February 12, 2008 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Boston College Edges Harvard in OT

Captures 14th Beanpot Crown; Looks Ahead to Bigger Things

by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer

BOSTON — Just like last year's game that ended with an unsung hero (Brian McGuirk of Boston University), this year's unsung hero (or heroes if you will) came from Boston College.

Freshman defenseman Nick Petrecki scored two goals, including the game winner, to give BC the 6-5 overtime victory over the Harvard Crimson on Monday in the 56th annual Beanpot. Petrecki's goal came on a rebound, as Harvard goalie Kyle Richter tried to poke the puck away from traffic, right to a charging Petrecki.

"I think it was just being in the right place at the right time," said Petrecki about the game-winning goal. "I took a swing at it and closed my eyes and luckily it went in.

"I think it's every Boston kid's dream to win the Beanpot. It's a dream come true and I'm happy to get the win for coach York and the senior class. I'm just happy to bring the trophy back to Boston College."

It was BC's first Beanpot victory since 2004.

Also with two goals in the game, and significant contributions in the tournament, BC freshman Brian Gibbons won the Most Valuable Player award.

"He is small in stature but big in heart," said BC coach Jerry York about the MVP. "He has a good enthusiasm for hockey. Brian is a good solid player and he will be a significant part of the team as we head toward the later part of winter."

On the other side, the Crimson showed no quit. Down 5-3 late in the third period, Jon Pelle and Mike Taylor each netted a goal to tie the game. Harvard's quest to win its first championship since 1993 fell agonizingly short, however, as it was outshot 7-0 in overtime.

"I thought it was a very exciting hockey game," said Harvard coach Ted Donato. "Both teams battled and it was a bit of a see-saw affair, but I'm very proud of my team.

"I felt they really competed and I told them I couldn't be prouder of the effort."

Going through the adversity of being down two goals, co-captains Mike Taylor and David MacDonald helped the team overcome the obstacle.

"There was a feeling on the bench that we were going to tie it up," Taylor said. "The whole team was on the same boat ... for some players it is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Said Donato, "In my eyes, I thought Mike Taylor was the best player in the tournament."

Hockey is a game of momentum shifts. Tonight was a night that saw momentum shift several times.

"I think momentum swings in a game like this so quickly," said BC captain Mike Brennan. "I think the biggest thing is that we got together in the locker room and said we're going to win this game."

When mentioning the Eagles, the usual weapons include Nathan Gerbe, Joe Whitney and Benn Ferriero. Here, the big contributions came from guys like Gibbons, Andrew Orpik and Petrecki.

"We had contributions from a lot of people tonight, York said. "We are going to need that down the stretch."

Even though the Eagles are satisfied for now of capturing their 14th Beanpot, there is still a lot of hockey to be played. This includes some possible unfinished business in the NCAA tournament.

"Those two (NCAA) championship losses (the last two years) were a hard pill to swallow and we've put those games behind us and moved forward," said Brennan. "There wasn't a doubt in my mind we were going to come away with the win."

The Eagles' unfinished business tour has to go through Hockey East. With a tough remaining conference schedule, the Eagles will look to build momentum as the season progresses, despite losses along the way to defenseman Brett Motherwell for disciplinary reasons, and Brock Bradford to a broken arm.

"We are playing better as the year goes on," York said. "I feel real good about what is happening to the Eagles."

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