Northeastern University is advancing to its second Beanpot championship game in three years after defeating Harvard University 4-0 in their first round game.
Junior Mike McLaughlin led Northeastern with 2 goals, while sophomore goaltender Chris Rawlings had his fourth straight shutout, making 41 saves. Harvard struggled to find its way offensively.
"They outplayed us in every facet of the game," Crimson coach Ted Donato sighed in the post-game presser. "I thought we had been playing some good hockey coming into the game. We had our chances in the first, but after Northeastern's second goal, it gave them some momentum."
Donato was speaking of a McLaughlin's second goal of the night, a lucky bounce off the back of Harvard's Ryan Carroll in the second period. McLaughlin credited an effort to take more shots as the reason why the puck was in the right place at the right time.
"I just saw a lane to the net, and I've been telling myself to take more shots. I took it, and just got a bounce and got lucky," said McLaughlin about his second goal.
Northeastern's lead was padded by two additional goals by Steve Silva and Brodie Reid, both with helpers by Wade McLeod.
Harvard did find some success in a change in goaltender, inserting senior Kyle Richter in net for the third. Richter saved 7 shots and kept Northeastern off the board in the final frame.
For Northeastern coach Greg Cronin, the win comes at a perfect time for his team. "I had been worried about our team," Cronin admitted post-game. "We had a really heartbreaking loss Friday against Merrimack at home. It looked like a funeral in the locker room. The game was heated like an old school Bruins-Flyers game, and we lost in the waning seconds of overtime. We had only 72 hours to recover from that."
The Huskies did recover, and are looking forward to their 14th Beanpot championship game experience. "If we win next week, we'll need both Northeastern police and Boston Police to contain Northeastern," laughed Cronin.