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B's Prospects Battle as Harvard Wins Beanpot

Ryan Donato and Wiley Sherman help Crimson to first Beanpot championship since 1993

by Chris Weyant @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - For nine seasons, Ted Donato pulled the Spoked-B over his chest and suited up for his hometown team, both starting and finishing his playing career in his hometown.

 

Now in his 13th season as head coach of the Harvard Crimson Tide, Donato found himself back behind the TD Garden bench in the Beanpot final, and couldn't have been more excited.

"I grew up in Boston," said Donato. "I played in a million street hockey games being one of the Beanpot teams."

 

From behind the bench, Ted watched his son Ryan weave through Boston University's defense corps and score an impressive third period goal, all but sealing Harvard's first Beanpot championship since 1993 in their 6-3 victory.

 

"It all happened so fast," said Ryan Donato of his goal that extended Harvard's lead to 5-2. "When the puck went in the net, it took me a little bit to realize that I scored."

 

 

For the father-son pair who continue to cement their legacies among Harvard hockey's elite, the parallels being drawn between their playing careers are quite remarkable. 

 

Ted, who played at Harvard from 1987-91 and was a part of the 1989 Beanpot championship team, was a fifth round selection by the Bruins in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

 

Thirteen seems to be the magic number for the 13-year NHL veteran, who captured his first Beanpot title as a coach in his 13th attempt.

 

"I could tell he was really excited, and I think he's going to cherish that championship for a while," said Ryan of his dad.

 

Ryan, who is currently in his sophomore year at Harvard and captured his first Beanpot title on Monday night, was a second round selection by the B's in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He has broken out this season, tallying 26 points (16 goals, 10 assists) through just 25 games, including a four-goal effort against Union College on Feb. 10.

 

Bruins fans had to have liked the speed and prowess Ryan displayed throughout the game, creating multiple scoring chances for him and his teammates.

 

If the saying, "like father, like son," holds any merit, the B's faithful can get excited for the upcoming emergence of the younger Donato.

 

Five Bruins Prospects Skate in Beanpot

 

The Bruins have staked claims on four other collegiate prospects that participated in this year's Beanpot, in addition to Ryan Donato. 

 

Willy Sherman, who towers over his opposition at six-feet and seven-inches, was rock solid on the blueline for Harvard on Monday.

 

Sherman, the Bruins fifth-round selection of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, finished the night with an even plus/minus rating, allowing the Harvard forwards to play aggressively and create offensive opportunities.

 

 

Though Boston University was not able to capture the Beanpot on Monday, two more Bruins prospects took the TD Garden ice, looking to be fixtures in the venue in the not-so-distant future.

 

Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins 14th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, saw his profile rise immensely with his heroic performance in the 2017 World Junior Championship, leading Team USA to their first goal medal since 2013.

 

McAvoy was notable on the ice on Monday night, laying a number of big hits on the Crimson. The bruising defenseman seemed to specifically his potential teammate-to-be, Ryan Donato.

 

"Me and him are friends. We play together in the summer," said Donato. "He's a really nice kid, obviously. When it comes to game time, we're enemies. After the game, we're friends."

 

Even an off-ice friendship didn't spare Donato from some Bruin-on-Bruin crime.

 

"He played hard, and he got me good a couple times," smiled Donato.

 

The other Bruin skating for BU, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, was held in check during Monday night's game, but that's a rarity this season, given his 11 goals and 14 assists through 30 games.

 

Forsbacka-Karlsson was a second round selection of the Bruins in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and is currently in his sophomore season at Boston University.

 

The consolation game before the championship featured Boston College and Northeastern, two teams with storied hockey histories.

 

Northeastern was able to come away with a 4-2 victory, on a go-ahead goal in the final minute of regulation.

 

Ryan Fitzgerald, a fourth-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was the lone Bruins prospect in the matinee, skating for Boston College. 

 

Fitzgerald was unable to make his way on the score sheet Monday, but has enjoyed a successful senior campaign, notching seven goals and 18 assists in 26 games, with a plus/minus rating of plus-nine.

 

If the five Bruins prospects playing in the Beanpot serve as any indication, their future is cause for excitement on Causeway Street.

 

Video: Donato reacts after helping Harvard to Beanpot title

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