February 7, 2006
Beanpot Semifinals
Parker's Pups Bark Up a Storm
Freshmen lead BU back to familiar Beanpot Terrier-tory

By Jeff Howe

Boston University 5,
Harvard 3
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-BU Bryan Ewing (7) EV
1:23 K. Roche, K. Schaeffer
2-BU Chris Higgins (5) EV
9:08 B. Yip, J. Lawrence
1-H Paul Dufault (6) EV
12:06 J. Pelle

Second Period

3-BU Brad Zancanaro (11) PP
15:32 D. Van der Gulik, J. Lawrence
4-BU Jason Lawrence (7) PP
18:26 K. Schaffer, D. Spang
Third Period
2-H Alex Meintel (3) EV
6:09 T. Walsh, T. Magura
3-H Dave Watters (5) EV
17:39 P. Dufault
5-BU David Van der Gulik (1) EN
19:53 D. Spang
BU: John Curry, 60:00, 38 saves, 3 GA
H: John Daigneau, 58:21, 21 saves, 4 GA; Empty Net, 1:39, 0 saves, 1 GA
Penalties: BU 3/6; H 5/10
Power Plays: BU 2-5; H 0-3
Attendance: 17,565

BOSTON – There aren’t a whole lot of people who would question BU coach Jack Parker’s knowledge of hockey, and rightfully so.

But forgive him if he happens to be wary over the prospects of his freshmen playing well in the most highly acclaimed college hockey tournament in the country. Even after freshman Chris Bourque scored the game-winning goal in overtime to beat Northeastern in the Beanpot’s championship game last year, Parker wasn’t necessarily confident his new batch of rookies could step right in and contribute in the 54th edition of Boston’s big hockey spectacle.

But after his rookie line of Jason Lawrence, Chris Higgins and Brandon Yip combined for two goals and three assists in the Terriers’ 5-3 win over Harvard in the tournament’s semifinals, Parker was more than happy to admit he was wrong.

“I’m always worried about how freshmen react in the Beanpot,” Parker said. “I was flabbergasted that Higgins played as well as he did and that the whole freshman line played as well as they did. Lawrence had a nice goal. There were five freshmen in the lineup tonight, and they all played extremely well.”

Higgins’ goal turned out to elicit the loudest response of the night in either game. With Boston University leading 1-0 in the first period, Yip was skating down the left side and lost the puck after he was knocked into the boards by a Harvard defender. Higgins collected the puck and then jumped to the inside of Dave MacDonald, who was gearing up to flatten the BU freshman. The next move he pulled out of his bag of tricks was a phenomenal deke from his forehand to the backhand, and he managed to throw the puck into the net all while taking a spill onto the ice.

“Yip fell down, and I just picked up the loose puck,” Higgins said. “I saw the defenseman out of the corner of my eye and just tried to step around him. If he got me, he probably would have gotten me pretty good. I got around him and just got it by the goalie. It was a pretty good feeling. It was pretty exciting to do it at the Beanpot.”

“We were in shock,” BU senior Brad Zancanaro said. “That was a pretty phenomenal move. Good for him that he was able to score a goal like that in his first Beanpot.”

“It was a great individual effort, and I’m sure our guys would like to have that play back,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “In a game like this, big plays like that can certainly influence the mindset of a team.”

Parker knew Higgins had the creativity to pull off a move like that, but he said it took him a lot of hard work to improve his skating ability so he could actually perform something like that on the ice in a game situation.

“I saw him play when he was a sophomore at Pingree, and I thought he was a very, very clever guy,” Parker said. “I was concerned with his strength on his skates. He would get knocked down any time he was pushed, but [BU strength and conditioning coach] Mike Boyle has done a great job with him, getting him strong on his skates. He is very capable of those types of plays. That was certainly a highlight goal.”

Lawrence was the other freshman to light the lamp for the Terriers, and his second-period goal turned out to be the game-winner. With BU on a five-on-three and Lawrence setting up a perfect screen in front of Crimson goalie John Daigneau, defenseman Kevin Schaeffer blasted a slap shot that deflected off Lawrence and found its way into the net, giving BU a 4-1 advantage.

Following the game, the youngsters talked about the immediate intimidation factor of walking into the Garden for the first time, but they said it didn’t take them too long to finally settle down.

