By: Patrick Donnelly
ALLSTON–After 38 long years, the No. 7 Boston University Terriers (17-6-7, 13-5-5 WHEA) have won their first Beanpot title in 38 years–their first as a varsity program (the Terriers were a club team in ’81)–officially doing it for the “Ladies of the Eighties,” after redshirt junior captain Sammy Davis scored the game-winning goal in overtime to beat this year’s hosts, the Harvard University Crimson (10-12-3, 8-8-2 ECAC).
Sophomore goaltender Corinne Schroeder got the call in net for Brian Durocher’s Terriers, fresh off back-stopping the team to 7-1 win over Holy Cross on Saturday. For the Crimson, freshman Lindsay Reed got the nod, coming off her 23-save performance in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Rensselaer.
The two sides skated almost the entire first period without a goal as a battle of the net-minders would surely ensue. Late in the opening frame, Harvard senior captain Lexi Laing went to the box for a trip with 2:33 remaining in the period.
On the power play, senior captain Reagan Rust gave the Terriers the lead after her shot from the point got through the net-front traffic created by Deziray De Sousa with just over a minute remaining in the opening stanza.
Just over a minute later, Kristina Schuler went to the box for the Terriers, sending Harvard to the power play with 44 seconds remaining. The Crimson wasted no time answering as senior defenseman Kaitlin Tse tied the game at 1-1 with just 25 seconds to go in the first.
After a wide-open period for both teams that saw great chances and even better saves at both ends of the ice, the Terriers and Crimson were tied at one apiece as BU held the lead in shots on goal at 14-12.
Early in the second, the Crimson sent a stretch pass up the ice to find Kat Hughes in stride, but Rust, who was a force on defense all game for the Terriers, made a big-time play to prevent a breakaway.
Not long after, Schuler went to the box for the second time on the night. Almost immediately, Kristin Della Rovere sent a puck towards the net from just below the face-off circle to Schroeder’s right; the puck bounced off of the mess in front and into the net, giving Harvard a 2-1 lead on the power play.
The Terriers came back with a strong answering shift after the Crimson’s tally with some extensive attacking-zone time, but were unable to get any sort of grade-A opportunities on Reed.
Just before the halfway point of the second, Schuler went to the box for the third time in the game, this time for a trip. While on the penalty kill, Schroeder came up with two key saves to keep the Terriers in it–first with the glove on Laing, before making another one on Hughes after having to track the puck through traffic.
Breanna Scarpaci came up with two massive blocked-shots for the Terriers while on the kill before the game was back at even-strength.
The Crimson onslaught wasn’t over yet, though, as Laing had a potential chance to get in alone on Schroeder, but Rust was there once again with a strong stick to breakup the opportunity.
With 4:32 remaining in the middle period, Abbey Stanley sifted a shot through that Reed was able to make the initial save on through Tarnowski’s screen, but Tarnowski was first to the rebound; in the mad scramble, the junior was able to shovel the puck underneath Reed to tie the game at 2-2 for the Terriers.
After the chaos that unfolded in front of Reed’s net, the goal went under extensive review. Over five minutes later, the call on the ice stood: good goal.
After the game-tying marker, the Terriers found a groove to close out the second, but
Reed stood tall to the flurry of chances that came her way. The two teams went into their respective dressing rooms tied at 2-2 after heart-stopping action in the second period with the Terriers controlling the shot department 32-17.
Just as the action got underway in the third, Jesse Compher broke into the Harvard zone looking dangerous, but sent her shot wide–the sophomore was visibly frustrated after another missed opportunity.
With 16:09 left in regulation, Brooke Jovanovich drove to the net and was able to get a couple chances on Schroeder, who stoned the Crimson sophomore.
Shortly after, a Terrier rush led to a cross-crease pass for Emma Wuthrich, who stared down a wide open net, but Reed slid post-to-post, making the save in an amazing effort.
