line past the blocker of Witt. I’ll have to rewatch the goal a few times to really see why it went in; no doubt it was a great shot, an absolutely beautiful shot, but could it have been saved?

Clay Witt could have been screened by his defenseman. He could have been slightly out of position. I’m a goalie, I’ve been there. You’re playing in a new rink that is a lot bigger than the one you’re used to and your depth perception can get a little funky. They were actually talking about that during the Stadium Series game this past Saturday. Clay Witt is no doubt thinking that that loss was his fault, that he could have saved it. Truth is, he probably could have, but that shot was fast, hard, and accurate, and it found its mark. To be completely honest, I’m so happy that BU won the Beanpot with a goal like that, than with a “garbage” goal, as we call them. Whether or not they should have had a power play will be up for debate for many days, but luckily we won’t be able to think about it too much since the boys have two rematches against BU: one on Friday at Agganis, and the second one on Saturday at Matthews (which I will be going to).

It’s time to put this game behind us and move on. If this game has proven anything it’s that this Northeastern team is underrated and ready to play for the ultimate prize; these boys are hungry and ready to eat.

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