Men’s Hockey: A Brief History of the Beanpot

By: Jake Reiser

A Brief History

With the Beanpot Tournament looming, students and fans from each of the representative schools are gearing up to take their seat in TD Garden, hoping to hoist the coveted trophy.

64 years after its inception, fans still remember the tournament’s roots.

According to the Beanpot website, “It was designed as a filler,” says Northeastern’s Jack Grinold, the unofficial historian of all things Beanpot. “I mean, it was originally the first two nights after Christmas of 1952. It was to help the Arena on off nights. It’s way, way beyond that now.”

That’s true. The tournament is one of the highlights of each team’s schedules during the year. Truly, it has humble beginnings.

It took six years for the tournament to come into the form we see it in today. Originally hosted at Matthews Arena on Northeastern’s campus and played on consecutive nights, the tournament was much different. In its second season, play made its way to what was then the Boston Garden, and in its sixth iteration, the schedule moved to the first two Mondays of February. Even still, it took nine years for the tournament to fill seats, its first sellout coming in 1961.

Alumni from each school, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University and Harvard University, take pride in the success their schools have found. From an article on Boston.com, it’s clear where each school stands on their standing in the Beanpot.


How Each School Has Performed Historically

Boston University

To start with the most recent winner of the Beanpot, the Boston University Terriers have made their namesake winning the coveted trophy. The winningest team with 30 total tournament championships, BU had fallen upon hard times, considering their long standing tourney success. Their last win before the 63rd Beanpot was 2009, only making the championship game twice since then and losing both times to cross-town rivals in Boston College. The Terriers also hold the Beanpot record for most goals in one period, scoring seven against Northeastern in 1961, most points in a tournament, 31, in 1978, and the longest team scoring, never being shut out in a Beanpot game since 1963.

Boston College

On to the Eagles, Boston College have been reaping in success while Boston University has been faltering. Winners from 2010-2014, the Jerry York-led team has established modern dominance in the tournament. BC’s history in the tournament has been streaky, as despite recent victories, the Eagles didn’t win a Beanpot from 1983 until 1994, and had only won three times from the stretch between 1994 and 2010. The Eagles do hold 14 Beanpot Hall of Famers, tied for most with the Terriers, and hold the record for the highest game total of goals in a 15-1 1963 win over Northeastern.

Northeastern University

Speaking of the Huskies, they hold the longest active drought without a Beanpot Tournament win, with their last coming 1988. Last season appeared to be their year, playing spoiler to the Eagles in the semifinal round on a late goal by Dustin Darou which sealed a trip to the finals. Down 3-1 to the Terriers in the final, Darou, not known for his goal-scoring ability, came up large again to tie the game, but faltered when Matt Grzelyck ripped an overtime power play goal. While they don’t have a record to hold, they look to come in hungry and end their tournament losing streak.

Harvard University

The Crimson should be a dark horse in this tournament is as well as legitimate national contender. Led by Hobey Baker favorite Jimmy Vesey and goalie Merrick Madsen, Harvard has consistently been in the top 10 in the nation in the USCHO poll. Harvard hasn’t won since 1993 and hasn’t made the tournament final since 2008, a 6-5 OT loss to BC. But this team is dangerous to play this year, and no competitor should overlook the Crimson.

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