February 11, 2008
Beanpot Championship
From Beanpot Observer to Beanpot Hero
BC's Petrecki earns place in history of tournament he grew up watching

By Jeff Howe

Boston College 6,
Harvard 5 (OT)

Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-BC Brian Gibbons (8) EV
3:51 M. Price, P. Gannon
1-H Mike Taylor (6) EV
7:27 D. Rogers, I. Tallett
2-H Matt McCollem (2) EV
11:15 D. Rogers
Second Period
2-BC Brian Gibbons (9) EV
1:21 B. Smith, M. Brennan
3-BC Nick Petrecki (1) EV
9:06 C. Sneep
Third Period
3-H Doug Rogers (5) PP
2:35 M. Taylor, A. Biega
4-BC Pat Gannon (4) EV
5:48 M. Price, T. Kunes
5-BC Andrew Orpik (4) EV
10:22 M. Lombardi, K. Kucharski
4-H Jon Pelle (7) EV
11:14 unassisted
5-H Mike Taylor (7) EV
15:36 A. Biega
6-BC Nick Petrecki (2) EV
7:07 P. Gannon, M. Greene
BC: John Muse, 67:07, 21 saves, 5 GA
H: Kyle Richter, 67:07, 27 saves, 6 GA
Penalties: BC 3/6; H 1/2
Power Plays: BC 0-1; H 1-3
Attendance: 17,565

BOSTON – It couldn't have been set up any better for Nick Petrecki. The Boston College freshman watched the puck dangle loosely in front of the crease, while Harvard goalie Kyle Richter was stuck on the ground with a pile of guys in his way.

But before Petrecki closed in and buried the overtime winner to lift BC to a 6-5 victory over the Crimson in Monday night's championship at the TD Banknorth Garden, he nearly had a nervous breakdown.

"My life flashed before my eyes right there," Petrecki said. "I was just like, 'Do not hit the post. Do not shoot this into the netting. Do not fall down.' I was just following up the play, was in the right place in the right time, and I'm very fortunate to be put in that situation to contribute to the win.

"I took a swing at it, closed my eyes and luckily it went in. It's every little kid's dream who grew up in the Boston area to [score] the OT winner in the Beanpot … so it's a dream come true."

Prior to the tournament's title tilt, though, the only collegiate goals Petrecki had scored were in his dreams. But he notched his first career goal in the second period to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead and went on to etch his name in Beanpot lore with the lamp-lighter 7:07 into the extra session.

It only seemed right. In the third period, Petrecki was picked off by a referee, allowing Jon Pelle enough room to enter the BC zone and fire one into the back of the net to pull Harvard within 5-4. It wasn't much of a laughing matter on the Eagles' bench at the time, but after the game, Petrecki's teammates showed no hesitation to rag on him for the reversal in karma.

"It's probably one in a million that will happen again," Petrecki said. "Obviously, very frustrated at that point and very upset, but Coach [Jerry] York talks about the hockey gods being with us, and everything happens for a reason. I believe that happened tonight."

Petrecki couldn't have been happier. His story is one that has made the Beanpot so rich in tradition around Boston for 56 years. While he grew up in Clifton Park, N.Y., his mother is from West Roxbury, Mass., and his father went to Babson College in Massachusetts. Petrecki said he has been attending the Beanpot since he was about 5 years old, and even remembered seeing one played at the old Boston Garden. His parents were in attendance to see him score his first two career goals.

And Petrecki also helped shed some of the demons that have haunted York and the current senior class in the Beanpot. While the win gave Boston College its 14th Beanpot in school history, it was the team's first since 2004, meaning no one in the locker room had held the trophy prior to Monday. Even worse, the Eagles watched hated rival Boston University win the last three championships – two at BC's expense in the title game.

And York improved to 3-6 in the Beanpot final since taking over the bench prior to the 1994-95 season. He won one tournament as a BC sophomore in 1965 but didn't reach the championship game in either of his last two years.

Now, he's got an 18-year-old freshman to thank for one more.

"I just always wanted to play for the Eagles and dreamed of an opportunity like this," Petrecki said. "So I'm very fortunate that I was able to get those two goals and help us in the victory."


Boston University 5,
Northeastern 4
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-NU Tyler McNeely (9) EV
5:50 R. Ginand, K. Kraemer
1-BU Colby Cohen (3) EV
17:02 C. Wilson, L. Popko

Second Period

2-BU Nick Bonino (10) EV
5:30 S. Smolinsky
2-NU Joe Vitale (9) EV
7:07 W. MacLeod
3-NU Ryan Ginand (9) EV
7:33 J. Driscoll
4-NU Ryan Ginand (10) PP
11:00 D. Strathman, D. Muench
3-BU Colin Wilson (10) EV
13:51 C. Sanders
Third Period
4-BU Matt Gilroy (6) EV
9:18 D. McGoff
5-BU Colin Wilson (11) EV
16:41 L. Popko, C. Cohen
NU: Brad Thiessen, 59:43, 40 saves, 5 GA
BU: Adam Kraus, 59:56, 25 saves, 4 GA
Penalties: NU 9/18; BU 5/10
Power Plays: NU 1-4; BU 0-7
Attendance: 17,565

Boston University's major contributors Monday night were hardly a who's who of Terrier nation. BU needed help from everyone in its 5-4 win over Northeastern in the consolation game, from freshman goalie Adam Kraus, who earned his first career victory, to rookie third-line forward Colin Wilson, who scored the game-winning goal.

