After last year’s men’s and women’s Beanpot tournaments were canceled for the first time in history, BC women’s hockey will return to the Beanpot for the first time since 2020 on Tuesday. Featuring BC, Northeastern, Boston University, and Harvard, this year marks the 43rd edition of the city-wide tournament.
The Eagles (14–11, 12–8 Hockey East) have appeared in all 42 of the Beanpot’s previous iterations, as a club program for 16 years from 1979–94 and as a varsity squad for the last 26. Facing No. 3 Northeastern (21–3–1, 16–3–1) in the first round on Tuesday, BC will look to take down a Huskies squad that it has lost to three times this season.
Who is BC Playing?
When is BC Playing?
Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Where is BC Playing?
Matthews Arena, Boston, Mass.
How to Watch:
The game will be streamed on NESN+ and SportsLive.
The women’s Beanpot has been around for 43 years, and Northeastern and Harvard have historically been dominant, winning 17 and 14 tournaments, respectively. Northeastern won the tournament’s first iteration in 1979, defeating BC 3–1.
Harvard hosted the past two tournaments, but the event will return to Matthews Arena this year for the first time since 2017. Northeastern defeated BU in double overtime to win the 42nd Beanpot, and BU defeated Harvard in overtime to win the 41st tournament title.
What to Expect from Northeastern:
Northeastern is currently No. 1 in Hockey East and No. 3 in the nation with 21 wins under its belt. The Huskies had won 13 straight until falling to Vermont 2–1 on Friday. Northeastern will look for its 18th Beanpot win and first back-to-back tournament win since winning it all in 2012 and 2013.
Northeastern enters the game ranked sixth in the nation in goals and assists. Senior Maureen Murphy leads the team with 15 of each, and 2020 Beanpot MVP Chloé Aurard follows closely behind with 14 of her own in each category. Aurard tallied five points in the 2020 Beanpot, with three goals and two assists in Northeastern’s two games.
The Eagles will look to stop Northeastern’s power-play unit, which ranks first in the nation in power-play goals with 28. The Huskies have converted 29.2 percent of their attempts on the man advantage this season.
To talk about Northeastern’s defense is to talk about Aerin Frankel. The Huskies’ goaltender enters the game with a .958 save percentage, a number that leads the NCAA and Hockey East. Frankel, who won the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Award, has recorded eight shutouts this season and made 456 total saves.
Frankel will look to put a stop to BC’s leading scorers, which include Abby Newhook (12 goals), Hannah Bilka (10 goals), and Kelly Browne (7 goals). The forward trio also leads the team in assists, with Browne leading the way with 14, and Bilka and Newhook close behind with 12 and nine, respectively.
In order to take down the Huskies, BC will need to stop Northeastern’s power-play unit and limit the offensive power of Murphy and Aurard. If BC netminder Abigail Levy remains consistent in net to stop Northeastern’s stand-out offense, and the Eagles find a way to get past Frankel, they stand a chance at winning their fifth straight game and bringing the Beanpot title back to Chestnut Hill.
After Tuesday’s contest, BC will play either Harvard or BU in the tournament’s second round on Feb. 8. BC lost to then-No. 10 Harvard 5–2 on Nov. 9 and fell to BU 5–4 on Nov. 21. A win against Northeastern would send the Eagles to the Beanpot finals for the first time since 2018, when BC last won the tournament.
Featured Graphic by Annie Corrigan / Heights Editor