2024 Men’s Beanpot Tournament Begins Monday: What You Need to Know
No. 3 BU vs No. 1 Boston College in second semifinal match at 8 pm
Hockey fans rejoice: the Men’s Beanpot tournament is back for its 71st iteration, starting Monday, February 5. The second semifinal match promises to be a nailbiter when the No. 3–ranked Boston University men’s ice hockey team faces rival Boston College, ranked No. 1, at 8 pm at TD Garden.
BU draws a familiar foe in the venerable tournament’s opening round. Hailed as one of college hockey’s best rivalries, BU and BC will do battle for the third time this season, the last two this year’s iteration of the Battle of Commonwealth Avenue, on January 26 and 27. BC got the best of that series, winning Friday’s game 4-1, and Saturday’s 4-3. The home-and-home was the first time in 291 matchups that the rival teams were the nation’s two best.
Before BU has the opportunity to rectify those two late January insults in the second game at 8 pm, Northeastern and Harvard will meet in the tournament’s opening game, beginning at 5 pm. Here’s everything you need to know about each team.
The Terriers entered the 2023-2024 season as college hockey’s top team, ranked first in both NCAA polls. Having skated to a 17-7-1 record thus far this season, the team sits first in the Hockey East standings and is ranked third nationally.
The winningest team in Beanpot history, with 31 titles to date, the Terriers are looking to reclaim the Beanpot trophy, which they last won in 2022. A year ago they finished a disappointing (and embarrassing) fourth in the tournament.
“You always want to win the Beanpot,” says Terriers captain Case McCarthy (Questrom’23, SHA’24). “Last year, very disappointingly, we didn’t get the result. But I think coming into this year, that definitely factors into understanding that these games are hard to win, so we’ll be on top of our game on Monday night.”
The Terriers find themselves on the wrong side of a four-game skid entering play Monday, having dropped their three of their four last games. In addition to the recent sweep by Boston College, they suffered a 4-3 overtime heartbreaker to Northeastern on January 30.
Despite taking on the No. 1 program in the country, the BU team is optimistic going into Monday’s semifinal.
“I think our guys will be ready,” says head coach Jay Pandolfo (CAS’96). “I think both teams now have a better idea after being on the ice against each other for two games. Our guys have a lot of confidence in what we can be as a team, and I think our group still feels like we can do better.”
Holding the top spot in college hockey, the Boston College Eagles are flying high entering the storied tournament, as they go after their 20th Beanpot victory—and first since 2016, the longest drought of any team in this year’s field. They are currently 19-4-1.
Leading Hockey East’s highest-scoring offense is a youth revolution—the Eagles’ six top point scorers are all underclassmen, including freshmen Gabe Perreault and Will Smith and the league’s goal-scoring leader, Cutter Gauthier (21). Minding the Eagles’ net is freshman Jacob Fowler, who’s .925 save percentage is an NCAA best among Hockey East starting goaltenders.
Although unranked and sitting in the middle of the Hockey East table, it is never wise to count out the Northeastern hockey program. The Huskies, currently 11-12-2 this season, have won four of the last five Beanpot tournaments.
Northeastern’s dynastic half-decade in the Beanpot is thanks to their goalkeeping. Over the last five years, it has been a Huskies keeper who has won the Beanpot’s Eberly Award—given to the netminder with the best save percentage in both games. Last year’s Beanpot MVP was two-time Mike Richter Award winner Devon Levi, who graduated last year. The Huskies will hope for more of the same with freshman Cameron Whitehead (2.71 GAA, .910 save percentage) now in net.
Rounding out the Beanpot roster is the sole non–Hockey East opponent, Harvard University. The Crimson return to the tournament after advancing to the Beanpot championship last year, their first since 2017. Having fallen 3-2 via shootout to the Huskies, the Crimson will have last year’s result on their minds as they go up against Northeastern in pursuit of their 12th Beanpot trophy.
The Crimson’s Beanpot 2023 championship appearance was a secondary highlight to their eventual NCAA tournament appearance. This year, Harvard is 4-13-3, and winless in five games this season against Hockey East opponents. The Crimson last won the Beanpot in 2017, beating BU 6-3.
The 71st Dunkin’ Men’s Beanpot semifinal games are Monday, February 5, at TD Garden. Northeastern will face Harvard at 5 pm; BU will take on Boston College at 8 pm.
The consolation and championship games will be Monday, February 12, at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm, respectively. All games will be played at TD Garden. Tickets for the Men’s Beanpot tournament are sold out, but all games will be broadcast live on NESN and streamed live on ESPN+.