“When I walked in and looked up and saw all the people watching BC and Northeastern, I got butterflies in my stomach,” Lawrence said. “But once I got on the ice, got through warm-ups, started banging around and got through a couple shifts, it was just like playing at Agganis.”

“I was pretty nervous before the game,” Higgins said. “I didn’t know what to expect, and once I got on the ice, I just calmed down and felt pretty good out there.”

“We just all love to play,” Higgins said about the freshmen. “The [veteran] guys all helped us and told us to just play our game and stay calm. We just love being out there playing and helping our team.”

It turned out that they didn’t just help the team, they ended up shouldering the offensive load.


Boston College 5,
Northeastern 2
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-BC Brock Bradford (5) EV
8:36 D. Bertram, N. Gerbe
2-BC Peter Harrold (5) EV
11:38 P. Gannon, M. Greene
3-BC Chris Collins (22) PP
17:50 B. Motherwell, P. Harrold

Second Period

1-NU Bryan Esner (5) PP
13:45 J. Robertson, R. Ginand
Third Period
4-BC Stephen Gionta (5) PP
2:36 B. Motherwell, P. Harrold
2-NU Dennis McCauley (5) EV
4:48 J. Robertson, P. Linard
5-BC Chris Collins (23) SH
9:51 S. Gionta
BC: Cory Schneider, 60:00, 28 saves, 2 GA
NU: Doug Jewer, 17:50, 10 saves, 3 GA
Adam Geragosian, 42:10, 20 saves, 2 GA
Penalties: BC 9/18; NU 9/18
Power Plays: BC 2-6; NU 1-6
Attendance: 17,565

As he has grown accustomed to doing throughout the season, Boston College senior forward Chris Collins once again stole the show on the ice in Game 1 of the Beanpot semifinals.

The undrafted senior, who leads the nation in goals and points per game, netted the first two Beanpot goals of his career in BC’s 5-2 win over the Huskies. And he didn’t do it quietly, either.

With the Eagles on the power play and leading Northeastern 2-0 in the first period, Peter Harrold and Brett Motherwell worked the puck down to the right point where Collins was waiting. After holding the puck for a couple seconds, he let off a tough-angle wrister that found its way through Doug Jewer’s five-hole. The goal, which proved to be the game-winner, also ended the freshman netminder’s night.

“Chris Collins continues to play exceptionally well; what a senior year he is having,” BC coach Jerry York said. “It’s just the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort.”

Then, in the third period, Collins – who admittedly was having trouble just sitting still in class on Monday – capped off the evening’s scoring by knocking home his 23rd goal of the season.

“I don’t usually get nervous before games, but I was really excited today,” Collins said.

With the BC penalty killing unit on the ice and Northeastern trying to cut its 4-2 deficit in half, Stephen Gionta stole the puck just outside the Eagle zone and sent it up ice to Collins, who was all alone on the breakaway. Collins made a couple quick moves on NU goalie Adam Geragosian before putting the puck past his blocker, giving Boston College a 5-2 lead.

Northeastern coach Greg Cronin, who was coaching in his first career Beanpot, knew his team was all but cooked when they let up that fifth score.

“You just can’t give up a short-handed goal with 10 minutes to go in the game when you’re on the power play,” Cronin said. “I mean, that’s unforgivable … I think that fifth goal just killed us.”

“I’ve always loved playing on the penalty kill ever since I was a little kid,” Collins said. “The last two years, Coach Cavanaugh has given me a lot more freedom out there. Stephen Gionta and I both know that the first goal is to keep the puck out of the net, but if we get the puck, we can create a scoring chance.”
INCH's Three Stars of the Night

3. Chris Higggins, Boston University
His first-period goal would make Alexander Ovechkin smile.

2. Chris Collins, Boston College
His phenomenal year carried over into the Beanpot, as the senior scored two goals – the game-winner plus one of the highlight reel variety – and picked up an assist to boot.

1. John Curry, Boston University
After falling asleep in the second period, the Harvard offense went ballistic in the third, putting 25 shots on Curry, and the Terrier goalie swiped aside 23 of them to give him 38 saves on the night. His most impressive stop came with 45 seconds remaining when he stretched out to get his right skate on Paul Dufault’s point-blank attempt to tie the game.


