Boston College needed overtime to beat archrival Boston University in the Beanpot semifinals last Monday. Last night, the Eagles needed the extra session again as they got a goal from freshman defenseman Nick Petrecki - his second of the night and of his collegiate career - to beat Harvard, 6-5, and capture the Beanpot title in front of a sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Petrecki scored on the rebound of a Pat Gannon shot, beating sophomore goaltender Kyle Richter at 7:07 to end it. BC outshot Harvard in the extra session, 7-0.
For BC, it was the 14th Beanpot title in school history and the first since 2004. It marked the seventh straight time the Eagles have beaten Harvard in Beanpot play. In eight meetings in the title game, BC has a 6-2 edge.
Overall, the Eagles have won three games in a row and have just one loss in their last 10 (7-1-2).
"You've got to give unbelievable credit to Harvard," said BC coach Jerry York, referring to the Crimson's comeback from two goals down in the final 10 minutes. "As I look at the game, I thought we had it well under control and they just never gave up.
"I knew we were going to be in for a hard game because I've watched [Ted Donato] coach for a number of years here and he does a fabulous job. He gave us all we could handle tonight.
"In the OT, we really played to win the game and win the trophy."
It was the 10th time the title game has gone to overtime, and the fourth time in the last five years.
The Crimson took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Eagles struck first, at 3:51. Freshman center Brian Gibbons collected the puck on a feed to the left side of the goal line and flung it at the net. It sailed under the right arm of Richter to make it 1-0. It was Gibbons's eighth goal of the season.
Harvard pulled even at 7:27. Senior right wing Mike Taylor charged up the right side, bouncing the puck off the boards to himself, then fired a wrister from the right faceoff dot that beat BC freshman goaltender John Muse over the left shoulder.
The Crimson went ahead as a result of a BC turnover. Junior defenseman Tim Filangieri gave up the puck in the neutral zone and freshman left wing Matt McCollem pounced on it. He skated down the slot and beat Muse with a high forehander to the glove side at 11:15.
In the early part of the second period, the Eagles rallied to tie. Sophomore right wing Ben Smith won a battle along the boards with Harvard senior defenseman David MacDonald and got the puck to Gibbons. Gibbons fired a shot from the right circle that got over Richter's glove at 1:21.
BC went back on top at 9:06, with Petrecki picking an opportune time to score his first collegiate goal. Sophomore blue liner Carl Sneep threw a long lead pass up to Petrecki, who beat junior defenseman Brian McCafferty up the right side, glided into the circle, and put a wrist shot past Richter's glove for the 3-2 lead.
Harvard made it all square early in the third period during a power play, after BC's second penalty of the game. With Benn Ferriero in the box for holding at 1:55, Taylor found Doug Rogers with a pass atop the left circle. Rogers fired a one-timer and the puck fluttered like a knuckleball, beating Muse into the top right corner at 2:35.
The seesaw continued when Gannon scored on a second effort at 5:48, giving BC a 4-3 lead. Sophomore left wing Matt Price dished a backhand pass over to Gannon, whose second shot beat Richter.
Junior right wing Andrew Orpik scored at 10:22 with help from a Harvard defender. Sophomore center Matt Lombardi got two chances at the puck, trying to jam it home at the left post. His first try was blocked by Richter's skate, and the second one went into the crease. Junior defenseman Jack Christian tried to clear it out for the Crimson but he ended up helping Orpik put it into the net for a two-goal BC lead.
But it didn't hold up. At 11:14, senior Jon Pelle made it a one-goal game when the Harvard right wing's shot beat Muse from the right circle over the glove. Taylor brought his team all the way back with his second of the night. Defenseman Alex Biega fired the puck down from the right point and Taylor redirected it into the net on Muse's stick side at 15:36.
It was on to overtime and Petrecki's heroics.
"I'm very proud of my team, I thought we really competed," said Donato. "I told them I couldn't be prouder of the effort.
"Overtime is usually about a bounce here or there and I give BC credit. They were able to get a lot of pressure on us."