Harvard's Beanpot title defense fell just short in a double overtime battle against BU. (Steve Babineau)
BOSTON, Mass. – In a marathon opening round Beanpot contest, Harvard men's ice hockey (10-9-4) fell to Boston University (15-11-2), 3-2, in double overtime. Harvard, which carried the play for long stretches of regulation, outshot the Terriers 49-42, with senior goaltender Merrick Madsen making 39 saves in the game.
The Crimson tied the game at 2-2 on Jack Badini's goal at 2:04 of the third period, just 92 seconds after BU took the lead. After Brandon Hickey scored at the :32 mark of the third, the Crimson responded quickly on a 3-on-2 rush. Badini crashed the net on a long rebound off an initial shot by Nathan Krusko, and put in the rebound to even the game.
Madsen made the first of a series of spectacular late game saves at the 10:30 mark of the final period of regulation, smothering a shot off the stick of Patrick Curry from in close.
Harvard had perhaps its best chance in extra time about midway through the first overtime, as a shot by Jake Horton redirected to Seb Lloyd, whose rebound attempt was stopped by the left pad of BU goaltender Jake Oettinger (47 saves).
With 2:42 to play in the first overtime, Madsen dove backwards to keep the puck from crossing the line after a shot by Dante Fabbro, his best stop of the night.
But BU's Ty Amonte put in the game-winner at 1:55 of the second overtime period to give the Terriers the win in the third longest Beanpot game for Harvard in program history.
Madsen was sharp early on for Harvard, as the senior made a series of good saves at the 4:25 mark of the first period, kicking out the right pad on Shane Bowers and Bobo Carpenter from in close.
At 6:19, Harvard appeared to take an early lead, but Wiley Sherman's shot from the left point went through Oettinger and off the inside of the left post, but not in the net.
BU took the early 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Logan Cockerill at 8:02.
In the second period, with BU on the power play, Madsen again had really good sequence, kicking out left pad on redirection by Amonte at the 7:30 mark. That save was one of BU's only scoring chances in the period, as Harvard outshot the Terriers 20-4 and dominated possession.
Harvard finally broke through at 14:29 of the middle period to even the game at 1-1. Lewis Zerter-Gossage won a puck battle along the wall to Ryan Donato for a 2-on-1 down low. Donato found Ty Pelton-Byce for a one-timer that beat Oettinger high to tie the game, giving Harvard the momentum heading into the third period.
- Freshman Jack Badini leads all Harvard rookies with seven goals on the season and now has five goals in his last 11 games.
- Junior forward Ryan Donato (assist) likely finishes the regular season with 31 points (21 goals, 10 assists) in 23 games.
- Tonight marked the third double overtime game for Harvard in the history of the Beanpot, joining first round games against Northeastern (2005, L, 2-1) and Harvard's longest Beanpot game in tournament history - in 2015 against Boston University (L, 4-3).
- Harvard was denied its first back to back Beanpot title appearances since 1993-94.
- Harvard saw a five game (3-0-2) unbeaten streak away from Bright-Landry Hockey Center snapped.