He Had Always Imagined
First goal of the season for Brian McGuirk
is Beanpot winner
Thomassian, P. MacArthur
Aiello, B. Boyle
John Curry, 64:57, 37 saves, 1 GA
Cory Schneider, 65:06, 24 saves, 2 GA
BU 7/14; BC 7/14
Plays: BU 0-5; BC 0-5
BOSTON – Brian McGuirk is the chorus
in the song of the unsung hero. He's the local kid who scored
his first goal of the season — the overtime winner
— to capture the crown of one of the most storied
college hockey tournaments in the country.
And he did it for Boston University, the team
he grew up rooting for. And for Jack Parker, the coach he
always wanted to play for. It was against Boston College,
the team he grew up hating.
This is the stuff people dream about; the
stories that movie directors write about. But that's how
it all went down.
Five minutes into overtime, John McCarthy
outdrew Dan Bertram for a faceoff at the right point in
the BC zone. McGuirk sprung loose into the slot, and the
puck squirted directly to him. He quickly fired a shot that
clanged hard off the crossbar and into the net to give the
Terriers a 2-1 win.
McGuirk waited for a second before celebrating
because he wasn't completely sure he scored, but just as
referee Tim Benedetto pointed to the net, teammate Dan McGoff
jumped on top of him. And he didn't forget the Cinderella
"It's pretty nice," McGuirk said.
"I grew up a BU fan. I grew up wanting to play for
BU. I always watched the Beanpot. I was always very into
that BC-BU rivalry. It's just a blessing to be able to play
for BU and Jackie Parker. It's just great to get the win
here at the Beanpot."
"It's unbelievable," BU captain
Sean Sullivan said. "We were talking about that. It's
the unlikely heroes that get it done. It's great to see
someone like Brian, who has been struggling to put goals
in the net, finally score it. I don't think any goalie could
have stopped that one. It was an absolute cannon."
For someone to beat Cory Schneider with a
clean shot Monday night, that almost certainly needed to
be the case. Schneider was a rock between the pipes, stopping
24 shots and getting stronger as the night progressed.
"I've known him for awhile, and I played
against him growing up in high school," McGuirk said.
"He and Johnny Curry are definitely the best goalies
in the country. Usually, you can't beat Cory Schneider on
one shot. I caught him in a bad area. He is a tremendous
goalie, and he has always given us a hard time. Luckily,
I was able to get one by him this time."
Beanpot MVP and Eberly Trophy winner John
Curry said that even though it was McGuirk's first goal,
his shot is difficult to stop. With his quick release, it's
tough to get a good read on the puck off the stick.
"I wasn't surprised," Curry said
of McGuirk's goal. "I'm actually surprised to hear
it was his first goal of the season. I'm not surprised at
all. His role on the team hasn't been to be a goal scorer,
but he can be if we need him to step up. He's been on the
fourth line, which is our grinder line, and he plays great
on that line. But he has offensive capabilities and can
It also lifted Parker to his 20th Beanpot
crown as a head coach. McGuirk dreamed of playing for the
legendary bench boss. Now, he has helped him reach a milestone.
"It's pretty big for him, and it's pretty
big for our team because our team knows how hard [they work]
and how much they contribute on the fourth line for us,"
Parker said. "It doesn't show up on the score sheet
all the time."
But that's what makes it so sweet.
NEWS-WORTHY NORTHEASTERN BEATS HARVARD
Lewis, J. Santilli
Dufault, R. Maki
Santilli, R. Ginand
Brad Thiessen, 60:00, 25 saves, 1 GA
Justin Tobe, 60:00, 23 saves, 3 GA
NU 9/18; H 6/12
Plays: NU 1-5; H 0-8
Northeastern had a little extra motivation
to come out and knock off Harvard in the Beanpot consolation
game. Clutching a newspaper article that trashed the Huskies
for losing a pair of games last week after a January resurgence,
Greg Cronin vocalized his displeasure of the outside world
hyping this up to be the fall of Rome.
