(Photo via bu.edu)
Monday night was the opening round of the 2016 Beanpot, which is currently held at the TD Garden in Boston, MA. The first round featured matchups of the 4/5 ranked Eagles of Boston College against the 7th ranked Crimson of Harvard, and the 9/10 ranked Terriers of Boston University against the unranked Huskies of Northeastern. With the tournament containing three ranked teams, all in the top ten, this is the most competitive field in the tournaments history.
In the first game of the two-day tournament, the Eagles and Crimson played a close hockey game. Just a minute and thirty-five seconds into the contest, Casey Fitzgerald of the Eagles lit the lamp and took a very early 1-0 lead. The Eagles dominated on defense and did not allow a shot until nearly the midway point of the first period. However, that one Harvard shot was all they needed as Ryan Donato tied the game at one all. Then, five minutes later, Adam Baughman of Harvard took the teams second shot and found the back of the net, putting his team ahead 2-1. After a shaky start for goaltender Thatcher Demko, the Eagles goalie pulled it together and allowed no more. In the second period, the Eagles scored twice more on goals by Zach Sanford and Colin White. In a scoreless third period, the Eagles held on and won 3-2, therefor advancing to their sixth Beanpot title game in seven seasons.
In the second game of the evening, fans saw the Terriers look to advance to their second straight Beanpot final and play their archrival Eagles. The Terriers started the scoring first as thirteen minutes into the game, Robbie Baillargeon put them ahead 1-0. About four minutes later, Charlie McAvoy scored and put BU ahead by two. However, Northeastern did not say die, and late in the third period John Stevens of the Huskies cut the BU lead to just one goal. The Huskies then pulled their goaltender, Ryan Ruck, in hopes to tie the game and force overtime. However, in the final minute of the game, BU defenseman Doyle Somerby put the puck in the empty net to secure the 3-1 win for BU, and a matchup against BC in the finals.
The second day of this two-day tournament will be held on Monday, February 8th, and will feature the top two winning teams in Beanpot history. The Terriers lead all teams with thirty championships in the 64-year history of the tournament, followed by the Eagles 19. However, the Eagles have dominated the tournament lately and will be looking for their sixth title in seven seasons. The craziest stat coming out of today though is that in the 64-year history, every single final has featured either BC or BU, and each year either BC or BU has won the title since 1993. This will be the twenty-second meeting between the two Boston schools in tournament history, with BU owning a 12-9 record in those games. With pure hatred by both schools for one another, Monday’s finale is shaping up to be an exciting game.
– K. Troy