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Tradition Triumphs

Breaking Boundaries

Metro Editor

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 22:02

Ladies and gentlemen, today marks the day: we are officially at the halfway point.

The halfway point between two of the best Boston College hockey games of the regular season, that is.

In fact, it’s no question that the Beanpot is, every year, the most beloved series of hockey games played throughout Boston. Deemed “the social event of the winter season,” students from all four schools competing in the tournament—BC, Boston University, Harvard College, and Northeastern University—invade the TD Garden in Government Center.

Now, let me make something very clear: nothing about the Beanpot is convenient. At BC , tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis to those avid Eagles fans who hold season passes. Too bad the first come, first served process starts at 7:30 a.m. On a Tuesday. In January. The games themselves take place on two separate dates. Both Monday nights. In downtown Boston.

But you all do it. Students wait in the cold, buy tickets to all four games [when each team only plays two], and, better yet, are not guaranteed to see their school represented in the championship game. BC students “storm the T,” even though everyone knows that the B line is the least efficient way to get virtually anywhere on time.

Why? Because it’s tradition.

The Beanpot epitomizes three of my favorite things in life: hockey, Boston, and tradition. Since 1952, these four iconic schools have been coming together to crown the Beanpot champion. Sure, there’s a trophy—but the real victory lies in the bragging rights. For the last decade, BC has done the bragging more often than not.

And rightly so. The Eagles have won the Beanpot the past three consecutive years [and four out of the past five years total]. In a recent interview with The Boston Globe, Harvard Men’s Hockey Coach Ted Donato recently referred to BC as the “Goliath” of college hockey. Superfans pack the TD Garden and are known to show more school spirit than all three other schools combined. Over 17,000 fans were in attendance for Monday night’s win over Harvard—and more are anticipated for next Monday’s championship game against Northeastern.

While this column is about Boston as a whole, I can’t help but be biased. The Beanpot exemplifies tradition, yes. But, that element is best manifested in our very own school, student body, and hockey legends.

Nearly 50 years ago, BC sophomore Jerry York scored an overtime goal that would put a new record on the board for the Eagles: three consecutive Beanpot titles. York, now the winningest coach in NCAA hockey history, seeks to lead BC to its fourth consecutive win on Monday against Northeastern. This win would not only break another record—it would also mark the graduating class of 2013 as the first senior class to win the Beanpot title all four years they spent on the Heights. York was inducted to the Beanpot Hall of Fame on Monday evening, and will be celebrated on home ice tomorrow night in Conte Forum to commemorate his now 928 wins.

Now, if that’s not a legend, I don’t know what is.

The Beanpot symbolizes what college hockey in Boston is all about: camaraderie, good sportsmanship [inappropriate cheers and jeers aside], and a love of the game. As a self proclaimed “puck bunny,” I could praise York’s team for days—but the Beanpot encompasses more than BC’s winning seasons. The tournament represents the “bigger picture,” if you will. The city of Boston houses some of the brightest minds and best college hockey players in the world—and the Beanpot finds a way to bring them all under one roof.

Not to mention, the Beanpot embodies a facet of Boston that makes this city such a gem:

Tradition will always triumph convenience.


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