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Beanpot Tournament Tonight

Terrier men face off against top-ranked BC

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Stay in the loop with Beanpot coverage by tweeting with hashtag #BUBeanpot tonight and tomorrow. Tweets will appear in the box above. Follow @sportsgirlkat for more coverage. Kieran Millan (MET’12) (below) is 3-1 in four Beanpot starts and has been one of the nation’s hottest goaltenders over the past month. Photo by Steve McLaughlin

It’s early February in Boston, and that means only one thing—Beanpot time.

The annual ritual pits the city’s four Division I hockey teams, BU, Northeastern, Harvard, and Boston College, in what has become arguably one of the area’s biggest sporting events. The tournament, scheduled for the first two Mondays in February, begins tonight at TD Garden. This year marks the 59th annual Beanpot.

Boston University’s dominance in the tournament is well documented: the Terriers’ record 29 wins are exactly half of the 58 Beanpots played. Starting tonight, they’ll shoot for a 30th championship.

BU has advanced to the final game an incredible 25 times in the last 27 years. This year, however, top-ranked archrival Boston College could stand in the way of another trip to the title matchup.

Since 1994, the Beanpot crown has been captured by one of two teams: the Terriers or the Eagles. Harvard last claimed the title in 1993, and Northeastern last saw it in 1988.

BU will be looking to reverse its recent dismal luck against BC. The Eagles have been victorious in their last four meetings, a streak that began with last year’s 4-3 squeaker in the Beanpot championship game. The Terriers haven’t lost five straight games to their Comm Ave rivals since the 1950s.

But Beanpot history is on the Terriers’ side, as BU is 15-4 in 19 ’pot semifinals against BC.

Head coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97), now in his 38th season behind the BU bench, has guided the Terriers to success in numerous tournaments, including the Beanpot, holiday tournaments, and postseason. BU is 200-96-5 in 23 different tournaments during his tenure as head coach. Tonight marks Parker’s 75th Beanpot game. He’s won 21 of the tournament titles as head coach, with an unmatched 57-17 record.

This year’s Terrier squad is one of the youngest in program history, and only 10 of the 25 current players were on the team to celebrate BU’s last Beanpot championship, in 2009.

Cocaptain Joe Pereira (MET’11) is one of the three BU skaters on this year’s team who played in the 2009 title game. The West Haven, Conn., native is eager to make his last Beanpot memorable.

“Even though I didn’t grow up in the Boston area, I followed the Beanpot, and it didn’t take long once I got on campus to find out how important the tournament is to BU,” Pereira says. “Winning it is always one of our primary goals each year, and after finding out how it felt when we won two years ago, I’m anxious to get one more.”

Assistant captain David Warsofsky (MET’12) grew up on the South Shore, in Marshfield, Mass., and has also been a Beanpot fan as long as he can remember.

“It’s a special tournament. As a kid in Massachusetts, watching the Beanpot was always a big deal, and I have great memories of going to the games,” says Warsofsky. “It was always a dream of mine to play for BU and continue the Beanpot tradition here.”

The Terriers, ranked 14th in both national polls last week, have started to show signs of another February upswing after earning a win and a tie on January 28 and 29 at Maine, then ranked number 11. Before that, on January 22, they took a 2-1 road win against New Hampshire, ranked number seven at the time.

Hopes are high that Beanpot history will weigh heavily on the side of the Terriers when they face off against the Eagles tonight on Causeway Street.

The BU men’s ice hockey team will play Boston College at TD Garden at 8 p.m. tonight, Monday, February 7, in the second of the two Beanpot semifinals. Harvard and Northeastern will face off at 5 p.m. Both games will be televised live in HD on NESN.

Brian Kelley can be reached at bkelley@bu.edu.

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