BOSTON — Kevin Roy scored three goals, and Northeastern opened the Beanpot tournament with a 3-2 victory over Boston University on Monday night.
Roy netted his second goal off a turnover in the second period and then batted home an attempted clearing pass late in the game that kicked off the 61st annual tournament.
Chris Rawlings made 32 saves for the Huskies (8-13-3), who will face the winner of Monday night’s second game between Boston College and Harvard next Monday.
Danny O’Regan and Sahir Gill scored for the Terriers. It is just the fourth time in 30 years that Boston University won’t be playing in the tournament’s title game.
The tournament pits the Boston area’s four Division I hockey programs — located just a few miles apart — against each other annually on the first two Mondays in February.
Northeastern will be trying to claim its fifth Beanpot crown — the fewest by far of the four schools — and its first since 1988. The Huskies snapped a 15-game losing streak to Boston University in the Beanpot, dating to their last title.
“I’ve been a part of this tournament for a long time and heard all of the facts and figures on how Northeastern hasn’t beaten Boston University for 15 years,” Huskies coach Jim Madigan said. “The facts and figures don’t win hockey games. It’s hard work.”
Defending national champion Boston College has won the last three Beanpots. Boston University owns 29 titles, and Harvard has 10.
This is BU’s first senior class since 1965 that won’t capture at least one Beanpot title.
“It’s disappointing,” senior captain Wade Megan said, fighting back tears. “I feel bad for my teammates, classmates.”
Roy, a freshman, certainly didn’t look bothered by his school’s past failures.
“I knew BU had more wins,” he said. “Every year, teams change and you can’t look back at the history of what happened.”
With Northeastern clinging to a 2-1 lead, Roy, positioned to the right of the net, swatted in Matt Grzelcyk’s attempted clear from in front of the crease.
BU got within 3-2 on Gill’s goal with 71 seconds left. The Terriers pulled goalie Matt O’Connor for most of the final minute, but were unable to get any scoring chances.
The Huskies, who came into the tournament having beaten all three teams this season, grabbed a 2-1 edge midway into the second period off a giveaway by BU center Ben Rosen.
O’Connor left the crease and got to a loose puck to the right of the net. He fed a pass along the right boards to Rosen, who tried to center a pass to one of his defenseman in front of the uncovered net. But Roy skated in, dived, and tipped the puck into the empty net.
While trailing 2-1, BU had a 5-on-3 power play for 1 minute, 56 seconds, but failed to get many shots.
Seconds after killing off the power play, the Huskies were short-handed again when Josh Manson was whistled for boarding. Again, BU was forced to take long attempts from the outside.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead 2:09 into the game when Roy banged in a rebound in front before the Terriers tied it on O’Regan’s goal 3 1/2 minutes later.
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