Beanpot: BC meets Northeastern Monday in title game
The Beanpot is all about history so it’s only right that Monday’s championship game (7:30 p.m., NESN) pitting Boston College (16-7-2 overall, 12-6-1 Hockey East) against Northeastern (8-13-3 overall, 4-11-3 Hockey East) is chock full of juicy storylines. The Eagles are trying to win their fourth straight Beanpot (something which they’ve never done before) while the Huskies will attempt to snap a drought that stretches back before any of their players were alive (1988 was their last title).
Northeastern advanced to the championship game with a 3-1 win over Boston University, thanks to freshman forward Kevin Roy’s hat trick. Boston College beat Harvard, 4-1, in the nightcap last Monday. The Huskies are 9-32 all-time against the Eagles in the Beanpot, including a 1-2 mark in the championship game. BC thumped Northeastern, 7-1, in the semifinals last year and the teams played an instant classic championship two years ago as Jimmy Hayes scored the game-winner when BC outlasted NU, 7-6, in overtime.
Looking back at past Beanpots is fun, but nothing tells more about what will likely occur on Monday night than looking at how these two teams performed against each other earlier this season: Northeastern beat Boston College, 3-1, on Oct.13 at Matthews Arena but the Eagles responded with a 3-0 win a week later at Kelley Rink . The Eagles would also thrash the Huskies, 9-3, Jan. 19 in Chestnut Hill. Barring a meeting in the Hockey East playoffs, Monday is the last time these two teams will play this season.
Besides Roy, who will no doubt be closely watched by BC, the most important player for the Huskies will be senior goaltender Chris Rawlings. He was the starter two years ago against the Eagles in the title game so he has experience in a big moment like this. It’s tough to single out a certain player on BC since they are so deep, exhibited by fourth-liner Quinn Smith’s two goals last Monday, but senior goaltender Parker Milner along with senior forward and captain Pat Mullane are two of the Eagles’ most important leaders.
Sadly, Las Vegas sportsbooks don’t set lines on college hockey games (maybe you can find a place in the North End that does?) but here is a trend to keep an eye on: nine of the last 10 Beanpot championship games were decided by one goal, with six of them going into overtime. Therefore it’s highly likely that we’ll be treated to another great college hockey game Monday at the Garden.
Follow Metro Boston college hockey beat writer Rich Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate