Boston University freshman left wing Shane Lachance is a third generation Terrier.
Lachance will attempt to become the third family member to hoist the Beanpot Trophy when the No. 3-ranked Terriers (19-7-1) engage the defending champion Northeastern Huskies (12-12-2) in the 71st title game on Monday night (7:30) at TD Garden. No. 1-ranked Boston College (20-5-1) will play Harvard (4-14-4) in the Consolation game at 4:30 p.m.
Lachance’s father, Scott, won a Beanpot at BU in 1991 before embarking on a 13-year NHL career. Lachance’s maternal grandfather is legendary former BU coach Jack Parker, a name synonymous with success in the Beanpot.
Parker was 3-for-3 as a player under Jack Kelley and won 21 as the Terriers’ head coach that included a record six straight from 1995 to 2000. The institute of higher learning at the lower end of Commonwealth Ave. became known as “Beanpot University” on Parker’s watch.
“Obviously it (Beanpot) has been drilled into me a lot and that’s why you come to this school,” said Lachance following a spirited but brief practice on Sunday at Agganis Arena. “You come to BU to win a Beanpot and win a national championship and this is one step towards that.
“Once you get here everybody knows how amplified it is. It is one of those things where we are going to come together as a group. We play for each other and play for the seniors and hopefully we will come out on the right side.”
The 6-5, 218-pound Lachance is from Andover and has been coming to the Beanpot since he was in grammar school. The Edmonton Oilers draft pick made his Beanpot debut in the Terriers’ 4-3 victory over Boston College in the nightcap on Feb. 5 at the Garden.
Lachance plays on the line with graduate center Sam Stevens and sophomore right wing Devin Kaplan. He has played in 27 games and has nine goals and seven assists with a plus six.
“I grew up going to a lot of Beanpots and now it is time to take care of business,” said Lachance. “Winning the Beanpot would mean the world to me, growing up being bombarded with BU history.
“All I wanted to do was accomplish those things since I was little and the Beanpot is one of them. It would mean the world to me.”
While Lachance was immersed in Beanpot culture at a tender age, his teammate, second line sophomore center Ryan Greene, picked up on it quickly upon arrival at BU. Greene, a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick, is from Paradise in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador and developed his hockey skills with Green Bay of the USHL.
Greene’s first Beanpot experience was a 3-1 loss to Northeastern in the 2023 opener. That bad experience was exacerbated by a 4-2 loss to rival BC in the consolation game. It was the first time in the history of the tournament that BC and BU met in the consolation game.
“It is exciting and this is our first chance to win a trophy together,” said Greene. “This is my first time playing in the Beanpot final and I’m pretty excited.
“I honestly didn’t know much about the Beanpot until I came here being from Canada, but it is the biggest thing. It would be awesome to win the Beanpot and this is when it gets fun down the stretch.
“Playing for the Beanpot, the Hockey East and NCAA tournaments, those are the important games you want to win. This is what we have been preparing for all year.”
BU has been the dominant program in the Beanpot. The Terriers are appearing in the final for the 56th time and have won a record 31 championships.
While Northeastern takes up the rear with eight Beanpot titles since 1952, the Huskies have enjoyed a mini-dynasty having won four of the last five.
NU was expected to repeat in 2021 when the tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic. BU broke the Huskies’ streak by winning the Beanpot in 2022.
NU is the hottest team in Hockey East and enters the Beanpot title tilt riding a five-game win streak. NU knocked off BU 4-3 in overtime on Jan. 30 and beat No. 6 Maine 6-3 on Feb. 2.
“It definitely helps having experienced it and I have played with a lot of great leaders and captains throughout the years,” said NU senior left wing Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, who scored the overtime game winner against Harvard in the Beanpot opener.
“Having played in the Beanpot and playing in those high stakes moments, you feel more poised in these moments when you get older and have been through in. You have a greater appreciation for winning the thing when you lost it before. My freshman year, we came up short. It gets you going a little more.”
Jeff Hafley explains leaving Boston College for Packers DC job
Jeff Hafley surprised many when he left the head coach position Boston College to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator. A longtime NFL assistant, it was an interesting decision to leave a Power Conference head coaching job for a coordinator position.