"It's funny how things happen,"
Cronin said. "Today and yesterday, people were bellyaching
about, 'Oh, here comes Northeastern again. They're taking
a dive.' It was gloom and doom after all the positive stuff.
I got tired of hearing it. I've got a newspaper article
here about, 'Here go the Huskies again.' It just pisses
me off. You've got to build off of that."
And that's what they did. Northeastern trumped
the Crimson 3-1, and Cronin won his first Beanpot contest
in the process.
The Huntington Hounds were Hockey East's flavor
of the month after carrying a 6-2-2 streak into the Beanpot,
but they fell to the Terriers, 4-0. They followed that up
with a 1-0 loss to UMass Lowell last Thursday night.
After getting built up for a week, Cronin
saw his young group take a brutally emotional hit after
just 60 minutes of hockey against BU, and it took quite
some time to relieve their stomachs.
"I was so pissed off after that BU game,
and I really wanted to vomit on myself after the Lowell
game," Cronin said. "That was a bad hockey game.
I don't know if they were hungover after that game against
BU. I had been in seven-game playoff series in the Stanley
Cup, and I walked into locker rooms after and the guys were
just drained — emotionally and mentally drained. When
I walked into the locker room after the game against BU,
I said to [assistant coach] Shawn [McEachern] that was like
the feeling in the locker room after a seven-game playoff
The Huskies, who play 14 freshmen and sophomores,
have done a lot of growing up in the last month, particularly
in the learning-how-to-win department. Lately, Northeastern
has taken a crash course in how to deal with adversity,
which could be every bit as valuable down the road.
"I think there was so much of a positive
buzz about our team that they were believing it," Cronin
said. "We had a couple functions, and our alumni were
involved. They were talking about how important it was to
win the Beanpot, and I think they felt the gravity of that.
When they let the Northeastern community down, I think they
felt let down. The next practice, it's like what do you
do. Do we throw firecrackers at them? We had to get out
Monday night, at least temporarily, they did
snap out of the brief funk. Cronin won't be adding any more
negative clippings to his file Tuesday morning. After nearly
quadrupling his team's win total from a season ago, he probably
shouldn't have had to in the first place.
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Nathan Gerbe, Boston College
up again when BC needed him to, scoring the tying
goal in the third period.
Brian McGuirk, Boston University
A nice time to score his first goal.
John Curry, Boston University
He stopped 37 shots, including 12 in the
third period and three in overtime. Most of the third-period
saves were of the "Did he just do that?"
AND HEARD AT TD BANKNORTH GARDEN
The problem with consolation games – not just
in the Beanpot, but any tournament – is the attendance.
While one ticket will get you into both games, no one seems
to care about showing up for the matinee. There certainly
weren't even 1,000 people in the Garden by the first intermission. That, of course, is an
improvement from the opening faceoff, when there were more
bodies on the ice than in the stands.
Mike Morris (back), Jimmy Russo (sick), Joe Vitale
(sick) and Chad Costello (sick and hurt) were all out of
the Northeastern lineup Monday.
Each team has hit the post in the first five minutes
of the first game, and both teams have had a couple more
quality scoring chances on top of that. All in all, it
was an entertaining first period.
Justin Tobe started in net for Harvard in place
of Kyle Richter, who guarded the pipes during the opening
round loss to BC. Brad Thiessen minded the net for Northeastern
again. Tobe, if you remember, got his first career Beanpot
start in last year's consolation game and shut out the Huskies,
5-0. It was also Ted Donato's only Beanpot victory as a
Northeastern's first goal was a tough one for the
Crimson to swallow. Just seconds after Brad Thiessen made
a spectacular save to rob Nick Coskren on a breakaway, the
Huskies quickly worked the puck up the ice to Ray Ortiz,
who beat Justin Tobe with a nice wrister.
