Brad Thiessen makes 25 saves for Huskies
Steve Birnstill's power-play goal proved to be the game-winner.
Northeastern took a 3-1 win behind goals from three different players in the consolation game of the 55th Annual Beanpot Tournament on Monday at the TD Banknorth Garden. Ray Ortiz, Steve Birnstill and Rob Rassey scored for the Huskies while goalie Brad Thiessen made 25 saves in net.
Northeastern improved to 11-14-4 overall with the non-conference victory and remained 7-11-4 in Hockey East. Harvard dropped to 10-14-1 and stayed 8-9-1 in the ECAC Hockey League.
Ortiz's goal was the first of the game at 3:46 in the second period. He got the puck from Yale Lewis, took it through the left circle and lifted a shot over Harvard goalie Justin Tobe on his stick side for the score. It was Ortiz's second goal of the season. Joe Santilli also had an assist on the play.
Harvard evened the score at 1-1 when Alex Meintel scored at 8:52. Paul Dufault took the puck up the middle into the Northeastern zone and passed it to Meintel, who was open on the left side. Meintel put it past Thiessen for the score.
Northeastern was back in the lead before the second period was over when Birnstill scored his goal unassisted. Northeastern was on a power play with Harvard's David MacDonald in the penalty box for tripping. After a faceoff in the Harvard zone, a Harvard defenseman tried to clear the puck along the boards. Birnstill knocked it down, took it toward the net and shot it into traffic. The puck bounced off the boards behind the net and back into the crease, where a Harvard defenseman knocked it past Tobe at 15:54.
The Huskies made it 3-1 in the third period when Rassey scored at 10:03. Santilli took the puck into the zone with Rassey following in a 2-on-1. Santilli passed the puck to an open Rassey on his right and Rassey put it into the open corner of the net. Santilli also hit the crossbar late in the third period.
Thiessen came up with several big saves in the game. In the second period, Harvard's Ian Tallett had a breakaway, but Thiessen saved Tallett's shot. That started the play that led to Ortiz's goal.
Northeastern nearly scored in the first minute of the game when Northeastern put a barrage of shots on Tobe. A Randy Guzior shot hit the post but the Huskies couldn't find the net until the second.
Northeastern held Harvard scoreless in eight power play chances, raising the team's penalty kill percentage to 88.6, which ranks fourth in the nation. The Huskies went 1-for-5 on power plays.
Northeastern plays a home-and-home series with Providence this weekend. The Huskies host the Friars on Friday night at Matthews Arena and travel to Schneider Arena to face the Friars on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio, 104.9 FM.