Player of the Week

Player of the Week

After his final Beanpot game Monday night, senior forward Joe Santilli took a minute to look around the TD Banknorth Garden. The self-proclaimed prankster had a rare somber moment as he skated off the ice after the men’s hockey team beat Harvard 3-1 in Monday’s Beanpot consolation game, acutely aware it could be his last time playing at the Garden.

“I took a look around just to get a glimpse and remember what it is like to play in the Beanpot,” said The Northeastern News Player of the Week. “I just wanted to capture everything.”

Santilli notched two assists in the game, leading a makeshift offense plagued by injuries and the flu. With four of the Huskies top six scorers out of the game, Santilli tallied his seventh and eighth assists of the season.

“Every day we come in and just go to work,” Santilli said. “Obviously without Mike Morris in the lineup and the other guys out we really miss them, but that’s when we go out and just try to score. Sometimes you end up with grimy goals.”

Santilli was originally credited with Northeastern’s second goal of the game, but after review the goal was given to senior assistant captain Steve Birnstill.

“It’s fine. Steve is a better player than me anyway,” Santilli joked after the game.

Birnstill kept the puck in Harvard’s zone and fired a shot at the goal. It bounced off the boards and back into the crease, where Santilli was hacking at it.

“Steve made an unbelievable stop to keep the play alive,” Santilli said. “I whacked at it but never got my stick on it. It went off the Harvard defender and Steve was the last one to touch it.”

The Westwood native said he was happy to contribute in his last Beanpot since he grew up watching the tournament.

“The Beanpot is always a real emotional game,” he said. “It was a big part of why I came to Northeastern. It is like getting to play in a national championship game every year. I knew I wanted to go to a local college, but the Beanpot is a huge selling point for recruits.”

Despite the glory of the Beanpot, Santilli said there is nothing like playing at Matthews Arena.

“I don’t care that some people say it is an old building,” Santilli said. “I love Matthews, it’s like a Fenway Park atmosphere. When we sell out games there is no better place to play.”

– Erika Carrubba, News Staff

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