While it’s true that none of this year’s Beanpot teams is ranked in the top 10 nationally, the fight for Boston bragging rights continues to hold cachet on Boston college campuses.
“It’s amazing how the casual sports fan knows about the Beanpot,’’ said BU coach David Quinn.
“When you walk around campus, people that don’t really follow the sport that closely all know whether you win or lose the Beanpot. I think that’s something you learn early at all four schools.
“You want every player to at least experience winning it. It’s a feeling you can’t really describe. It just means so much not only to players, but to the university and the alumni, the people who work on campus. I was fortunate to win it as a player and it’s something you never forget.’’
Former Boston University and Bruin star Shawn McEachern became the 17th Terrier to join the 587-member Beanpot Hall of Fame.
A Waltham native, McEachern had 14 points in his six career Beanpot games as BU won titles in 1990 and 1991. He totaled 186 points (79 goals) in 120 career games for BU, earning first-team All-America honors in 1991. His 82 points in the 1990-91 season is the second-most in a single season by a Terrier and his 186 points place him sixth all time at BU.
McEachern played 911 games during 15 years in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup with the 1992 Penguins.
He is currently the boys’ hockey coach at The Rivers School in Weston.
NU’s first line – Adam Gaudette, Dylan Sikura, Nolan Stevens – provided all three goals and has produced 109 points this season.
“I thought our other three lines gave us a lot of quality shifts,” NU coach Jim Madigan said. “We built momentum through some of their shifts, that allowed the Big Three to have some success.”
Said Gaudette, who leads the Huskies with 20 goals: “We were just talking about it, how once one guy gets the turnover, both of us just swing, because we know we’re going to make a play.
“It’s just real fun out there, we’re having a lot of fun playing together. We know we’re the best line on the ice — we battle the hardest and we do all the little things right. Just having these two guys by my side just makes the game a little easier.”
Northeastern leads Boston College 1-0 after the first period of the first 2018 Beanpot semifinal game. Check out the rest of the game on NESN! pic.twitter.com/tbkvFH6PHZ— NESN (@NESN) February 5, 2018
The first step
After Northeastern’s 3-0 win over BC in Monday’s opener, the Huskies have a 40-91 record in the Beanpot. Madigan said recently appointed Northeastern athletic director Jeff Konya talked about having a 1-0 mark in the tournament.
“I said it doesn’t come that easily, usually,” he said. We hope we get him to 2-0.”
Northeastern last won the tournament in 1988, opening with a 4-0 win over BC, then taking a 6-3 victory over BU.
The Terriers took a 4-3 double overtime win over Harvard in the second game.
BU has an 8-3 record against Northeastern in Beanpot finals. The last time the teams met in the final, BU defeated NU, 3-2, in overtime in 2015. .
Red, white, and blue
BU junior Jordan Greenway will join Terrier alums Matt Gilroy and John McCarthy (the 2008-09 captains) and Chris Bourque on the US Olympic team, set to depart for PyeongChang on Tuesday. Also traveling to South Korea will be former BU player and assistant coach Scott Young, who will serve as an assistant coach, and BU assistant athletic director Brian Kelley, who will be a media officer.
From Harvard, junior Ryan Donato, a Bruins draft prospect, will play for the US team. Ryan’s dad, Harvard coach Ted Donato, played for the US team in 1992 in Albertville, France. Defenseman Noah Welch, a 2005 Harvard graduate from Brighton, will also suit up for the US team.
Take a bow
Like his team, BU goalie Jake Oettinger has picked up the pace in January after returning from the World Juniors with a bronze medal. Oettinger and BU were 5-1-1 in the month, with the sophomore posting a 1.98 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage to earn Hockey East Goaltender of the Month honors.
BC has won six of the last nine Beanpots, but has been eliminated in the first game two successive years.
“Lot of positives, but the objective was to get to that final and play for the trophy,” BC coach Jerry York said. “Tough pill for the coaching staff and players, but we’ll get ready for the next game [against UMass Lowell in a Hockey East contest Friday].”