"We know we can count on guys all throughout the lineup if they're willing to play the right way, willing to play hard," BU senior co-captain Brian McGuirk said. "We have a great hockey team we can put out there, no matter who is playing. We're confident in everybody. You've just got to show up and give it your best effort, and you hope to be successful."

Wilson scored two goals and added an assist. He rocketed a hard slapshot from the left point that sailed past Huskies goalie Brad Thiessen to cut NU's lead to 4-3 at 13:51 of the second period – a "huge goal," according to BU coach Jack Parker. And Wilson finished the Terriers' comeback by one-timing Luke Popko's pass into a wide-open net at 16:41 of the third, giving Boston University back-to-back wins for the first time since early November.

"It was nice burying the puck there," Wilson said. "Popko, on the second goal, made a great play. I had nowhere to put it but in the net. It was cool, but I'm just happy that we got that win. We're 2-0 in our last two games and trying to get on a streak in the home stretch. I'm pretty happy we got that one."


INCH's Three Stars of the Night

3. Colin Wilson, Boston University
It wasn't his fault the officials swallowed the whistle. He scored two goals, including the game-winner.

2. Brian Gibbons, Boston College
The Beanpot MVP made a name for himself on a night when the team's stars were shut down.

1. Nick Petrecki, Boston College
He probably should have been the MVP, and he thought so, too. During the on-ice trophy presentation following the game, Petrecki skated up to receive the MVP trophy but had to be pulled back as Gibbons' name was called.

Northeastern coach Greg Cronin was a bit peeved after BU scored to go ahead 5-4 in the third period. An NU defenseman had his stick ripped out of his hands by BU freshman defenseman Colby Cohen (who should get two assists on the play, considering his efforts) and thrown into the air, allowing the Terriers to cross the puck to a wide-open Colin Wilson, who lit the lamp. As the teams lined up for the ensuing face-off, Cronin heaved a stick onto the ice and was given a bench minor. In Cronin's defense, it was a terrible, terrible no-call by the four-man officiating crew.

"Well the guy pulls the stick out of the defenseman's hands and throws it up in the slot, I mean, I don't understand how you miss that," Cronin said after the game. "The guy's stick is supposed to be in the lane where the puck went through, and the guy scored the goal. I saw it from the bench. The guy grabbed it and threw it into the slot. It wasn't like, if he dropped it down in front of him five feet from him, I can understand missing [the call]. When the guy takes the stick and throws it, then the explanation, 'I thought he was trying to lift the stick and it ended up in the slot.' Obviously, I'm pissed off. I don't even want to talk about it. I don't even know how you miss that. There's two referees out on the ice. You tell me with three minutes to go in the game you can't see that?"

Even though BU's Wilson and BC's two-goal tandem had an impact on their teams winning on Monday night, Harvard's Mike Taylor had two goals of his own and made a great backcheck play to disrupt an Eagle scoring chance in the final minute of regulation. Crimson head coach Ted Donato went as far as calling Mike Taylor "the best player in the tournament."

Boston University entered the night with a 6-3 all-time record in Beanpot consolation games. Jack Parker, in his 35th season on the Terriers' bench, is 3-1, with the only loss coming in 1980 to Harvard. Before Parker got there, all five of BU's consolation games were against the Huskies. Exactly 45 years ago tonight marks the last time the Huskies have defeated the Terriers in a Beanpot consolation game. And, yes, this was just the 10th non-title tilt for BU in the tournament's 56-year history.

BU freshman goalie Adam Kraus made his second career start tonight, and he made 25 saves to earn his first career win. Kraus let up four goals on 27 shots during a 4-3 loss to UMass Lowell on Dec. 7.

There was a 50/50 raffle going on tonight to benefit the Travis Roy Foundation.

This is the first Beanpot without a shutout in any of the four games since 2005.

By the time the first game got going, the Northeastern student section was packed to the brim while the BU section – directly to the right of the NU students – was very, very bare. The BU kids might have just assumed they were playing at 8, and didn't realize the Beanpot had a consolation game.

BU freshman forward Joe Pereira (5-foot-10, 178 pounds) tried taking a charge at Northeastern sophomore defenseman David Strathman (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) in front of the BU net after a whistle in the second period, but Strathman nonchalantly raised his arms and put Pereira on his backside.

There's only one elevator that takes the media from the third floor to the ninth floor, and it's notoriously slow. So, everyone who took it from the third floor to the fourth floor – and you know who you are – gets a bench minor for the night.

The Harvard fans were severely outnumbered by the BC faithful, and it didn't help that the BU presence was virtually nonexistent.

The Boston College media relations department put a stack of "Nathan Gerbe for Hobey" fliers in the media room.

In case anyone was wondering, the overtime format for the consolation game consists of a five-minute sudden death period. If no one scores, the game ends in a draw. A tie has never happened before, but the first game was knotted at 4 in the final few minutes, with overtime looking like a possibility.

The operator of the TD Banknorth Garden video boards would like a mulligan for airing a certain replay in the third period. BC senior Mike Brennan was called for a cross-checking penalty at 12:23, and the camera zoomed in on Brennan looking at the ref and saying, "What the (fill in four-letter word that rhymes with duck)?"

Northeastern's Brad Thiessen won the Eberly Trophy for being the goalie who played two games with the highest save percentage (.897).

The ECAC crew had the officiating duties tonight, so a name like Mark Messier (an assistant referee) really jumps out to a primarily dominant Hockey East crowd.

Boston College outshot Harvard 7-0 in overtime.