Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern have the first two Mondays of February circled on their calendars all year long, but the 67th Beanpot can finally come into focus now with the tournament’s first round set for tonight at TD Garden. BC and Harvard meet at 5 p.m., setting the stage for a rematch of last year’s title game between BU and Northeastern.
The anticipation for the famed tournament builds as the second half of the season begins in January, but being in the midst of tight Hockey East and ECAC playoff races makes it necessary to stay the course and treat the Beanpot as just another game on the schedule until it arrives.
“The first time I probably heard about the Beanpot was on my visit to Northeastern,” said Huskies defenseman and captain Eric Williams, a native of Newmarket, Ontario. “It was one of the pillars they talked about, the highlight of the regular season, and one of the goals that the team sets every year. Throughout the visit, and then freshman year once Christmas hits, it's kind of all anyone talked about.”
Everyone’s especially talking about the Beanpot on Huntington Avenue this year as the Huskies won their first title in 30 years last February. Northeastern has played for the Beanpot in four of the last six years and enters this year’s installment with more overall wins (15) than any team in the field.