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Alex Kerfoot Scores Game Winner on Drought-Ending Beanpot Trophy

By Randy Lucenti on February 23, 2017

Dylan Sikura scored the game winner as Northeastern Huskies downed Boston College Eagles 4-2 in the Beanpot consolation final. (Rich Gagnon/Northeastern Athletics)

Harvard University Crimson men's hockey ended a 24-year drought recently by claiming the coveted Beanpot trophy and now set their sights on ending a 23-year dry spell in the upcoming NCAA national tournament.

The Beanpot is a tournament among the four major college schools in the Boston, Mass. area which has been held annually since 1952.

In the 65th edition of the competition, held before sold out crowds at the TD Bank Gardens in Boston, the Crimson doubled up on the Boston University Terriers by a count of 6-3 to claim their 11th Beanpot, but just the first since 1993.

The final featured two of the top four ranked teams in the nation with Harvard at No. 3 and BU at No. 4, trailing just the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at No. 1 and No. 2 Denver Pioneers.

Harvard has competed in the past two national championship tournaments, but has failed to make it to the Frozen Four since 1994 and won their lone NCAA title way back in 1989. They are hoping to end those droughts with a spot in this year's final four in Chicago.

All four of the top teams feature some top Canadian student-athletes with the Crimson leading the way with nine, including Hobey Baker Award nominee as the nation's top player Alexander Kerfoot from West Vancouver, B.C.

The senior forward, who is averaging better than a point a game this season, also scored what proved to be the winning goal in the Beanpot final. Another Canadian, Dylan Sikura, who hails from Aurora, Ont., also notched the winning tally as the Northeastern Huskies downed Boston College Eagles 4-2 in the Beanpot consolation final.

The other Canadians playing for Harvard are: freshman forward and Alexander's brother Colton Kerfoot (West Vancouver, B.C.), senior defenceman Victor Newell (Burnaby, B.C.), junior forward Seb Lloyd (Prince George, B.C.), freshman forward Justin Szeto (Vancouver, B.C.), sophomore defenceman Viktor Dombrovskiy (Coquitlam, B.C.), freshman forward Frédéric Grégoire (St. Lambert, Que.), senior forward Phil Zielonka (Montreal, Que.) and sophomore forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage (Montreal, Que.) 

The Bulldogs and Pioneers each have an additional seven performers from north of the border while the Beanpot runner-up Terriers dress four, including two former Team Canada junior stars.

Freshman defenceman Dante Fabbro (New Westminster, B.C.), who played a dominant role for Team Canada in their silver medal effort at the recent World Junior Championships, and junior rearguard Brandon Hickey (Leduc, Alta.), who toiled for Canada at the 2016 event, are the backbone of the Terriers blueline corps.

They are joined by freshman forward Gabriel Chabot (Quebec City) and junior goaltender Connor LaCouvee (Qualicum Beach, B.C.), who went 3-1 (2.70 goals-against and .921 save percentage) for Boston while starting netminder Jake Oettinger was away helping Team U.S.A. win gold at the WJC.

The top-ranked Bulldogs also boast a pair of go-to Canadian defencemen. Seniors Carson Soucy (Irma, Alta.) and Brenden Kotyk (Regina, Sask.) are also assistant captains at Minnesota-Duluth.

Other Canucks on the squad include sophomore forward Parker Mackay (Irma, Alta.), junior forward Sammy Spurrell (Sherwood, Alta.), junior forward Blake Young (Battleford, Sask.), sophomore forward Billy Exell (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and freshman defenceman Jarod Hilderman (Kamsack, Sask.).

The second-ranked Pioneers are backstopped by junior goaltender Tanner Jaillet from Red Deer, Alta., who is among the NCAA leaders in most of the goaltending statistics heading into the playoffs.

Two of Denver's leading scorers are also Canadians. Sophomore forward Jarid Lukosevicius (Squamish, B.C.) and senior forward Matt Marcinew (Calgary, Alta.) have been in the top five or six pointgetters since joining the Pioneers after their junior years in the BCHL and AJHL respectively.

The other Canadians on the roster include junior defenceman Tariq Hammond (Calgary, Alta.), sophomore forward Logan O'Connor (Calgary, Alta.), freshman forward Liam Finlay (Kelowna, B.C.) and junior defenceman Adam Plant (Penticton, B.C.). 

There's still plenty of exciting playoff hockey to be played before the best college teams arrive at the United Center in Chicago for the Frozen Four beginning April 6, but all eyes and dreams of many are already focused on the Windy City.

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By Randy Lucenti| February 23, 2017
Categories:  College
Keywords:  NCAA

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