BOSTON, Mass. — As the clock hit zero in the Beanpot title game on Tuesday night, screams of youth hockey players and fans flooded the arena, dampening the sound of the game’s final horn. As the faint whistle blew, Harvard players threw their gear across the ice and gathered in a mob in front of their goal.
Boston College (17–12, 14–8 Hockey East) and No. 6 Harvard (16–6, 13–4 ECAC) traded blows throughout the night. BC followed nearly every Harvard goal with a response almost immediately. But Harvard had the last say, as the Crimson scored with just over three minutes to play in Tuesday’s matchup to outlast BC 5–4 and secure their 15th Beanpot title in program history.
“That team over there—they’re a very good team,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said in her postgame press conference. “They earned that win and did a good job, and I’m proud of our team.”
Northeastern’s Matthews Arena was packed with fans cheering on their teams.
“The fans were great,” Crowley said. “It was a great atmosphere and fun to play in. That’s what you want for our sport.”
Among those in attendance were multiple youth hockey teams. Behind the BC bench, the North Shore Vipers sat dressed in their red uniforms, documenting the game’s every moment on their phones. On the other side of the ice, Harvard had a youth team of its own donning orange uniforms.
“[The Vipers] were talking to us the whole time,” Crowley said. “It’s nice to see the younger generations watching the older generations and their idols. They’re the people that they look up to, and that’s what makes this area and this tournament so fun.”
Neither team ever led by more than one goal, and there were few penalties on either party. With all the back-and-forth action, all of the fans in attendance had plenty to cheer for.
Harvard took its first lead early on in the first period with a goal from Kristin Della Rovere just over two minutes into the game. The Crimson held their 1–0 lead for the remainder of the period and established an early advantage on shots on goal, taking 17 compared to BC’s 14.
Harvard ended the first period with a tripping penalty that gave BC a power-play chance at the start of the second period. The Eagles capitalized on their advantage, as Maddie Crowley-Cahill scored BC’s first goal of the night just 57 seconds into the second frame.
Harvard’s Taze Thompson responded with a goal just under three minutes later to put Harvard up 2–1.
Thompson’s goal once again garnered a quick response, as Crowley-Cahill scored her second goal of the period just over three minutes later, and the third period began with a 2–2 tie.
The teams combined for five third-period goals, each coming in quick succession. Eventually, however, Harvard got the final word.
With 3:21 on the clock, Harvard’s Becca Gilmore ended the back-and-forth. She broke the tie for the final time, giving the Crimson a 5–4 lead.
Despite allowing five goals, BC goaltender Abigail Levy tied her season saves record Tuesday night with 50 saves—a record she set in last week’s Beanpot semifinal. Levy surpassed the 1,000 career save mark Tuesday and was awarded the Bertagna Award, given to the Beanpot’s top goaltender.
“[Levy’s] been probably our best player for the whole year,” Crowley said. “You’re going to need a goaltender to … give yourself an opportunity to win big games, and I think she put us in that category today—and last Tuesday too.”
In the semifinal, Alexie Guay’s two-goal effort complimented Levy’s defense. Against Harvard, another BC defender stepped up. Crowley-Cahill’s two second-period goals marked her first career multi-point game.
“It was awesome to see her score,” Crowley said. “She’s a local kid. She knows what the Beanpot is all about, and … I was really happy for her and she was pretty excited. It was nice to see.”
The Eagles were riding a seven-game win streak prior to Tuesday’s loss, and though the streak has since been shattered, according to Crowley, the Eagles’ confidence has not.
“We’ve got four regular season games left that are big for us,” Crowley said. “The great part about playing a Beanpot in the middle of your season, is you get to play in a championship atmosphere before your Hockey East Championship.”
Featured Image by Chris Ticas / Heights Staff
Correction (02/09/22, 8:19 p.m.): The original version of this story stated that Abigail Levy made 49 saves against Harvard. The article has been updated with the correct number of saves.