The 67th annual Beanpot tournament starts this Monday at TD Garden, and the Boston University men’s hockey team are hungry for their 31st Beanpot championship victory.
The Terriers (10-11-3, 8-6-2 Hockey East) will face last year’s champion, Northeastern University, in the first round at 8 p.m. Having lost to the Huskies (15-8-1, 9-6-1 Hockey East) 5-2 in the championship game last year, the Terriers are gearing up for revenge.
Although the Terriers beat the Huskies Nov. 3 by a score of 4-1, the Huskies have recently struggled, having lost their past three games. However, they will likely still be riding the momentum from winning the beanpot title last year, which was their first after a 30-year drought.
Nerves are high for Terrier fans as BU senior co-captain Bobo Carpenter may be unable to suit up after not playing the last two games. According to BU head coach Albie O’Connell, the chances of Carpenter making an appearance in his last beanpot semifinal match are about 50-50.
Although the Terriers were missing Carpenter’s presence on the ice, they managed to light the lamp five times against No. 2 UMass in a game Friday night, when BU fell short 5-7.
Junior forward Patrick Curry talked about the takeaways from the UMass game going into the Beanpot.
“It seemed like we had at least three of our four lines going,” Curry said. “If we can get our fourth line going, that will be good because obviously those are huge minutes.”
Scoring five goals on the No. 2 in the country, the UMass game is proof that the Terriers have the offensive talent to get numbers up on the scoreboard against good teams. Still, Northeastern’s strong defense may likely prevent BU from scoring any easy goals. The Huskies allow the second-least amount of goals among Hockey East teams, allowing 55 all season. Only UMass beats that number with 52.
Between the pipes for Northeastern is goaltender Cayden Primeau, who has a current save percentage of .921. Supporting him in the back is defenseman Ryan Shea, who has had 42 blocks so far this season.
In addition to Shea is defenseman Jeremy Davies, a player who is not only difficult to get by, but also a threat offensively with five goals and 20 points so far this year.
The recurring theme for BU this season is falling behind early in the game. BU has only scored the first goal in seven out of 24 of their games so far this season.
“We do a good job at not worrying about it,” O’Connell said.
BU was down by two goals early in their Friday match against UMass. However, O’Connell said, “there was no nervousness on the bench.”
On the frontline for Northeastern is forward Zach Solow, who has tallied 11 goals and 17 points this season. Alongside him is forward Grant Jozefek, who has tallied 10 goals and 19 points. Two of his 10 goals this season were awarded when BU and Northeastern faced off Nov. 1, so Jozefek is a player the Terriers have to keep a tight leash on.
“We have to learn how to play thorough,” O’Connell said about playing against Northeastern.
All games will be played at the TD Garden and streamed on NESN. In addition, The Boston Hockey Blog will have minute-by-minute coverage of the game through a live blog, accessible through this website or this twitter account.
Here’s the schedule for the 2019 Beanpot:
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, @ 5 p.m. — Boston College vs. Harvard University
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, @ 8 p.m. — Boston University vs. Northeastern University
Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, @ 4:30 p.m. — Consolation game
Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, @ 7:30 p.m. — Championship game