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Northeastern Freshman Kevin Roy Earns MVP Award Despite Huskie Loss

Sports Editor

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 03:02

Kevin

Graham Beck / Heights Editor

 

They were all alone. The freshman sensation, carrying an entire Northeastern team on his fancy feet, skated closer to the senior national champion, touting an absurd number of star players in front of him both on this night and every night.

The Huskies’ Kevin Roy had beaten Boston College’s Parker Milner for a wrist shot that cut the Eagle lead to 2-1 just one shift earlier, and now he had a perfect breakaway opportunity midway through the second period. Roy moved to the right of the net and fired a backhand attempt at last year’s Frozen Four MVP. 

It looked just as good as his four earlier goals in this Beanpot tournament, but Milner somehow snatched it out of the air with his left glove, slowing down the Northeastern rally and allowing his teammates to recover.

“I had a lot of time and he ended up making a good save for his team,” Roy said. “It was definitely a turning point in that game.”

It was that kind of night for the Huskies, as they failed to upset No. 4 Boston College during the 61st Beanpot Championship game in a 6-3 loss Monday night at TD Garden. Every time the Eagles tried to pull away, Roy would bring them back, giving them hope of a comeback, but he never brought them quite far enough.

BC followed Roy’s missed opportunity with two goals in the final minute-and-a-half of the second period, including one from senior captain Steven Whitney with just .4 seconds on the clock, to extend the lead to 4-1. That margin, though, meant nothing to Roy.

“We believed in our chances between the second and the third,” he said. “We wanted to go out and score an early goal to get some energy, and I think we did and we were really close to getting back.”

It only took 11 seconds for Roy to answer. He slid past every Eagle in his way and, this time, got the best of Milner to cut the Huskie deficit to two points. Minutes later, the freshman got some help from senior captain Vinny Saponari who one-timed a puck that Braden Pimm defelcted past Milner for the score. With Northeastern within one, the game came down to Milner and Roy yet again.

Roy, directly in front of Milner and only a few feet from the net, stopped a puck that came in from the right side with his stick. The puck continued to bounce back and forth as Roy tried to control it with his stick. The moment silenced the Garden, as a Huskie goal felt inevitable, but then there were loud “Oh”s from the other side of the stadium. 

The puck bounced away before Roy could make a decision and the Huskies remained down by one. BC scored two more goals before the game ended, including an empty-netter by Pat Mullane, to seal a fourth-straight Beanpot title.

The Northeastern rookie went on to win the MVP award for the tournament, but he and his teammates couldn’t stop BC’s senior class from sweeping the event during their careers.

“For our seniors, we’re all so excited,” Whitney said. “This is awesome for us. It’s awesome that we all got to do it together. “

 No matter what combination of players the Eagles shifted onto the ice, there were always scoring threats to attack Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings, who ended up facing 30 shots on the night. On the other side, all the Huskies could do offensively was put their hopes in a freshman who was playing on that stage for the very first time.

Four years of Beanpot domination by BC left no room for other senior classes to experience the championship experience.

“I said to our seniors that I’m proud of the way they played and how hard they worked, and I felt sorry for them that they didn’t get the opportunity to experience a Beanpot championship,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan.

This BC senior class shutout of senior classes from the other three schools came partly came as a shock to the Eagle leaders.

“I could’ve never imagined this happening,” said senior captain Patrick Wey of the four straight championships. “It’s a testament to our coaches and the culture that’s bred here. I’m so fortunate to be a part of this team and I feel blessed.”

More importantly for the seniors, though, they gave the underclassmen a chance to start their own perfect four years.

“We’re excited that our freshmen got a Beanpot and that we gave the rest of the guys a chance to go four in a row too,” Whitney said.

Roy will assuredly do his best to stand in their way, but it will take more than one standout player to slow down a dynasty. 

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