Jovanovich had another good opportunity to best Schroeder as she got through the BU back-check before sending a shot towards Schroeder’s blocker that went wide. The Harvard sophomore was the first one to the rebound off the boards and got a quick stab at the puck before the BU net-minder covered for a stoppage.
With nearly seven minutes to go in regulation, Alex Allan sent a shot in from the point that found its way through traffic before ringing the iron. After the close call for the Crimson, Kate Hallett went to the box for high-sticking, giving the Terriers the man-advantage.
BU had crisp puck-movement on the power play, leading to a one-timer from Compher that was stopped by Reed.
Immediately after Hallett exited the box, Harvard was whistle for too many men on the ice, and BU went right back to the power play.
The Terriers were not able to convert once again, and things remained even as the third period came to the close. With 60 minutes of regulation not being enough, the Beanpot championship game went to overtime with BU dominating in shots on goal 47-23.
The Crimson pulled out all the stops to try and beat Schroeder one more time in overtime as it seemed like the first half of the extra frame was played exclusively in the Terriers zone.
Schroeder made save after save in the extra frame to keep the Terriers in it, including an insane, game-saving sequence in which she made one stop after another to keep the game alive–all this coming after Allan put her body on the line for her team with a diving block to save the game for the Terriers.
Seconds later, Laing took a penalty, and BU’s dangerous power play got its chance to end the game and BU’s Beanpot drought.
About thirty seconds into the power play with excellent movement for the Terriers, freshman Kaleigh Donnelly zipped the puck up to the point for Cook, who sent the puck right back to the corner for Compher. The sophomore pivoted and sent a cross-ice feed to redshirt junior captain Sammy Davis, parked in the high-slot, who one-timed the puck into the gaping goal to end the game and win the Beanpot for the Terriers.
A mass celebration ensued as Compher leaped in excitement behind the net, and the Terriers flooded the ice to embrace the hero, Davis.
Schroeder was fantastic in her own right for the Terriers, but Reed was nearly unbeatable for the Crimson as the eventual Bertagna Award winner as the Beanpot tournament’s best goaltender–the freshman made a whopping 51 saves in the championship game after making 52 stops in the upset win over No. 8 Boston College in the semifinals.
Davis took home most-valuable player for the Beanpot after scoring the tournament-winning goal to go along with a goal and an assist in the upset of No. 3 Northeastern in the semifinals last week.
For the Crimson, Laing, Maryna MacDonald, and Dominique Petrie finished with an assist each, while Tse had a goal. Della Rovere ended the night with a goal and an assist.
Compher totaled 12 shots on goal for the Terriers as well as the primary assist on the winning goal, while Cook had two assists. Rust finished the night with one goal to go along with Stanley’s assist as Tarnowski finished with a goal and an assist.
After the win, Durocher spoke on the team finally getting it done after such a long drought: “Needless to say we’re all excited that the monkey’s off the back . . . I couldn’t be prouder of the team.”
“Our opponents were terribly resilient and made a rush there at the beginning of over time,” Durocher continued. “A couple pucks took the right bounce, whether it was Corinne making a save or somebody making a block; it gave us a chance to win the game.”
“You’re dying to win the game on the power play; you still have to execute, and they did that,” Durocher said. “Sammy [Davis] caught one on the screws, and put the game away.”
When asked about what it felt like to score the game-winner, Davis said: “I kind of blacked-out. I just looked at Jesse [Compher] and I was like, ‘oh my gosh, we just won the Beanpot!'”
“We’re going to take it in for a few days, I think,” Davis continued after being asked how long the team will celebrate the win.
Davis also had high praise for the Terriers pep band, who brought the energy all night as part of a raucous BU fan section: “We’re so grateful; we have the best band in all of college sports.”
The Terriers are back in action this weekend in a conference home-and-home matchup with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. It all kicks off on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 PM at Agganis Arena before the Terriers head to Durham, New Hampshire, for a 2:00 PM matinee on Sunday.