Sunday, February 6, 2011

59th Annual Beanpot - Preview

Since the Beanpot starts tomorrow, and I've got nothing better to do this afternoon (I'm told there's a football game on...I thought the season ended once the Patriots went 14-2, no?), I figured I'd bring you guys a quick preview of the 59th Annual Beanpot...

First Round
Boston University vs. Boston College
It's the first round matchup that nobody wants to see. BC-BU is easily the most storied college hockey rivalry east of Michigan, and nobody likes seeing these two teams play before the Championship. However, it has to happen every three years, so there you go. BC comes into this game flying high: number one in the country, winners of 11 of their last 12 games, and has beaten BU all three times they've met this season. BU comes in a little quieter: undefeated in their last 4 games (3-0-1), ranked 14th in the country, but have proven to be slightly unpredictable some nights. Both teams feature stellar goaltenders: BC's John Muse and BU's Kieran Millan have been two of the best in the country this semester. Both teams feature talented penalty killing squads (BC is 1 in the nation in PK, BU is 10). I personally think that this game will be somewhat of a defensive battle, as BU certainly does not want to get blown out and BC by habit will limit BU's scoring chances. Overall, I see BU getting the edge - I'm pretty sure neither team has ever swept an entire season against the other, and I'd like to see that trend continue. Plus, Millan's been hot lately, and BU has to have a major chip on their shoulder after getting beaten 3 times straight by these guys.
The Pick: BU 4 - BC 3

Harvard vs. Northeastern
Ahhh yes, the clash of the welterweights. While BC and BU fans hate matching up in the first round, both of these teams must love it - it means at least one of them is advancing to the championship game.
This season has been tough on both teams - but especially Harvard. The Crimson have a less than impressive 4-17-0 record this season (3-13-0 in conference), and are sitting next to last in the ECAC. Certainly not the season they expected, but it's what happens when some of your best players (Louis LeBlanc comes to mind) jump ship after their freshmen year. Northeastern is in a rebuilding year of its own, having lost some great players in the past two years. They sit 8-11-6 overall (7-8-5 in HE), but are somehow finding a way to battle for a middle of the road playoff spot. More likely than not it's because of the play of goaltender Chris Rawlings, a sophomore who all BU fans remember from his out of this world play at Matthews last season. In the end, I think Northeastern wins this one for sure. Not because they are playing so great, but mostly because Harvard is plain awful.

The Pick: Northeastern 4 - Harvard 2

That's all I have for you right now. Check back here next weekend for a preview of the Championship and Consolation games. Until then, GO TERRIERS!

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