The time has finally come.
The reason that the crazy, dedicated members of the Dog Pound make sure not to schedule any Monday night classes during spring registration: the 62nd Annual Beanpot Tournament.
Every year, four “Boston” schools (only two of which have Boston addresses, but that’s an argument for another day) come together at the TD Garden for a two-week long tournament starting on the first Monday of February. This year, the Harvard University Crimson face off against the Northeastern Huskies at 5pm followed by a battle between the Boston College Eagles and the Boston University Terriers at 8pm.
At first I was nervous upon finding out that the Terriers would be facing the Eagles in the first round, but I’m warming up to the idea. Odds are BU would have had to face the Eagles at some point in the tournament so they might as well get it over with in the first round. Even though the Terriers enter this game down 0-2 against Boston College this season, they are definitely a team that can play up to the occasion. With a very depleted team two weeks ago, BU still managed to put up 4 goals against a dominant Boston College team.
The Beanpot is an entirely different monster. In the TD Garden, in front of a crowd of over 10,000, the Terriers tend to find a way to beat Boston College. Their last meeting in this historic building was for the Hockey East Semifinals last year where the Terriers knocked the Eagles out of the tournament for the first time in 3 years defeating them 6-3.
The Terriers have definitely struggled against the Eagles in the Beanpot in the past few years though. In 2010, the season after the Terriers went on to win it all at the National Championship, the Eagles took back the Beanpot with a close 4-3 win over the Terriers. The following year, the Eagles knocked them out in the first round with a 3-2 overtime victory. 2012 saw one of the most devastating losses in the BU/BC rivalry and by far the most devastating game I have ever seen when Boston College defeated Boston University with 6.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime period after a battle back and forth all game for the Beanpot Finals.
Like the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry game last night, when these two teams get together anything can happen. If history is any indicator, it is bound to be a back and forth, one-goal game with overtime always a very good possibility.
Being my senior year, a Terrier Beanpot win is more important now more than ever. Last year’s graduating class was the first BU class to not witness a Beanpot win since the Class of 1965, and my class threatens to be the second in a row.
If there’s a game that the Terriers have a really good chance of winning this year, though, it’s this Beanpot semifinal game against the Eagles. Boston University usually plays its best in the bigger arenas, as evidenced by past Beanpot and Hockey East tournament appearances at TD Garden and Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden this past Thanksgiving.
Tonight the Terriers face off against the UMASS Minutemen who are only one point above the Terriers in the Hockey East standings. Boston University has historically struggled playing at Mullins Center in Amherst, but a win tonight could be huge in starting the Terriers off on a positive note going into a challenging first-round Beanpot matchup.