BOSTON — Junior Danny O’Regan ended the longest game in Beanpot history with a double-overtime tally to push No. 3 Boston University into the 63rd Beanpot final with a 4-3 victory against No. 6 Harvard on Tuesday evening at TD Garden.
O’Regan knocked home a centering pass from senior Evan Rodrigues at 2:18 of the second overtime to cap a thrilling comeback as the Terriers faced a 3-1 deficit midway through regulation.
The goal spolied Steve Michalek’s impressive performance as the senior netminder made a Beanpot-record 63 saves. Junior Matt O’Connor picked up the win in goal for BU with a 31-save effort.
|BOSTON U. 4, HARVARD 3 (2OT)|
Senior Cason Hohmann gave BU an early lead before freshman Nikolas Olsson and junior Ahti Oksanen registered markers late in the second for the Terriers, who improve to 17-4-4 on the year.
Harvard (12-6-2) erased a 1-0 BU lead with a tally by junior Kyle Criscuolo late in the opening period. Sophomores Alexander Kerfoot and Sean Malone, who both returned the lineup on Tuesday after lengthy injuries, found the back of the net at 0:22 and 8:28 of the middle stanza, respectively, to give the Crimson a 3-1 lead.
BU held a commanding 67-34 advantage in shots, setting a tournament record in the process. The Terriers successfully killed off all three of the Crimson’s power-play chances and went 0-for-2 on their own man advantage.
The win ended BU’s five-game skid against the Crimson, as O’Regan had dropped all five of the previous meetings against his older brother, Tommy, who is a senior at Harvard. It also finally put an end to the Terriers’ worst ever skid in the Beanpot, as they had lost five straight in the tournament and eight of nine.
Rodrigues had two assists on the night to extend his point streak to 10 games. His first came on the opening tally as took a pass from Oksanen on the right side and slid the puck over to the left crease, where Hohmann was there to deposit it for his fourth goal of the season. The goal came at 16:50 of the opening period.
Just 75 seconds later, however, the Crimson got an equalizer when Criscuolo buried a one-timer on a pass from behind the net by junior Jimmy Vesey.
Harvard carried the momentum into the second, as Kerfoot scored on a helper from Criscuolo just 22 seconds into the middle stanza.
The biggest lead of the night for either team came at the 8:28 mark of the second on delayed-penalty goal by the Crimson. The puck appeared to go off a BU stick, but play wasn’t whistled dead before Malone was able to cash in to make it a 3-1 affair.
The Terriers made sure that they headed into the second intermission deadlock. Olsson curled around the crease to desposit a rebound off a shot by Nick Roberto with 4:26 left in the second frame. Junior Matt Lane also assisted on the play.
Oksanen drew BU even when he one-timed an offering from Hohmann past Michalek with just 23.5 ticks left.
The next goal did not occur for another 42:42, but not without constant pressure the Terrier offense. BU held shot advantages of 20-8, 16-8 and 18-6 in the second, third and overtime periods, respectively, and had all six of the shots recorded in the second extra session before O’Regan sent the BU faithful home happy.
The Terriers will aim for their 30th Beanpot title on Monday when they take on Northeastern, a 3-2 winner against No. 11 Boston College.