BOSTON - Maybe for a moment, Boston College coach Jerry York thought the Eagles wrapped up the tough part of the Beanpot in the opening round.
A week after beating perennial power Boston University in overtime to advance to the final, the Eagles led Harvard 5-3 with less than 10 minutes left in the championship game. "I thought we had it well under control," York said. "They just never gave up."
And neither did BC, which perked up after Harvard sent the game into overtime and dominated the extra period, winning the 56th Beanpot title 6-5 when Nick Petrecki emerged from a scramble in front of the net to poke in the deciding goal.
"It's being in the right place at the right time," said Petrecki, a freshman who had not scored in college but had two goals on Monday night, including the game-winner at 7:07 of overtime. "Took a swing at it. Closed my eyes."
Brian Gibbons scored twice and was the tournament's MVP, and John Muse stopped 21 shots for the Eagles (15-6-7).
Forward Brock Bradford, from Burnaby, B.C., forward Dan Bertram of Calgary and forward Matt Price of Milton, Ont., were on Boston College's roster.
Montreal native Alex Biega assisted on the game-tying goal for Harvard, while Calgary's Kyle Richter made 27 saves for the Crimson.
The Eagles outshot Harvard 7-0 in overtime, ending it after Pat Gannon's shot pulled Richter to the right of the goal. He made the save, but the puck bounced in front of the empty net, and Petrecki raced over to swipe it in.
Petrecki flopped onto the ice and slid over the red-line while his teammates poured out of the BC bench to pile on top of him. The Eagles have reached the NCAA championship game in each of the past two years, but they have not won the region's college hockey bragging rights since 2004.
"I like the Beanpot. I played in it, and it's a big tournament," York said. "But outside the region, it's more about what you do on the national level. We've got bigger goals than the Beanpot."
Boston University, which had won the tournament in 11 of the previous 13 years, missed the final for the first time since 1994 but beat Northeastern in the consolation game 5-4 earlier Monday.
A sellout crowd of 17,565, heavily weighted toward Boston College, saw the highest-scoring Beanpot final since BU beat Northeastern 11-4 in 1996. It was the fourth time in five years that the championship game has been settled in overtime.
Doug Rogers had a goal and two assists for Harvard, and he also put the puck past Muse in the second period but the goal was disallowed because the whistle had blown.
The Crimson were playing in their first final since 1998; Harvard (9-11-3) hasn't won since '93.
"I hope some day we look back and say this senior class took that first step in us being a bigger factor in the Beanpot," Harvard coach Ted Donato said.
BC took a 5-3 lead with 9:38 left, but Jon Pelle scored an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to one, then Mike Taylor tied it with 4:24 left in regulation when he tipped Biega's slapshot into the net.
"The guys felt the entire time that we were going to make a run," Donato said. "Certainly, after regulation, we felt that momentum was on our side."
The teams traded goals over the first two periods, leaving the game tied 3-3 on Rogers' goal with 2:35 gone in the third.
The Eagles took a 4-3 lead at 5:48 of the third when Matt Price dug the puck out from behind the Harvard net and backhanded it to Gannon in front. The five-foot-six senior whacked at it twice before it trickled between Richter's pads.
Andrew Orpik, the brother of Pittsburgh Penguins and former BC defenceman Brooks Orpik, gave the Eagles a 5-3 lead midway through the third. But Harvard cut the deficit in half 52 seconds later when Pelle came over the blue-line and faked two defenders onto the ice, looking to pass before taking it himself at 11:14.