The Nashville Predators and their fans watched Jimmy Vesey’s Harvard team lose in the finals of the ECAC Playoffs last weekend.
UPDATE is at the BOTTOM of this Article.
Quinnipiac, the number one seed, beat them in the final game, 4-1. Though Harvard lost they were still chosen as an at-large team to the Regionals of the NCAA Hockey Tournament leading to the Frozen Four. Vesey is currently a draft pick of the Predators and has the chance to join them once his team is eliminated from Post-Season play. In our article, “Nashville Predators Waiting for Jimmy Vesey“, we answered a lot of questions as to the hows and whys of Vesey playing for the Preds.
Here are the first two Parts of this Jimmy Vesey Watch Story:
It has pretty much come down to this weekend. Harvard was chosen as the third seed in the Northeast Regional. That is arguably the toughest region to get through. Although Providence was the fourth ranked team in RPI and thus the fourth #1 seed, they also got Boston College who is the fifth ranked team and their first opponent on Friday at 7:00. Even Minnesota-Duluth, the lowest rated tournament team has been incredibly hot through the end of the season.
If they beat BC they will face the winner of Providence and Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday for the chance to advance to the Frozen Four. Harvard is currently the 10th ranked team. It is a one and done tournament, so if Harvard were to lose on Friday, Jimmy Vesey’s college career would be over and he would have to decide whether or not to become a Nashville Predator almost immediately.
Seven of the 10 Hobey Baker finalists, the award for the top collegiate player, will be playing in the Regionals. Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey and Boston College’s Thatcher Demko are the only two Hobey Baker finalists facing each other in the first round. The winner will be announced before the Championship game in Tampa on April 9th. If Harvard were to continue advancing, that would be Vesey’s final game.
Harvard lost to Boston College earlier this season in the Beanpot, 3-2. They have never met in the NCAA’s before. Providence is the defending National Champion so they know what it takes to win. We will follow the tournament and post updates later in the week as the games happen.
Game 1- Semi Finals vs. Boston College
The game started an hour late after #4 seed Minnesota-Duluth beat #1 Providence in the second overtime in the first game of the evening. The winner of this game would face Minny-Duluth to go to the Frozen Four.
In the first period, Harvard came out well, outshooting Boston College but BC scored first in a scrum in front of the net that was reviewed twice but called a good call. The goal was by Alex Tuch. Havard just missed on a shot by the coaches son, Ryan Donato with 4 minutes left.
BC scored again at the 17:23 mark when Cangelosi took a great pass from Wood right on the doorstep and put it home. Jimmy Vesey just missed putting one in from the blue paint with 16 seconds left but the period ended with a 2-0 lead for Boston College.
In the second period, Tuch, who is a Minny Wild first round pick, scored again on a partial breakaway in the first two minutes to make 3-0. It wasn’t looking good for the Crimson but they scored on a pretty goal by Seb Lloyd at the 9:53 mark. The period ended that way at 3-1.
Jimmy Vesey really looked good in the second period. He goes to the greasy areas in front of the net in those High Danger areas. He looks big and fast for the college opposition and through a couple of big checks too. He looks like just the kind of Left Winger the Predators need.
In the third period, Esposito of Harvard had a point-blank shot at the six-minute mark but put it just wide. Boston College was all over Vesey’s line but he still had a couple of nice chances. Harvard’s last gasp was a Power Play with four minutes left. They pulled the goalie for a two-man advantage and threatened but BC got an empty-netter with seven seconds left in the penalty to put the nail in the coffin. Final score was 4-1 and Harvard’s season is over.
We were really impressed with Vesey even though he didn’t figure in the scoring. He is big, physical, quick and very smart on the ice. That is a great combination. It looks like he could fit in well on the Predators.
So now the ball is in Jimmy Vesey’s court. He can join the Predators very soon and start playing getting ready for the playoffs and building chemistry. Or he can wait until August 15th and sign with anyone that offers. David Poile and the Predators have been waiting for his decision for a long time. So have we.