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Terriers Shoot for 30th Beanpot Title

Looking to eliminate Harvard in tonight’s first round

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The men’s hockey Terriers will attempt to regain ownership of Boston’s college hockey scene when they face off against the Harvard Crimson tonight in the 60th annual Beanpot tournament at the TD Garden.

In a town where hockey is the predominant collegiate sport, the Beanpot affords the winning team bragging rights for an entire year, as well as an advance in the national rankings. The four-game tournament pits Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern against one another in a format that dates back to 1952.

Mike Lynch, BU assistant vice president and director of athletics, says tradition is a large part of what makes the Beanpot special.

“It’s one of the longest-running, if not the longest-running, tournaments of its kind in the country,” Lynch says. “It means a lot for the city of Boston. Boston is one of the hotbeds of college and professional hockey, and it’s particularly important to BU, since we’ve had such great success.”

BU’s success in the Beanpot is unparalleled. The Terriers have claimed the trophy 29 times in 59 tournaments and have gone to the finals 48 times. BC is second with 16 wins, Harvard next with 10, and Northeastern trails with 4. BU last won in 2009, and has proven victorious in 6 of the past 10 tournaments, and 13 of the past 20.

Lynch says the Terriers’ success in the tournament and the tournament’s visibility, along with the reputation of head coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97), has allowed BU to recruit some of the best talent in the country.

“When you get exposure from winning the Beanpot, local talent certainly takes notice, and it’s also a drawing card for us to bring in student-athletes from other parts of the country,” Lynch notes. “Years ago, the talent in New England was the best in the country. There’s been some disbursement of that, but still, it’s great to get the best kids from your own backyard.”

Forward and team captain Chris Connolly (MET’12) says players are looking forward eagerly to playing in one of the country’s most recognized college tournaments.

“You want the team to have the same outlook game-in and game-out and create consistency, but it’s hard not to have a little more excitement for a tournament like that,” Connolly acknowledges. “You’re playing on national TV and in front of very big crowds that you’re not used to, so I think all the teams are pretty jacked up to play.”

The BC Eagles took last year’s Beanpot, defeating Northeastern in overtime in the championship bout. The Eagles enter this year’s tournament tied with the Terriers for first place in Hockey East; the Huskies are tied for seventh with UMass. Harvard is in a tie with Colgate for third place in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Although the Terriers head to the Beanpot tonight as the third-ranked team in the nation, they’ve faced their share of adversity this season. Forward Corey Trivino (MET’12) was removed from the program in December after being arrested for indecent assault and battery and breaking and entering. The Hockey East leading scorer at the time, Trivino was a key part of the Terriers’ offense. Then another standout, Charlie Coyle (CGS’12), left the program, opting to focus on his professional career.

Connolly says the loss of two teammates has affected the team, but that it has given the Terriers a strong identity.

“I think the program prides itself on having a hard-nosed hockey team. It has for decades now, and it’s a testament to the attitude we have in the locker room,” he says. “It doesn’t really matter how much talent you have in the room, it’s how many guys with character you have. And we had plenty of guys who, once those two left, still brought that to the table.”

Connolly’s characterization of the team is spot-on, says Lynch, and he’s confident about how the team is playing right now.

“Coach Parker and the administration dealt with the Trivino situation swiftly, and it’s proven to be a kick start, a new season for a lot of guys,” he says. “The level the team has been playing at for the past three weeks is amazing, and I’m certainly very pleased with where the team is right now.”

With the women’s ice hockey team headed to the women’s Beanpot finals tomorrow on the heels of last Tuesday’s 5-2 trouncing of Harvard, BU has a chance to earn concurrent Beanpot titles for the first time in school history.

Connolly says the men’s team is excited by the opportunity to reclaim the Beanpot trophy.

“The team that’s the defending champion of the tournament is the team to beat the following year,” he says, “and we want to get back in that winning mode.”

The BU Terriers face the Harvard Crimson in the first round of the 60th annual Beanpot tournament tonight, Monday, February 6, at 5 p.m. at the TD Garden, Boston. Northeastern University and Boston College will play at 8 p.m. Ticket price information can be found here. The games will be televised on NESN. If you’re watching the game, add #bubeanpot at the end of your tweet on Twitter, and you’ll be added to the comments queue. Not on Twitter? Add your feedback as a comment to the CoverItLive event dialogue on BU Today.

The BU women’s ice hockey team will face Northeastern tomorrow, Tuesday, February 7, at 8 p.m. in Walter Brown Arena for the women’s Beanpot championship. Harvard and Boston College will play a consolation game at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 for the general public, $3 for children 12 and under and seniors, and free for students from each of the four participating schools showing a valid student ID. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at Walter Brown Arena one hour before the game.

Ben Carsley can be reached at bcarsley@bu.edu.

2 Comments

2 Comments on Terriers Shoot for 30th Beanpot Title

  • Santiago Gomez on 02.06.2012 at 6:09 am

    This was such a great reminder for me, now that I am abroad. Anyone know if I can watch the game online from Europe? Thanks for any suggestions :)

  • PK on 02.06.2012 at 10:54 am

    Santiago, try http://wtbusportsradio.com/

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