UMass coach and Boston University alum Don Cahoon was on hand for the night’s events. While playing at BU, Cahoon won two national championships and three consecutive Beanpots from 1970-72. The Terriers also won four Beanpots while Cahoon was on Jack Parker’s coaching staff. His Minutemen are fresh off a Friday night win over Boston College and have Boston University and Northeastern on their schedule in the coming weeks.

• Northeastern senior forward Brian Swiniarski had himself a tough 55 seconds in the first period. First, Peter Harrold easily skated past the nonchalant Husky in the right circle on his way to scoring the second BC goal of the night. Less than a minute later, Swiniarski was whistled for holding and earned himself a couple minutes in the sin bin.

• Northeastern goalie Doug Jewer lasted just 17:50 between the pipes. He was pulled in favor of Adam Geragosian after allowing three goals on just 13 shots.

• BC first-line center Brian Boyle was let off easy by referee Tim Benedetto early in the second period. Boyle was whistled for cross-checking at 4:45 of the middle frame, but he could have easily been given a game misconduct for sending Joe Vitale headfirst into the boards, especially with the new restrictions for hitting from behind. Vitale should consider himself lucky he was able to get up and walk away from the hit, as he gives up seven inches and 40 pounds to the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Eagle junior. Five minutes later, Brian Deeth tried getting a little payback by holding Boyle’s head firmly on the ice on the opposite end of the rink from where the play was. Both were then given two-minute minors.

• Eyebrows were raised as soon as spectators got their first look at center ice on Monday night, as the normal Beanpot logo was replaced with a painting of the actual Beanpot trophy.

• As if lying flat on his back didn’t make things difficult enough for BC goalie Cory Schneider while he was busy keeping Ryan Ginand and Joe Vitale’s shots out of the net in the third period, he had to perform those services without his helmet, which was knocked off by teammate Peter Harrold, who took a spill in the crease during the process.

• Not even one minute into Game 2 of the semifinals, the Beanpot University – ahem, Boston University – student section began chanting, “Where’s your Beanpot?” to the Harvard faithful. The Crimson haven’t won the Beanpot since 1993, while the 26-time champs have won nine ‘Pots in that span.

• During BC coach Jerry York’s opening statements in the postgame press conference, he spotted current Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts in the back of the room. Alberts was a four-year staple on York’s blue line before graduating last year.

“We’ve played Northeastern four times this year, and that’s four times without Andrew Alberts,” York said. “We could have used you tonight, Andrew.”

• BU senior captain David Van der Gulik has certainly been instrumental in the team’s nine-game winning streak, and that continued to hold true against Harvard. He made a brilliant pass across the ice through three Harvard defenders – Dylan Reese, Tom Walsh and Ryan Maki – to Brad Zancanaro, who one-timed the puck into the net to give BU a 3-1 lead. Then with 6.7 seconds left to play in the game, Van der Gulik added an empty-netter to seal the victory, but more importantly, it was his first goal since returning from injury on Dec. 30, 11 games ago.

• BU sophomore Brian McGuirk got his student section – the largest of the four schools on the night – up and roaring early on in the second period by drilling Harvard center Paul Dufault headfirst over the boards and into the Terrier bench.

• Walter Brown, the founder of the Beanpot, Bill Daley of BC and Dave Poile of Northeastern were inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame between the semifinal games. Brown, whose name graced BU’s arena before Agganis was built last year, also founded the Boston Celtics, the Ice Capades and USA Hockey. Daley holds the single-game assist record with six. Poile never won a Beanpot but finished his career as the Beanpot’s seventh-highest point-scorer with 13 points in 1970.

• During Jack Parker’s postgame press conference, he was asked about Boston University’s streak of winning 12 consecutive first-round games and 22 of the last 23 in the Beanpot opening round. Parker smiled and responded with, “And 39 of 43, but who’s counting?”


In the Beanpot’s 54 years, Northeastern and Harvard have still never met in the finals. This will now be the 18th time that BU has met BC for a date in the championship game. The Terriers hold a 10-7 edge against Boston College in the finals. BC won the first four meetings between 1957 and 1965. BU then went on to win nine out of the next 10 meetings from 1970 to 2000, and BC has won two of the last three.

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