Let’s be honest here, it would be shocking if Boston College (15-7-2 overall, 12-6-1 Hockey East) isn’t playing Boston University (13-10-1 overall, 10-7-1 Hockey East) in the 61st annual Beanpot Tournament championship game on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at TD Garden.
It’s certainly possible that the No. 5 ranked Eagles and/or No. 11 ranked Terriers could fall in the semifinals but I wouldn’t count on it. Northeastern (7-13-3 overall, 4-11-3 Hockey East) and Harvard (5-14-1, 3-12-0 ECAC) are both complete messes that come into Monday night in last-place in their respective conferences.
In the first semifinal (5 p.m., NESN), BU meets Northeastern. Even though they are both in Hockey East, the Terriers and Huskies have only met once so far this season: a wild 6-5 win by Northeastern on Jan. 18 at BU’s Agganis Arena. They close out the regular season (March 8-9) with a home-and-home series. Neither team exactly comes in on fire: BU is 1-3-1 in its last five games while Northeastern is 0-3-1. In their most recent contests, the Terriers lost 5-1 on Friday at UMass Amherst while the Huskies lost 3-1 to No. 3 New Hampshire on Friday.
BU has a plus-2 goal-differential for the season, they’ve scored 72 and allowed 70. Northeastern has a minus-19 goal differential, they’ve scored 57 and allowed 76. BU is referred to as Beanpot University by its fans since the team has won 29 Beanpots (the other three schools have combined for 31). The Terriers are in a mini-drought though (for them) since they last won it in 2009. Northeastern has only won four Beanpots (lowest among the four schools) and their last one was way back in 1988 (longest drought). In that span, the Huskies have lost in six championship games including a 7-6 OT thriller in 2011 to BC.
The nightcap (8 p.m., NESN) has the potential to get out of hand fast. BC is the defending NCAA champion and they will be in the mix when the NCAA tournament starts in March for another crown. Conversely, the Crimson have lost seven games in a row heading into the Beanpot and nine of their last 10. Harvard has played four Hockey East teams (1-2-1) earlier this season in non-conference play but none of them were the Eagles.
Boston College has a plus-17 goal differential, they’ve scored 82 goals and allowed 65. Harvard’s goal differential is an ugly -28, they’ve scored only 41 goals and allowed 69. The Eagles have won 17 Beanpots (2nd best) and they come into the tournament on a hot streak since they’ve captured the last three and four of the last five. All those Beanpot wins came in one-goal games and three of them were in overtime. The Crimson have 10 Beanpots titles but their last one was 20 years ago-in 1993. Harvard has lost in the final three times during since then, including 6-5 in OT to BC in 2008-their last chance.