As I outlined last week; The Beanpot is a special, regional thing. It will never be anything that captures national headlines. No one outside of Greater Boston cares for the most part.
However, that doesn’t mean that the tournament doesn’t lend itself to drama and entertainment. As I wrote in my column last week, those who know and care, DO. It is a big deal to alumni of the four schools, and a bigger deal to those who played in the tournament, such as myself.
So how did the “Social Event of the Season” play out? Just as nuts as one would expect.
The “First Monday”
As is customary, the opening day began as it always does…
Harvard facing Boston College, followed by Northeastern playing Boston University. That is par for the course. As I stated last week, some things don’t change. However, it did this time.
During the “First Monday in February”, there was a bit of a shake-up. Harvard and Northeastern both won. In doing so, both teams earned the right to face each other in the Beanpot Final for the first time.
MIT will never be invited, due to the vapor-lock of the mathematical craziness that saw two teams out of four play each other in the Final for the first time. In 70 years.
Change of Rules
Among a litany of “firsts” for the Beanpot this year, was one that brought a bit of sadness to some old-school fans.
In the past, the Beanpot tournament was treated as an NHL Playoff game. That means that there were multiple overtime periods if necessary to declare a winner.
Sadly, no mas.
Northeastern and Harvard battled for the final twenty minutes of regulation like they were a hobo fighting for the last grilled seagull. Only to end in a tie.
Usually you would prepare for a long OT battle to settle the Championship.
Unfortunately, this year it changed.
Five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime. After that? Shootout? What the hell?
As someone who played in a 3-OT game, the thought of a Beanpot Championship being decided by a shootout is unfathomable. While the game was exciting, it still lacked the satisfaction of a long, well-fought battle.
The Northeastern Huskies went on to win their 4th Beanpot in 6 years. Until this current run, they hadn’t won a Pot since 1984. It is truly amazing the turn-around that the Northeastern hockey program has seen in the last decade.
Oh, and the Northeastern women’s team won their own Beanpot too Tuesday night.
Everything’s coming up Huskies.
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