Wrapping Up the Beanpot
On Monday night, the 2017 Beanpot was decided at TD Garden in Boston with #3 Harvard facing off against #4 Boston University in the tournament's championship game. Earlier in the day, Northeastern defeated #11 Boston College 4-2 in the third place game, with goals coming from Matt Filipe (CAR – 2), Dylan Sikura (CHI) and Adam Gaudette (VAN) for the Huskies, and David Cotton (CAR) and Colin White (OTT) for the Eagles.
The main event later that night was a much more lopsided contest then anyone expected. Harvard, who has been terrific this season, outshot BU 46-17 and skated to a 6-3 victory. For the Crimson, it was their first Beanpot title since 1993, and their 11th overall. Freshmen played a huge part for Harvard, as Nathan Krusko scored twice and added an assist, and superstar freshman blueliner Adam Fox (CGY) also added a goal and an assist. Ryan Donato (BOS), Luke Esposito and Alexander Kerfoot (NJD) chipped in the other goals for the Crimson. BU actually had a 2-1 lead halfway through the game with Kieffer Bellows (NYI) and Clayton Keller (ARI) scoring in the first five minutes of the second period. However, four unanswered Harvard goals put the nail in the Terriers coffin. Keller added a second marker late in the third before Fox's empty netter sealed the deal.
One storyline that hasn't been talked about enough here is just how good Adam Fox has been as a freshman this season. He is third among college hockey defensemen with 28 points (3G, 25A), but leads in both assists-per-game (1.04) and points-per-game (1.17). There are only four college hockey freshman who have posted over 20 points this season, and all of them have played upwards on 30 games to Fox's 24.
I saw a tweet the other day from Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) that shows just how dominant Fox has been, matching up against other historical 18-year-old seasons from a defenseman in college hockey:
Last Night's NHL Action
In what was a headlining night for NHL rookies last night, Patrik (Hatrik) Laine potted his third hat trick of the season, and second against the Dallas Stars. Laine has had a field day against the Stars all season, scoring eight goals and adding four assists in the five-game season series against Dallas. His 12 points against Big D alone would be tied for 36th in rookie scoring with Brendan Perlini and Anthony Beauvillier, among others.
Not to be outdone, Auston Matthews scored twice against the New York Islanders, playing just under 16 minutes in a 7-1 rout. His 27 goals are one ahead of Laine's 26, and good for fourth in the NHL. In the same game, teammate Mitch Marner picked up an assist for his rookie class leading 48th point. Marner has been on fire recently, with nine points in his last eight games. Fellow rookie Josh Leivo added a goal and two assists for his first points of the season, and his first multi-point game of his career.
Often forgotten in the Calder Race due to his successes with the Penguins a year ago, Matt Murray is playing some of his best hockey. His 21 wins this season are more than all other rookie goaltenders combined (16) and his save percentage (.926) is in line with the numbers he put up last season in the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Murray blanked Vancouver last night for his third shutout of the season, making 29 saves in a 4-0 win.
Justin Bailey got the game-winner for Buffalo in the third period on a nice deflection in the high-slot, propelling the Sabres to a 3-2 win over Ottawa. It was his second goal of the season for Bailey in his 16th game this year. It looks like the 2013 second rounder will be spending a good amount of time in the NHL down the stretch.
Tonight's NHL Action
Toronto at Columbus: 7:00PM ET
St. Louis at Detroit: 8:00PM ET
Philadelphia at Calgary: 9:30PM ET
Florida at San Jose: 10:30PM ET
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