The 2013 edition of the annual Beanpot tournament (61st year of the event) is setting up to be one of the best matchups of the season, pitting perennial powerhouse Boston College against underdog Northeastern.
Boston College has all the history and tradition on its side Monday—winning three Beanpots in a row and four of the last five—but Northeastern is incredibly dangerous.
While the Huskies haven’t won this tournament since 1988, Northeastern is hot coming into Monday’s game after knocking off favorite Boston University in the semi-finals.
The Beanpot is always filled with a rich tradition, and this year’s unpredictable matchup between the David and Goliath of college hockey could amount to the best end of this storied tournament in decades.
Where: TD Bank Garden, Boston
When: Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Watch: NESN (Only aired locally)
Live Stream: Audio Streaming (Official site)
Team Breakdown: Boston College
The Boston College Eagles are one of the most talented teams in all of college hockey—they've won three of the last five NCAA Championships—and the bountiful experience from the top players on the team will have the young men ready for Beanpot war.
Northeastern has nothing to lose Monday being the underdog, so the pressure is 100 percent on the Eagles. If BC wants to defend its Beanpot title, the team needs to play its best game of the year.
The biggest difference-maker for BC will be small forward Johnny Gaudreau and how well he can bounce back from being less than effective in his last game (zero points).
If Gaudreau can get back into a rhythm early and find the back of the net for Boston College, there is no reason the Eagles won’t walk away with the win.
Team Breakdown: Northeastern
Goaltending in any hockey game is the most important factor, but there is no doubt that Northeastern will need senior Chris Rawlings to step up Monday and play the best game of his college career.
Injuries struck the team earlier in the season on the blue line, so the remaining defenders must step up and leave everything on the ice in the championship game to help their veteran goalie make the saves the team needs him to make.
If the Huskies play a defense-first game that allows the offense to build off the team’s stellar play in their own zone, there is a chance that they could shock the Beanpot once again and steal the whole show.
Prediction: Boston College 3, Northeastern 2
As much talent Northeastern has and as much credit the team and coaching staff deserve for making it to the finals, Boston College is just the superior team on paper as well as on the ice and that will reflect on the final score.
Boston College has a much deeper roster; boasting four viable lines that could put points on the board and a defensive unit that could top almost any school in the nation despite the fact that injuries have depleted the Eagles’ ranks.
Northeastern has too much raw skill to be blown out on Monday, and while the team did beat BC earlier this season (won 3-1 on Oct. 13), there is too much on the line for the perennial powerhouse to let the Huskies walk away victorious.
No matter which team ends up winning, the score will be close and the action on the ice will be amazing.
Monday is a good day to be a hockey fan.