Monday night was in the top 5 best nights of my life. It took 2 postponements, almost a month and 3 overtime periods, but BU finally won its 30th Beanpot. Finally. A Boston tournament, previously referred to as the BU invitational, finally saw a BU victory again for the first time in 6 years. The Class of 2013 was the first class at BU since the Class of 1965 to not see a Beanpot win in their four years. The Class of 2014, my class, was the second.
But the streak has broken. And will never exist again. We had to watch as Wade Megan and Garrett Noonan fought back tears in their post-game press conferences after failing to win a Beanpot in their four years at BU. Evan Rodriguez and Cason Hohmann will never have to know that feeling. No other future BU class will have to know that feeling.
I knew Northeastern was not going to be easy. After not seeing their first win until the 10th game of the season, Northeastern has been climbing in the ranks and the wins column over the past couple of months. As much as I wanted to see our first win in years be against BC, I was still elated when Northeastern beat them in the first round and destroyed their 6-game winning streak. We can save the BC defeat for next year.
We scored early. Which made me nervous. Northeastern scored immediately after. Which was expected. This isn’t a team that takes a solid lead and holds on to it. Almost all of our wins have been come from behind and blowing leads has become our forte. I would much rather be tied or down a goal going into the third. That was our time. But not Monday night.
The most nervous I was all night was during the second intermission with BU up 3-1 going into the third. We don’t do that. We need to have something to fight for in the third. We don’t do the whole hang on until the end thing. I had a terrible feeling that Northeastern was going to win.
And then what we knew was going to happen did. Northeastern scored two quick goals at about the 10 minute mark to tie the game up at 3.
And all of a sudden, the nerves were gone. I can’t explain it, but I knew. This wasn’t a team that was going to lose the Beanpot again. Overtime came. As we all knew it would. And everything seemed okay.
Despite the horror stories I could tell you about overtime at TD Garden, I was okay. The first round against Harvard I was a horrible wreck with head in hands trying to stop from shaking through two grueling overtime intermissions. But Monday night I was alright.
The rest is history. Northeastern took a penalty in the first minute (one that is of course disputed, but clearly a penalty) and Matt Grzelcyk put one past Clay Witt only seconds later. You couldn’t have written a better ending. Bruins draft pick scores at the Garden in front of his dad and current Bruins employee to win the Beanpot in probably his last one at BU. And it was perfection.
The next fifteen minutes is a blur of screaming and laughing and tearing up and smiling and saying, “we finally did it” over and over again.
And then we got to walk down those god-awful TD Garden concrete stairs with smiles on our faces. A feeling I had never known.
The rest of the night only got better as we met up with the team. Got to congratulate them in person and have some fun with the Pot in a way only 6 years of waiting can allow.
And then the Sportscenter highlights of the game came on and I got to witness Matt Grzelcyk chug from the Pot in front of a giant screen showing his OT winner.
And everything was right in the world.