The wait is almost over, the 61st edition of the premier regular season tournament in college hockey is only a few days away as BU plays Northeastern (5 p.m., NESN) and BC opposes Harvard (8 p.m., NESN) in the 2013 Beanpot on Monday at TD Garden.
The winners will face each other the following Monday with the losers going to the consolation game earlier that night. Each team has one conference game this weekend (on Friday) before they get ready for the uniquely New England experience that awaits them on Monday. Needless to say, all of these clubs desperately want a victory to give them some positive momentum before all eyes will be on the Garden.
1) Boston College (14-7-2 overall, 11-6-1 in Hockey East; No. 5 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Lost 4-1 to Maine on Friday; Lost 3-1 to Maine on Saturday
Next game: Host Vermont on Friday; Play Harvard (8 pm) on Monday in the Beanpot at TD Garden
The Eagles have lost four of their last five games and they suffered by far their most shocking results of the season this past weekend at Conte Forum. Losing to the Black Bears (7-14-4, 3-9-4 Hockey East) once was bad enough but getting swept by them is unexplainable. BC’s defensive corps is in rough shape with many injuries, forcing forward Steven Whitney to play back there, but this still can’t happen. Maine had one conference win before last weekend. It sounds funny to say since they are still No. 5 in the country but of these four teams, the Eagles probably need a win more than any of the others on Friday.
2) Boston University (13-9-1 overall, 10-6-1 in Hockey East; No. 11 in USCHO.com poll)
Last week: Won 3-2 at Providence on Friday; Tied Providence 3-3 on Saturday
Next game: At UMass Amherst on Friday; Play Northeastern (5 pm) on Monday in the Beanpot
The Terriers were the only local team to have what could be termed a good weekend although I’m sure crusty old Jack Parker wasn’t totally satisfied with a tie at home. BU bounced back after going 0-2 the previous weekend and they rallied in both games against the Friars including a 2-0 hole on Friday in Providence. The next two games are setting up well for BU to get to the Beanpot Final against BC (which seems to happen every year).
3) Northeastern (7-12-3 overall, 4-10-3 in Hockey East)
Last week: Tied No. 13 UMass Lowell 4-4 on Friday; Lost 5-4 to UMass Lowell in OT on Saturday
Next game: Host No. 3 New Hampshire on Friday; Play BU on Monday in the Beanpot
Northeastern had a chance to snap UMass Lowell’s nine-game unbeaten streak but they blew a pair of multiple goal leads (4-2 on Friday, 4-1 on Saturday) in the third period against the River Hawks. That had to sting for the Huskies, who have a particularly difficult task this weekend: a tie against the Wildcats would be fine, just not another heartbreaking choke before they play the Terriers.
4) Harvard (5-13-1 overall, 3-11-0 in ECAC)
Last week: Lost 5-1 to Clarkson on Friday; Lost 4-3 to St. Lawrence on Saturday
Next game: At Rensselaer on Friday; Play BC on Monday in Beanpot
The Crimson have lost five games in a row and the main culprit has been their lack of goal-scoring during this slump: nine goals in five games. They beat Rensselaer 4-0 back on November 10 in Cambridge which seems like a lifetime ago so perhaps that remains a good matchup for them. They really need a good result before they play the Eagles, who could be a buzzsaw after their recent struggles.
Star of the week
Boston Unviersity freshman forward Danny O’Regan
The Needham native had a four-point weekend, two assists in BU’s 3-2 win at Providence on Friday then a goal and assist in their 3-3 OT tie with the Friars on Saturday at Agganis Arena. O’Regan is the center on the second line but he’s only one point behind Cason Hohmann for the team lead in points with nine goals and 13 assists this season. He also has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) on the power play.
Quote of the week
From USCHO.com’s Scott Weighart
“We survived with a couple important guys out of the lineup and everybody chipped in and stepped up,” said BU head coach Jack Parker after his Terriers settled for a 3-3 tie with Providence on Saturday at Agganis Arena.