In any other year, Boston College men’s hockey would be in the midst of preparations for the Beanpot, Boston’s biggest collegiate hockey tournament. On the first two Mondays in February, Beantown’s four most prominent NCAA hockey teams—BC, Boston University, Northeastern, and Harvard—battle it out for the chance to call themselves the best team in Boston.
But this isn’t any other year.
For the first time in its 69-year history, the Beanpot has been canceled because of COVID-19. Instead of battling it out with cross-town rivals on the biggest stage in Boston, BC will spend the next two Mondays practicing for regular-season matches.
The TD Garden, which has been the tournament’s venue since the arena was constructed in 1996, announced the tournament’s cancellation in November.
BU leads in all-time men’s Beanpot titles with 30, though BC is not far behind with 20 of its own. BC and BU lead the pack in championships due in part to the fact that one of the two rivals has appeared in the finals of every tournament. Recently, Northeastern has experienced a surge in Beanpot success, taking home the beans in each of the last three tournaments. BC has not won a title since 2016, and BU’s drought dates back to 2015.
With the tournament’s cancellation, BC will be forced to wait until next season to redeem itself from last year’s heartbreaking loss to BU in the semifinals.
Aside from their possible Beanpot matchup, the Eagles were set to face the Terriers on Saturday and Sunday of this week in another iteration of the Battle of Comm. Ave, but BU’s recent halt of all winter athletics activities delayed the much-anticipated rivalry matchup indefinitely.
While BC’s men’s side will not play any matches this weekend, it will prepare to take on another Green Line opponent Tuesday. The No. 1 Eagles will face the defending Beanpot champion No. 13 Northeastern on the road in what is currently the only scheduled game for either team.
The women’s side of the Beanpot tournament, though not played at TD Garden, dates back to 1979. Northeastern leads the women’s pack with 16 titles, including one from the 2019-20 season, followed closely by Harvard with 14, BC with eight, and BU in a distant fourth place with two.
BC women’s hockey will play UConn in a home-and-home series this weekend instead of the originally-scheduled Beanpot-like matchup with BU.
Hockey East recently announced that because of COVID-19 it will be scheduling its games for the rest of the season on a weekly basis. The Eagles have played five games without a loss and are coming off a 4-2 win over Merrimack.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Editor