By: Jake Reiser
For Harvard goaltender Wade Lau, the newest inductee into the Beanpot Hall of Fame, receiving the Eberly Award brings the name Eberly across all four schools of the Beanpot.
The award, named for brothers Glen and Dan, who tended the blue paint for Boston University and Northeastern, respectively, was won by Lau who led the Crimson to a shutout win over the Boston College Eagles, 2-0, en route to the 1981 Beanpot Championship.
Despite Lau’s success, only two other Harvard goaltenders have won the Eberly Award, for the highest tournament save percentage.
Lau did so while facing the least amount of total shots for the Crimson winners, just 36 in the two games. Brian Petrovek, a name that still surrounds the NHL and AHL, won the award in 1977, the fourth year of the award’s existence, making 46 saves in the two games.
Steve Michalek, just two years ago, ended a tremendous 34-year drought to bring the Eberly Award back to Cambridge, making an astounding 87 saves, thanks in part to a double overtime game against the BU Terriers in the semifinals. Even with those numbers, Lau held the highest save percentage of the three with a .947%, a mark that stood as the highest until BU’s Rick DiPietro only gave up one goal on 52 shots, a .981% in 2000.
Other than the three Harvard goaltenders to win the Eberly, the mix of winners from the rest of the Beanpot participating schools has been even. The leaders, Boston University, have 15 total Eberly Award winners, while Northeastern has 13 goaltenders that have won, and Boston College with 12. For each of the three schools, there is just as much recognition of achievement as someone like Petrovek, whether it be at the NHL level or right back on campus.
For the Terriers, the second ever winner of the Eberly Award was Brian Durocher in 1975, whose .915% held up to win the award. He is now the coach of the women’s hockey team at his alma mater.
Rick DiPietro, the former first overall NHL draft pick, held the record for highest Eberly winner save percentage for seven years, until fellow Terrier John Curry posted a .985% in 2007. DiPietro and Curry both saw time at the NHL level, but both have since retired.
The Eagles have NHL veterans Scott Clemmensen, since retired, and Cory Schneider, current starter for the New Jersey Devils, to tout as Eberly holders. Northeastern Huskies’ fans look to Bruce Racine, a Stanley Cup champion in 1991 with the Penguins, and Brad Theissen, a member of the 2015-16 Calder Cup winning Lake Erie Monsters, as prominent goaltending alums.
Who has the edge now to win the Eberly award this season?
After one round, Boston University’s Jake Oettinger has a .958% to lead the rest of the other goaltenders. Merrick Madsen, who will start opposite Oettinger for Harvard in the championship matchup, comes in second with a .897%. Joseph Woll and Ryan Ruck have some catching up to go, with .875% and .867%, respectively, but it’s anyone’s game still to join the already impressive list of Eberly award winners.