Point/Counterpoint: Will Boston College Win The Beanpot Again?
Yes, BC Has What It Takes To Three-Peat
Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
If there is one quote that could define the season thus far for Jerry York's No. 5 Boston College Eagles, it would be the old adage of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." In fact, there isn't a team in the Hockey East like BC. After all, which other squad surprises its fans with a different goalie nearly every night, endures maddening inconsistency, and still only sits two points out of first place in the conference? It's clear that there haven't been many dull moments for the Eagles this year, but the excitement of overcoming a score of obstacles and momentum shifts has undoubtedly resulted in a more resilient BC squad heading into the 60th installment of the famed Beanpot tournament. So when the final whistle blows in the championship game at TD Garden next week, the Eagles will be crowned this season's undisputed hockey powerhouse of Boston.
One of BC's greatest assets heading into the tournament is its battle-tested perseverance. Even during some of their most difficult stretches, the Eagles have consistently been able to bounce back from defeat, whether it be splitting a back-to-back series with rival BU or responding to a sweep at Maine with a two-win weekend against UNH last week. Obviously, a loss in the Beanpot means elimination, but the mental and physical toughness BC has acquired during an odyssey of ups and downs will be key in a short series. Ultimately, the team that has developed an unshakeable ability to rebound from a rough period of play or a missed opportunity will come out on top, and this is where BC has a pivotal advantage.
Looking ahead to Game One of the series and the eventual championship contest, BC will have no reason to worry about which opponent faces them on the other side of the ice. The Eagles have been able to contain Northeastern–their first test–thus far, though by a margin of three goals in three matchups, while both the Crimson and Terriers have enjoyed impressive stretches of their own. Any way you chalk it up, the BC Eagles will have their work cut out for them. Yet, the next two Mondays will not be decided by conference records or previous winning streaks, but resilience, experience, and proven depth–all of which the Eagles possess. Team veterans Barry Almeida, Chris Kreider, and Tommy Cross bring multiple seasons worth of Beanpot experience and success to the table. For senior captains Almeida and Cross, the prospect of closing the book on their collegiate careers with another Beanpot championship in the final chapter will serve as an inspired driving force behind two BC victories.
Now shift your attention to the youthful spectrum of the Eagles' roster. Though freshmen such as Johnny Gaudreau and goaltender Brian Billett have yet to prove themselves in the raucous confines of TD Garden, the proverbial lion's den of Beanpot hockey, these and other young Eagles have shown flashes of brilliance during an obstacle-ridden season that's hastened their maturity. Youth, once seen as the BC squad's biggest concern coming into the season, will prove to be the secret behind their impenetrable depth during the tournament.
As much as the Eagles' deep roster and unquestioned resiliency will factor into the Beanpot, one force left out of their control will serve in their favor: scheduling. While all three of its Beanpot rivals played this past Friday night, the Eagles enjoyed a much-needed weekend off from action after a trying stretch in their season. Having over a week to purely focus on tonight's Game One against Northeastern will work in a well-rested, well-prepared BC squad's favor.
So whether it's a huge defensive play from Cross or a last-minute wrister from Gaudreau, the Eagles will be hoisting the Beanpot trophy for the third straight year and the 17th time in their history next Monday night. Rest assured, Superfans–luck wins games, but BC toughness wins Beanpots.