Boston University forward Jordan Greenway barrelled into the net and knocked Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko to the ice, where he remained long enough to scare his coach into checking on him.
When trainer Bert Lenz got to the crease, Demko quickly sent him away.
“I asked him to get out of my face,” Demko said with a smile. “He asked me if I could finish the game. I kind of looked at him like he was crazy.”
Demko turned away the trainer and 30 BU shots on Monday night for his school-record ninth shutout of the season, and Alex Tuch scored 1:57 into overtime to give the Eagles their 20th Beanpot championship in the first 1-0 game in the tournament’s 64-year history.
A year after losing in the opening round to end a five-year winning streak in the annual tournament that determines Boston’s college hockey bragging rights, BC (20-5-4) beat its Green Line rival to return the trophy to Chestnut Hill.
“Last year, we weren’t satisfied with the outcome,” Demko said. “It’s not something we take lightly here. Beanpots are a big deal. We’re really happy we could send our seniors out with a win.”
Sean Maguire made 41 saves for the Terriers (16-8-4) and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. But he was beaten in overtime when Tuch took the puck in the middle of the ice near the blue-line and wristed the game-winner past the screened goalie.
“I think if I would have seen a little bit of it I would have stopped it,” Maguire said. “That was a pro-level shot. Kudos to him.”
The tournament pits the area’s four college hockey powers against each other on the first two Mondays in February, and it’s been dominated by the two schools just about 2 miles apart on Commonwealth Avenue. BU and BC have met in the final 22 times in the event’s history dating to 1952; the Terriers lead 12-10, but BC is closing the gap.
The Eagles won five straight before BU ended the streak last year behind Jack Eichel, the Hobey Baker Award winner who went on to become the No. 2 overall NHL draft pick by the Buffalo Sabres. BU went on to play for the NCAA title – in the same building where its Beanpot banner hung.
This year, it’s Boston College – the No. 4 team in the nation – that is hoping to follow a Beanpot title with an NCAA championship, a parlay the Eagles have accomplished four times since 2001.
The teams played a spirited but scoreless three regulation periods, which also included a 30-minute delay when a power surge knocked out the TV lights above the TD Garden rink. A building spokeswoman said the cause was a power surge; it did not affect the other lighting, and it was not immediately known if it was related to the storm that dumped a half-foot of snow on the Boston area on Monday.
The snow did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of a crowd that broke into frequent chants _ several of them vulgar _ in support of their schools.
Midway through the third period, the teams traded breakaway rushes. Neither was able to convert, but Greenway – with a bit of help from a BC defender – barrelled into Demko and left him sprawled on the ice. Lenz came out to look at the goalie, whose nine shutouts this season are the most in the nation – and one more than the school record set by current New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider.
“It was a hard collision,” BC coach Jerry York said. “Our player and their player just wiped him right out. I was concerned (because) we’ve got to get Thatcher healthy and back in the game.”
Demko remained in the game and remained perfect into the overtime.
Maguire was almost as good.
“I think that’s what people expect when they see BU and BC play. Up-and-down action,” BU coach David Quinn said. “Unfortunately it just takes one play to win it. They made the play when they had to.”
Northeastern beat Harvard 5-1 in the consolation game. Adam Gaudette had two goals and an assist, and Ryan Ruck stopped 19 shots for the Huskies (10-13-5), who have won the tournament just four times, the last in 1988.
Ryan Donato scored and Michael Lackey made 23 saves for Harvard (13-7-3), which last claimed the Beanpot title in 1993. It was the Crimson’s eighth straight appearance in the consolation game.