For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Beanpot, it’s a 4 team tournament consisting of the 4 D1 Boston hockey schools. Harvard, Boston University, Boston College and Northeastern duke it out every year to see who will reign supreme in Boston hockey. The tournament began back in 1952, and takes place on the first 2 Mondays in February. Last week the tournament kicked off with BU defeating BC 3-1, and Harvard taking out Northeastern 4-3. It’s the best college puck of the regular season, and tonight will be no different as we’ve got one hell of a treat with #4 Harvard taking on #3 Boston University.
BU enters tonight’s game as the favorite thanks to the whopping 11 NHL draft picks they have on their roster (4 of which are 1st rounders). Harvard certainly isn’t lacking in talent either, as they didn’t become the #4 team in the country by accident. The big question in this one is whether or not the BU youngsters can hang with the experience of the Crimson. The top 6 point scorers for BU are all freshman and sophomores while 4 of Harvard’s top 6 point scorers are seniors. Don’t think their youth means they lack big game experience though as the Terriers had 7 players that won gold in the World Juniors this year, including stud defenseman Charlie McAvoy who won the MVP of the gold medal game.
In a 4 team tournament you’d expect the results to be rather spread out, but BU has absolutely dominated this tournament having appeared in 52 of the 65 finals, and winning it 30 times. Harvard has made it to the finals 25 times with just 10 championship victories, their last win coming 23 years ago. Harvard head coach Ted Donato was a part of the 1989 Harvard team that took out BU to hoist the Beanpot trophy, and there’s nothing he’d rather do than end their 23 year drought with the help of his star sophomore son, Ryan Donato.
Harvard holds the best winning percentage in college hockey at 75%, and can expect to find themselves atop the rankings next week with a win tonight, and victories over Yale and Brown this upcoming weekend. The same can be said of BU if they take care of business tonight, and then sweep the University of New Hampshire over the weekend (I go to UNH, and unfortunately, I fully expect them to murder us).
The guys out there tonight have dreamt of this game since they were kids, playing in the world famous TD Garden with a chance to hoist one of the most illustrious trophies in college sports. They’re gonna be playing fast, hard and aggressive leaving everything out on the ice. This is gonna be one hell of a game, and you don’t wanna miss it!