Harvard won its 11th Beanpot title Monday night (Gil Talbot).
BOSTON – No. 3/3 Harvard men's hockey earned its first Beanpot Championship in 24 years with a 6-3 win against No. 4/4 Boston University at the TD Garden on Monday night. The Crimson won the 65th annual edition, marking the first title for Harvard since 1993.
Harvard (18-5-2, 12-4-2 ECAC) handed the Terriers (19-9-2, 11-5-2) a 6-3 defeat, amassing a 46-17 shots-on-goal advantage throughout the contest. Freshman Nathan Krusko led Harvard with two goals and three points, while five Crimson skaters totaled at least two points. Junior goaltender Merrick Madsen stopped 14 shots in net to help guide the Crimson to the triumph.
Harvard came out as the aggressors against the Terriers, outshooting its crosstown rivals 18-2 in the opening period. The Crimson was finally rewarded for its aggressive mentality late in the first period, getting on the scoreboard first with 4:50 to play in the frame.
The Crimson had a 5-on-3 opportunity after consecutive penalties on BU for interference and boarding. Krusko was the beneficiary of a shot on net from senior Sean Malone, as Krusko knocked it in off the back of the BU goaltender after a scramble for the puck. Malone and senior defenseman Clay Anderson were credited with their first assists of the game on the play.
The Terriers regrouped at the intermission and quickly tied the contest at 1-1 after Harvard was called for slashing less than a minute into the second period. Freshman Kieffer Bellows had the power play equalizer for BU just 1:29 into the second frame.
BU then took the lead with 15:38 to go in the second period, as junior John MacLeod threw the puck at the net from the blue line after stopping a clear attempt from the Crimson, and freshman Clayton Keller scored on the redirect.
Harvard, however, remained undeterred and battled back to draw even with the Terriers at 2-2 with 9:14 to play in the second. Anderson and Malone once again set up the score for Harvard, as a laser from Anderson found senior Luke Esposito waiting in front of the net for the goal on the deflection. The score was his ninth of the season.
Before the end of the second, Krusko potted his second score on the night to give Harvard a 3-2 lead heading into the final period. The freshman recorded his eighth goal of the season with the two tallies, marking his second-career multi-score game. Fellow classmate John Marino set Krusko up after drawing in the defense on a shot from right outside the crease.
Holding a 30-10 shots-on-goal advantage through two frames, Harvard doubled its advantage, 4-2, just 31 seconds into the third, capitalizing on another 5-on-3 situation. Senior Alexander Kerfoot took a nice feed from senior Tyler Moy and muscled it past the goaltender for his 11th goal on the year. Freshman Adam Fox also earned a helper on the play, adding to his team-high 25 assists.
The Crimson continued to dominate the action throughout the period, totaling 11 shots-on-goal before BU recorded one in the third period. Sophomore Ryan Donato gave Harvard a 5-2 lead at the 7:53 mark of the third period, beating multiple BU defenders and finishing with the wrister from the left side. Krusko was credited an assist on the play.
The Terriers managed to add another goal just a couple minutes later to narrow the deficit to two, 5-3, but that would be as close as BU would get. The Crimson defense locked down for the remainder of the contest, and added a full-rink empty netter from Fox, assisted by Moy, to secure the 6-3 win.
Harvard returns to action for two Ivy League road matchups, starting with Yale on Friday at 7 p.m., before taking on Brown Saturday at 7 p.m.