BOSTON, Mass. - Through four different types of goals, Northeastern topped Harvard, 4-1, in the consolation round of the 58th Annual Beanpot Tournament at the TD Garden on Monday evening. The victory over the Crimson marks the Huskies' 16th third-place finish in the Beanpot. It was also Northeastern's first win against Harvard since Feb. 12, 2007 in the consolation bracket of the 55th Beanpot Tournament.
The Huskies upped their record to 13-12-1, marking the first time Northeastern has been over the .500 mark since beating Bentley in the home opener on Oct. 16.
Junior Tyler McNeely scored both a short-handed and powerplay tally while third-year forward Wade MacLeod and rookie Garrett Vermeersch both registered two points in the win.
Freshman netminder Chris Rawlings picked up his first Beanpot victory by turning away 27 Harvard attempts. Crimson goalie Ryan Carroll stopped 30 shots in the loss.
"If you notice tonight, there were very few second shots because he (Rawlings) really is controlling the rebounds well," head coach Cronin said. "He is a huge asset for for us."
McNeely shouldered Northeastern's penalty killing unit by chalking up the first goal of the game a man-down at 17:53 of the opening stanza. The Huskies were down two men for 1:26 with senior Chris Donovan and junior Mike Hewkin taking a breather for respective tripping and hitting from behind penalties. Donovan was released from his infraction at 17:31 and McNeely took matters into his own hands.
Senior Jim Driscoll rimmed the puck around to McNeely in NU's zone. The lane cleared and McNeely streaked down the left side and crossed up Harvard netminder Ryan Carroll with a coast-to-coast backhander for the early 1-0 lead.
At the 1:24 mark of the second, fourth-year forward Greg Costa added an even-strength tally to double up the Crimson, 2-0. Costa's second-career Beanpot tally came off freshman Drew Daniels' carom in the low right circle while sophomore J.P. Maley was awarded the second helper on the attack.
With four skaters a side, Conor Morrison deflected a Ryan Grimshaw blast from inside the blue line to dupe Rawlings for the Crimson's first marker of the contest at 11:13. Harvard utilized the open ice when Costa was cited for hooking at 10:10 while HU's Alex Killorn took at seat for contact to the head high-sticking at 10:37.
Northeastern was able to distance themselves from Harvard with a McNeely powerplay marker at 6:29. David Valek was called for hitting from behind at 5:18, yielding the 5-on-4 Huskies' advantage. After a couple cycles, McNeely tipped Vermeersch's blast to the back of the net for the two-goal lead, 3-1. MacLeod fed Vermeersch from across the slot for the second assist.
MacLeod iced the 4-1 final with an empty netter at 18:11 after HU coach Ted Donato opted to yank Carroll for the extra skater. Vermeersch was credited with the assist after furnishing MacLeod with the open look.
Northeastern has eight regular-season Hockey East games remaining on its schedule. Four home-and-home series will close out the 2009-10 docket with a trip to Amherst on deck at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12. The last time the Huskies faced Massachusetts, the Minutemen beat NU, 4-1 at Matthews Arena. On Saturday, Feb. 13, the series concludes back at Matthews Arena at 7 p.m.
Game Notes • First Beanpot points for sophomore J.P. Maley and Drew Daniels.
• Junior Tyler McNeely secured his second-career two-goal game and leads all Huskies with six powerplay goals. McNeely's short-handed goal was his first of the season, third of his career. The Burnaby, B.C native has scored six points in his last three games.
• Freshman Garrett Vermeersch (0-3-3) and McNeely (2-1-3) each tallied three points in the Beanpot to lead all skaters in the two-game tournament.
• Senior Greg Costa scored his second-career goal in the Beanpot. His tally marked the first time he's scored since a trip to Providence on Nov. 21.
• Senior Jim Driscoll notched his second-career assist in the Beanpot Tournament.
• Junior Wade MacLeod scored Northeastern's third empty-net goal in the last six games. He has accounted for two of them. The Coquitlam, B.C native has totaled five points in his last two outings.
• Freshman Chris Rawlings made a combined total of 60 saves in both Beanpot games. Sixty stops was the same total the Huskies' netminder accrued in the National Ledyard Bank Tournament at Dartmouth to warrant him Tournament MVP honors.