There were three women in the crowd wearing referee
Harvard defenseman Alex Biega leveled Chris Donovan
against the boards in the Northeastern zone late in the
third period. On the next shift, Dennis McCauley flattened
David MacDonald behind the NU net. MacDonald responded by
punching McCauley in the face while he was on the ground.
Both got to bond in the penalty box afterwards.
The Boston University faithful made themselves heard
early on in the evening. In the third period of the consolation
game, the BU fans were chanting, "Five-year program"
at the Northeastern students.
Northeastern's three goals came from players who
entered the night with just one all season.
This starts a great week for Boston College athletics.
The newly-ranked men's basketball team hosts Duke on Wednesday
and North Carolina on Saturday. The hockey team brings in
Maine Thursday and Friday. What a downer Tuesday must be.
No one was safe. Every fan on the video board was
booed by the opposing team's student section, even a young
child and his mother donning BC garb.
But, it was pretty funny to see the video board show
a picture of BU and BC fans at the same time because the
student sections had no idea whether they wanted to cheer
The crowd was electric for the drop of the puck in
the championship game, creating a great atmosphere compared
to the first game.
Nathan Gerbe nearly scored 10 seconds into the game
after getting a pass in the slot, but John Curry stoned
him. Both teams had two great scoring opportunities in the
first two minutes before Chris Higgins dented the scoreboard.
Andrew Orpik blindsided Eric Thomassian with about
6:40 to play in the first period, leaving Thomassian on
the ice for nearly a minute before be taken off by the trainers. Thomassian
never returned. After the game, a source within the team said Thomassian
suffered two dislocated shoulders.
Cory Schneider made a nice save with four minutes
remaining in the first period. Matt Gilroy's hard one-timer
from the left point appeared to be enough to beat Schneider,
who had to lunge from the opposite post. He barely got his
right skate in the way.
Brian Boyle got away with punching Dan McGoff in
the face. A few seconds later, John McCarthy wrecked Nathan
Gerbe at the BU blue line, drawing a roughing penalty. Gerbe,
who only stands at 5-foot-6, is one of the toughest players
on the ice. Less than two minutes later, he was cross-checked
in the throat by Tom Morrow next to the BU net.
The mascot interaction got a little more entertaining
during the second intermission. Rhett gave Baldy a Valentine's
Day card. Baldy opened it up, and it said "BU rules."
Baldy then ripped it up. It still doesn't live up to last
year's game of Beirut at center ice.
John Curry's Beanpot shutout streak of 116:16 was
halted when Nathan Gerbe's backhander found the back of
the net at 2:40 of the third period.
Sean Sullivan provided the hit of the night on –
who else? – Nathan Gerbe at the BU blue line midway
through the third period, trucking him head on. Once again,
Gerbe got up.
Kenny Roche appeared to have beaten Cory Schneider
with a backhander from the low slot with 3:43 remaining,
but the referee waived it off. The play was under review
by Tom Quinn, the replay official, and upheld – correctly.
Benn Ferriero nearly scored with 9.3 seconds left
in regulation. Ferriero sent the puck towards Curry from
the back of the net, and it deflected off the back of his
glove, nearly trickling in. Tom Quinn went back to work
and upheld the play.
John Curry won the Eberly Trophy (best save percentage)
and the MVP. His .985 save percentage set a new tournament
record. His .958 career save percentage in the Beanpot also
set a new record for goalies who have participated in at
least two Beanpots.
"It's a great feeling," Curry said.
"I guess it will soak in a little bit later. Just to
win the Beanpot is definitely the biggest thing. Being a
senior and going out with three in a row tops the other
Jack Parker has now won 20 Beanpots as a head coach.
"I think they all pale in comparison to the first one,"
After Sean Sullivan said no goalie could have stopped
Brian McGuirk's game-winner, I asked him if John Curry could
"I think Curry could stop pretty much
everything. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at
him. I think Curry might have had a shot at it, but who