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Chili on Ice

4th annual Chili Fest tonight at women’s ice hockey game

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BU sports commentators Bernie Corbett (CAS’83) (left) and Brian Maurer sample chili with athletics director Mike Lynch. Come to tonight’s Chili Fest at the women’s home ice hockey game to taste free chili and vote for the winner. Read more. Photo by Vernon Doucette.

The competition between the Terriers and the Northeastern Huskies won’t be the only thing heating up the ice at tonight’s women’s hockey game at Walter Brown Arena.

BU’s five residence dining halls will be going head-to-head in the 4th annual Chili Fest , competing for the title of best chili on campus. The competition began as a way to promote both athletics and dining services by getting more students to attend women’s ice hockey games while giving the dining halls a chance to show off their culinary talent.

“We essentially combined the spirit of athletic competition with some delicious food and ended up with a fun event that everyone seems to enjoy,” says Leo Paré, an athletics department marketing and promotions senior staff assistant .

During a live draft on the BU All-Access radio show on February 3, each of the five dining halls learned what key ingredient they needed to include in their chili dishes. Mike Lynch, BU athletics director, presided over the draft.

Warren Towers, which had the advantage of first pick, chose beef as its main ingredient. Shelton Hall, last year’s Chili Fest winner, selected seafood to feature in their dish. The Fresh Food Company at West Campus is going with pork, the Towers chicken, and last in the draft, Myles Standish’s was left with vegetarian.

So, who decides the winner? The fans.

Each dining hall will have its own table set up and will begin serving e up free samples of their chili 30 minutes before game time. Fans can sample all the dishes and then vote on their favorite by the end of the second period. After the votes are tallied, a winner will be announced during the third period. A trophy goes to the dining hall with the best chili.

“I’m excited about Chili Fest,” Lynch said on the radio show. “It happens to be one of the biggest events we have all year, and we do it around women’s ice hockey.”

Another perk to voting: the ballots will also double as raffle tickets, affording fans a chance to win various gift cards and other prizes. The biggest prize is an iPad, which will be given to the winner of the shooting contest scheduled to take place during intermission.

With free samples of chili, gift cards, and prizes, what more could a fan ask for? How about a number-three women’s ice hockey team that is already stirring up championship buzz?

Despite a 2-1 loss to Boston College in Tuesday night’s Beanpot tournament, the Terriers have an impressive 22-4-3 record so far this season and have already secured a berth in in the Hockey East Tournament’s semi-finals round. Tonight, in their final regular season home game, the Terriers will honor graduating seniors Lauren Cherwyk (COM’11), Jillian Kirchner (SAR’11) and Holly Lorms (SMG’11) as well as graduate student Catherine Ward (GSM’11) .

“It’s a great story that six years ago we didn’t even have a women’s varsity program,” Lynch said, “and now you’re talking about one of the best teams in the country.”

The Terriers, who have only lost two games of the past 16, have certainly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, but defenseman Kasey Boucher (SMG’12) believes that the pressure merely adds more thrill to the game.

“I love playing tough games,” Boucher told All-Access. “Knowing that we’re going to play against every team’s best is exciting, and it’s more gratifying when we win.”

The turnout at past Chili Fests has grown from about 200 to more than 500 last year, according to Paré. He’s hoping this year’s Chili Fest tops the 1,000 mark.

The Terriers will face off against the Northeastern Huskies at 7 p.m. tonight, February 11, at Walter Brown Arena, 285 Babcock St. The game and Chili Fest are both open to the public The game is free to any student with a sports pass. Otherwise, student tickets are $3. Tickets for the general public are $5 and can be purchased at the Walter Brown Arena box office one hour prior to the game.

Tom Vellner can be reached at tvellner@bu.edu.

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