February 12, 2007 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Northeastern Wins Bronze

by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer

The Northeastern Huskies are your bronze medal winners of the 2007 Beanpot beating the Harvard Crimson 3-1 in what has been dubbed, "the game that no one sees."

"There were some people a week ago that thought Northeastern was a favorite to win the Beanpot," said Huskies coach Greg Cronin. "Then we go out and put up a stinker against BU last Monday and then even a bigger stinker against Lowell. That Lowell game (last Thursday) was one of the worst games I've ever coached — it was that bad.

"I thought we did a good job tonight. It wasn't an easy win, we had to scratch and claw the entire way."

There were 217 people scattered around the TD BankNorth Garden at the opening faceoff (actual headcount), and they didn't miss much as the teams went to the locker room scoreless after one period.

Harvard coach Ted Donato hopes that wasn't a reason for the slow start.

"We don't play enough games to let any of them be letdown games," he said. "Sure it's a late arriving crowd, but we can't let that take our intensity away."

The scoring didn't wait long to arrive in the second frame; Ray Ortiz gave the Huskies the 1-0 lead at the 3:46 mark. The senior center broke in on the left wing and snapped a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Harvard goaltender Justin Tobe.

"We didn't do a lot of the little things," Donato said. "We weren't making the sacrifices in blocking shots and getting the puck out of our zone. We didn't execute well on special teams, but you have to give credit to Northeastern, they outworked us all night."

The Crimson netted the equalizer just minutes later. Junior Alex Meintel blasted his 10th goal of the season over the left shoulder Northeastern goaltender Brad Thiessen. Meintel's line mates setup the goal as they broke in on a three-on-two and spread the puck across the ice with two quick passes to setup the one-timer.

"We had some really nice goals tonight," Cronin said. "I could tell we were going to from the very first shift."

The Huskies took the lead back 7:02 later when Steve Birnstill fired the puck on Tobe — it then careened off a number of players like a pinball. The last thing it hit was the back of senior Joe Santilli and then into the net behind Tobe.

"After our last couple of games, I was pleased with the effort," Cronin said.

Rob Rassey put the game away from the Huskies when he took a beautiful backhand pass from Santilli and buried the one-timer over a diving Tobe.

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