Ultimately, he said, it came down to the type of people he’d be working with in Green Bay.
Hafley met with reporters Thursday in Green Bay and broke down his decision to join the Packers as Matt LaFleur’s defensive coordinator. He noted his relationship with LaFleur, and the idea of working with him was a big selling point.
“A lot of reporters have tried to hit me up and ask about, ‘Why’d you leave? Why’d you leave a head job?’ It really has more to do with this place than anything else, and one was Matt,” Hafley said. “I’ve known Matt for a while. I worked with his brother – worked with Kyle, worked with Robert, worked with guys that he’s known. So I’ve known of Matt, I’ve respected what he’s done. I’ve watched what he’s done here. I think he’s like 56-27. Great coach, great leader, great person, great family man.
“Those are all really important things for me coming to work for another head coach, leaving a head coaching job. Matt was a big reason.”
Hafley spent four years at Boston College and had a 22-26 record during that time. Before that, he spent even seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers as a defensive backs coach from 2012-18. He then returned to the college ranks at Ohio State as defensive coordinator and DBs coach in 2019 before taking over at Boston College in 2020.
After news broke of his decision, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the reason for Hafley’s move stemmed from the changing landscape in college football, and the need to focus on other areas such as NIL and roster retention.
On Thursday, Jeff Hafley said the opportunity to not only return to the NFL, but do it with a historic franchise was a big selling point and added to his decision.
“As a guy that grew up loving football, it’s the Green Bay Packers,” Hafley said. “I mean, this is like the mecca of a football world to me and probably to most people who grew up loving football. Just being here driving into Lambeau every day, it still feels surreal. The community, maybe the best fans in all the world, as well. That made a really, really hard decision for me – leaving Boston College, players that I love, staff that I loved, the leadership at the school – it made a really hard decision a lot easier. And ultimately, that’s why I decided to come.
“Now that my head’s finally cleared up a little bit and I see things a heck of a lot more clearly than when I was making that decision, there’s no doubt about it that I made a great one. And I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to be around all you guys, I’m excited to be a part of the staff, some of the new guys that we brought in and I really can’t wait to get going.”
Author readings around Boston through March 2 – The Boston Globe
Bruins win wild one in Edmonton, 6-5, in OT
The Bruins lost another defenseman, a three-goal lead and then another one-goal third period lead in Edmonton.
But they refused to the lose the game.
After killing a penalty penalty in overtime, Charlie McAvoy beat Stuart Skinner on a terrific backhand goal to lift the B’s to an electric 6-5 win over Edmonton, snapping the Oilers’ eight-game home win streak.
“I just loved the way we kept forging ahead,” coach Jim Montgomery told reporters in Edmonton. “We didn’t worry about what happened, positively or negatively. i thought we continued to play. Obviously, they had a great push by a great team in the third period and it snowballed, but we went right back to work after that. When they made it 4-4, the next four minutes I thought we controlled the game…great for the fans.”
The B’s managed to beat one of the most explosive teams in the NHL on a night when their goalie, Jeremy Swayman (39 saves), was not at his best. But on an overtime penalty kill, Swayman came up with a huge glove save on Leon Draisaitl to give McAvoy the opportunity to win another game. This time he didn’t wait till the ninth round of the shootout like he did on Monday against Dallas, taking a Jake DeBrusk pass and going straight down the slot, toe-dragging it and beating Skinner on the backhander at 3:10 of OT.
Montgomery decided to break up his rotation and play Swayman in back-to-back games, partially to go with the hot hand. But he also did it with Linus Ullmark’s spectacular game in Calgary last season in mind. The B’s play the Flames on Thursday.
“(Swayman’s) game was kind of like our team’s game. Things are going really well, then they go not the way you want it,” said Montgomery. “His mental makeup is unreal. He just thinks he’s going to stop every puck, so he doesn’t worry about what just happened. He moves forward. That’s why he’s able to keep making saves.”
Rookie Mason Lohrei, recalled from Providence, stepped up to the occasion, recording three assists and four blocks in 23:32 of icetime.
“He was really good,” said Montgomery. “He played more direct, north, coming out the D-zone and at the offensive blue line under pressure. And then when he had time and space, I thought he was really good. Thought he was good on the power play as well.”
