(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
There are games where the goalies play pivotal roles and then there was Monday night’s 64th Beanpot final between the Boston College Eagles and the Boston University Terriers. This was a game that was all about the goalies and on multiple levels.
Anyone who is familiar with Boston hockey is familiar with the Battle of Comm Ave—fought at least twice in a hockey season if not more between two schools separated by less than five miles and served by the same Green Line trolley line. It would not be surprising if one were to look in the dictionary for the word archrival and find a picture of these two schools. They have played each other in the Beanpot final 22 times and the Eagles had something to prove after being eliminated from the final by Northeastern last year.
While some feel that the tournament should include more teams, there is a reason it is the four teams it is, and while BU and BC have dominated the finals, it merely speaks to the strength of these two programs. However those watching Monday night’s final saw history in the making. As the horn signaled the end of regulation it was the first time in 256 Beanpot games that the final score would be 1-0.
For the Terriers, had it not been for the outstanding efforts of senior goaltender Sean Maguire, it could have been a very different story. Of course it was anything but a normal first period in other ways as well. With approximately nine minutes yet to play in the period, the lights at TD Garden went out. It would take almost 30 minutes for the main lights to come back on and for play to resume. As a result the first period took just over an hour from puck drop to horn.
For both goaltenders there were some intense moments when they ended up on the receiving end of some hard hits. Eagles Thatcher Demko saw his trainer out with him twice after two scary plays. Demko wasn’t relinquishing his net to anybody. In fact, after the game, he commented that he looked at the trainer like he was crazy when asked if he could finish the game.
For Maguire, the night was one of ultimate disappointment when just 1:57 into the overtime period Alex Tuch found a way to get a puck past him and get the win for the Eagles. Maguire stood on his head throughout the evening, especially when his team hadn’t quite realized the game was underway. Over the two games of this year’s Beanpot, Maguire stopped 65 of 67 shots for an amazing .970 save percentage. It earned him the Eberly Award for best save percentage of the two games played in the year’s Beanpot. He also was awarded the Most Valuable Player. However for the senior who sat out last season as the result of a severe concussion he received March 3, 2014 from a freak accident involving fellow teammate and best friend Mike Moran, it was certainly not the hardware he wanted.
Oh no no no why would you ask him that?!?! pic.twitter.com/PuqhRvWrnz
— Jashvina Shah (@icehockeystick) February 9, 2016
It is for the seniors that it hurts the most when the team falls in the final. Yes, there are other important games to come still in the season, but in Boston the Beanpot is special. And when the two teams playing in the final are those Comm Ave archrivals, it is all the more difficult to be on the losing side.
Maguire should hold his head high though. His efforts alone were what afforded his team to even have a chance. And the 2012 4th round draftee by the Pittsburgh Penguins showed Monday night what the future of goaltending looks like.
Post game press conference: