February 12, 2008 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Beanpot Hero: Petrecki Earns His Wings

BC Freshman Scores Twice, Including OT Winner, to Win Beanpot

by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer

BOSTON — The bio in Boston College's media guide says that freshman forward Nick Petrecki is from Clifton Park, New York. But, he's a Boston boy at heart.

And last night, the hometown kid scored his first two collegiate goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to carry the Eagles to their 14th Beanpot title, and first in four years, 6-5 over Harvard.

"What a feeling," said Petrecki, whose mom was born in West Roxbury and father, Mark, played hockey at Babson College. "My roots are here, and my family is from here. I still have a lot of family that lives down on the cape. I've been coming to this tournament as a fan since I was five years old. I was at the very last tournament played at the old Garden, that was my first one. I've always wanted to play for BC and to have the opportunity to do something like this, I'm very fortunate. I was just in the right place at the right time."

Petrecki, who was a first-round pick of the San Jose Sharks in last June's NHL Draft, netted his first of the season at the 9:06 mark of the second period to, at the time, give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.

In the third, the Eagles extended that lead to 5-3 before Harvard stormed back with two goals in the final eight minutes to send the game to overtime; the fourth time in five years the final went to an extra frame.

Then, just over seven minutes into the overtime, Petrecki crashed the net after a Pat Gannon shot and followed up by slapping the rebound into the gaping net left open by Harvard goaltender Kyle Richter.

"My life flashed before my eyes right there," laughed Petrecki. "I remember telling myself, 'don't fall down, don't hit the post, don't shoot it into the netting, just hit the net.'

"As I got closer, I swung, made contact with the puck, and then just shut my eyes and hoped it went in. I heard the fans yelling and knew it did. Like I said, I've been coming to this tournament since I was five years old. It's every little kid's dream that is from this area to score an overtime goal in the Beanpot. I was just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, I guess."

Petrecki had just two family members at the Garden | his mother Michelle, and dad Mark. But said that he has a grandmother that lives in Falmouth, as well as an aunt and uncle, among other family, that still live in Framingham.

"I might he a little spoiled," he said. "No one on our team had won it before, so I'm happy to win it for our seniors. But, I guess I am probably a little spoiled, winning one right away. It's a great feeling though. It really means so much to these schools, bringing it back on campus is going to be fun."

Petrecki's reputation is that of a fierce, hard-hitting defenseman who uses every inch and pound of his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame to his advantage. Last night, he finally found himself on the score sheet.

"I can't lie, I've been hurting to get that first one," he admitted. "After that the next one seems to come easier. I've been frustrated lately with my offensive play, and my defensive play. I was just focusing on one thing in a time and good things happened. I was looking to get through the first five minutes, and then just take it one shift at a time."

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