It was an eventful, crazy game from the first puck drop.
The first period started out very badly, then very well. Just 1:05 into the game, Ryan McLeod gave Matt Grzelcyk a two-handed chop on the top of his left foot, earning a tripping call. Grzelcyk needed help off the ice as he could not put any weight on the foot. He would surprisingly return to the bench late in the period but did not play again. That was not welcome news, considering they were already without Hampus Lindholm for the trip and possibly longer. While Lindholm is out “week-to-week,” Montgomery termed Grzelcyk as “day-to-day right now.”
On the power play, the B’s looked crisp as the first unit whipped the puck around with precision. But it was the second unit that found the back of the net. Morgan Geekie (a career-high 10 goals) scored from the outside of the right circle, thanks to a Jake DeBrusk screen.
But in the fast-paced first, the Oilers eventually got rolling and tied it up at 11:40. The struggling Derek Forbort lost the puck as he tried to break it out as Connor McDavid flicked it off his stick. It went to Warren Foegele, who took it to the net and beat Swayman through the pads.
The B’s survived an Anthony Richard trip on McDavid and then pushed back. They held a 14-12 shot advantage in the first, but could not get another by Stuart Skinner.
But Brad Marchand gave the B’s their one-goal lead back just 25 seconds into second. Danton Heinen gave Marchand a nifty little pass just outside the blue line to give the captain a little bit of room to attack. From the outside of the left circle, Marchand found the sizable hole Skinner left on his short side for his 26th goal.
The B’s made it a two-goal lead at 4:40 with another fourth (third?) line goal. From the right point, McAvoy gave a short pass to Jesper Boqvist just below him. Boqvist flipped the puck toward the net and, with Justin Brazeau screening in front, Trent Frederic (16) tipped it past Skinner.
Veteran Corey Perry tried to get his team into the game by taking a run at McAvoy and missed, but Parker Wotherspoon caught the attempt and had words with Perry. Perry started throwing hands immediately and Wotherspoon had to oblige, landing some good shots and getting the W. Perry got the extra two, but the B’s could not cash in.
But after killing off another Edmonton power play, the B’s extended the lead to 4-1. At the end of a terrific shift by the B’s first line, Jake DeBrusk backhanded home a rebound of a David Pastrnak shot at 13:57. It was his 13th and first in 10 games.
They would not run away with it, however. The Oilers got one back just 90 seconds later when Zach Hyman won a puck battle along the boards and fed a wide-open Foegele in front of the net for his second of the game on backhander.
The B’s were lucky to get out of the period with a two-goal lead. Edmonton kept them hemmed in their own end for the better part of the final four minutes of the period. Mason Lohrei, who had three assists, was on the ice for the final 3:46. But the B’s were able to survive and catch their breath.
Then after Swayman allowed a bad goal at 6:14 of the third, the Oilers were with striking distance. The netminder tried to clear the puck himself along the wall but it was stopped by Cody Ceci at the right point. Ceci fired a shot that looked like an easy save for Swayman, but it somehow squeezed through and behind him. Mattias Janmark just tapped it in for the easy one.
It was all tied up 1:10 later. A Darnell Nurse left point shot produced a fat rebound and Perry lifted it over Swayman’s pad for the equalizer.
“Our bench was really calm, even though it looked like we were in an avalanche for a while,” said Montgomery.
The B’s regained the lead but couldn’t maintain it. After a nice play by Lohrei to keep the puck in and drop it for Pastrnak, the sharpshooter whistled a shortside wrister past Skinner at 12:41.
But Swayman’s rebound control issues continued. The Oilers tied it up just 38 seconds later when he couldn’t control Mattias Ekholm’s long distance shot and Zach Hyman tucked the rebound underneath the netminder.
The B’s looked like they would be able to run out the clock to get it to overtime and they did, but not without shooting themselves in the foot. After overskating a puck at his own blue line, James van Riemsdyk took a tripping penalty with 20 seconds in regulation.
They managed to kill it in OT and then van Riemsdyk was a stopped on a breakaway coming out of the box.
But for the second time in as many games, McAvoy was the hero.
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