Terrier Men’s, Women’s Ice Hockey Set to Compete in 2020 Beanpot Tournaments
Semifinals tonight at TD Garden for men, Tuesday at Walter Brown Arena for women
None of the current players on the BU men’s hockey team know the thrill of capturing a Beanpot title—the Terriers last won the tournament in 2015. But they hope to move one step closer to changing that and claiming the team’s 31st championship when they take on BC in game two of the 68th Beanpot Tournament semifinals tonight at TD Garden at 8 pm.
In this season’s lone meeting, BU (10-8-6, 7-4-5 Hockey East) lost to BC (16-7, 10-5 HE), 4-3, on January 18.
Captain Patrick Curry (SHA’20) understands the gravity of the tournament. As one of those four seniors, he knows it’s their last chance to capture a coveted Beanpot title.
“Honestly, my plan is to just stay in the moment,” Curry says. “There’s a lot of excitement around it, and you can kind of lose focus. I just want to make sure that I go out there and play to the best of my abilities.”
Having both played in—and coached for—the Beanpot, men’s head coach Albie O’Connell (CAS’99) says that opening up against BC adds another layer to the two teams’, and the tournament’s, historic rivalry.
“When it’s all said and done, it’s the Beanpot,” O’Connell says. “You have four teams battling it out. It’s nice that we have BC in the first round, because it always brings out the best in both teams.”
This year marks the fourth and final Beanpot for Gabriel Chabot (Questrom’19, MET’20). He says that he’s learned the importance of not taking anything for granted in the semifinal matchup.
“There have been times where it almost feels like we’re overlooking the first game, and I think the fact that it’s against BC this year,” Chabot says, “means we really need to come ready for the first one and not overlook it.”
Abby Cook (CGS’18, Sargent’20) has had her fair share of big plays during her BU career, none more critical than in last year’s Beanpot championship game, when she assisted on the final two goals to clinch the win against Harvard in sudden-death overtime. It was the first time since 1981, when women’s hockey was still a club sport, that the team could claim tournament bragging rights.
The day of last year’s big game is etched in Cook’s memory. “Starting in the morning, we were all very nervous, texting each other, ‘Are you shaking in class right now?’” she says. “We all knew that it was a thing, and we really wanted it.”
But victory was by no means a given. BU fell behind 2-1 early in the second period, but Natasza Tarnowski (Sargent’20, CAS’20) lit the lamp after her shot was reviewed.
Cook vividly remembers the final plays. The players were exhausted, and the puck stuck to their zone before they were able to clear it out for the winner.
The excitement and the pride of the last 365 days—that we had that moniker to wear with us and so-called bragging rights—may, in some ways, give the kids a psychological lift.
Now the team is looking to defend its title. On Tuesday, the No. 8 Terriers (18-6-2, 13-6-3 Hockey East) host Boston College (14-10-3, 13-8-2 HE) in the Beanpot semifinal round at home at 8 pm. BU won the last two matchups with BC, completing a weekend sweep last month, 6-0 and 2-1.
Women’s head coach Brian Durocher (Wheelock’78) says that having a title to protect should provide some added incentive. “The excitement and the pride of the last 365 days—that we had that moniker to wear with us and so-called bragging rights,” he says, “may, in some ways, give the kids a psychological lift.”
Hosting the tournament this year is yet another advantage. Durocher says. “It can help because it’s an easier walk for some fellow athletes or other people to come to BU. It’s a bit of a comfort zone.”
The 68th annual Men’s Beanpot Tournament begins Monday, February 3: BU plays BC in the second game of the semifinals at 8 pm, preceded by the Northeastern vs. Harvard game at 5 pm. The Beanpot second round is Monday, February 10: the consolation game is at 4:30 pm, followed by the winners of the two February 3 games in the championship game at 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets on Ticketmaster. All men’s Beanpot games are played at TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, and will be broadcast live on NESN or NESN+ and WTBU Radio (640 AM and 89.3 FM).
The 42nd annual Women’s Beanpot Tournament begins Tuesday, February 4: BU plays BC in the second game of the semifinals at 8 pm, following BC vs. Harvard at 5 pm. The Beanpot second round is Tuesday, February 11: the consolation game is at 5 pm, followed by the winners of the two February 4 games in the championship game at 8 pm. All games are at BU’s Walter Brown Arena, 285 Babcock St. Purchase tickets online here. Games will be broadcast on NESN or NESN+ and WTBU Radio (640 AM and 89.3 FM).