Like the first Monday of every February, the Beanpot semi-finals took place, as they have 65 previous years. The first semi pitted the Northeastern University Huskies against the Boston College Eagles. The Huskies are oft considered the underdogs against both Boston College and Boston University, however, their record in the 2017-18 season has been impressive.
Going into the Beanpot the Huskies were 15-5-3 overall and 11-5-3 in the HockeyEast division. They have had a strong season, and their upperclassmen have shown a determination that speaks to their commitment to the team. Dylan Sikura, who is usually on the line with fellow senior Nolan Stevens and junior Adam Gaudette, has experienced life with the pros—albeit briefly—most recently playing for Team Canada as they won the 2017 Spengler Cup. Here he experienced what it is like to be a professional athlete. Prior to the season, he’d had the opportunity to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks organization and chose to return for his final year with the Huskies.
Perhaps it is fortunate for the Huskies that Sikura was left off Canada’s roster for the Olympics, so he will still be in Boston to play in the championship game. He and his line mates were responsible for all three of the goals in the 3-0 win over the Eagles. Between the three of them they had three goals and four assists for seven points; Gaudette had the extra helper.
For his part, Cayden Primeau stood large and strong between the pipes, facing 37 shots in the game. Without his efforts the results could have been a different story. Not scheduled to be a starter at the beginning of the season, the injury to junior Ryan Ruck has given Primeau an opportunity to seize that spot. And seize it he has. The freshman has played 25 games and is currently boasting a 1.97 GAA and a .925 save percentage.
The last time that Northeastern shutout Boston College was in 1988, and that was the last time the Huskies won the Beanpot. They will play in the championship game on Monday, February 12th at 7:30 pm, taking on the Boston University Terriers who had to take it to double overtime to finish the Harvard Crimson.
The Terriers come into the championship game having tied Merrimack this past Friday and bringing a 15-11-3 overall record, with seven of those losses coming to HockeyEast division teams in league play. While their game against the Huskies won’t be a league game, they lost both of their prior league games to Northeastern in November—both games being strong wins for Northeastern. The game played at Agganis Arena, Terriers home rink, was a 4-1 loss, while their game played in Huskies’ Matthews Arena was a resounding 6-1 loss. Additionally, they will be missing Jordan Greenway, who two days after the semifinal game hopped a plane with Harvard’s Ryan Donato to represent the United States in the Olympics at PyeongChang, South Korea.
For certain the Huskies will be planning to bring their A game. Two years ago they downed UMass Lowell to take their first Hockey East tournament championship since 1988. Now it is two years later and 30 years since they last won a Beanpot. For the Huskies leading line, this would certainly cap off their time at Northeastern University wearing the red and black.