By: Chris Picher
In the 64-year history of the four-team tournament, Boston University and Boston College have dominated at an impressive rate winning 50 titles, including the last 23.
In the last 23 finals, 11 have featured BU and BC, and the nearly 50 percent mark is impressive, especially when considering that every third year the two powerhouses have to face off in the first week of the tournament. BU has won nearly half of the Beanpots, 30, but BC has dominated of late, winning six of the last seven trophies.
BU and BC have clearly been stronger than Harvard and Northeastern during the regular season over the past two decades, but the Crimson and Huskies are always competitive division I programs that play BU and BC tough in the tournament.
In the last 23 years, Harvard and Northeastern have made a combined eleven trips to the NCAA tournament. Last year all four Beanpot teams made the Frozen Four tournament for the first time ever, which may suggest an uptick in parody in the tournament for upcoming seasons.
On an individual note, Kevin Roy of Northeastern in 2013 is the only tournament MVP during the 23-year streak to not attend school on Commonwealth Avenue.
Many Boston fans and college hockey enthusiasts argue that the tournament would be better if all four teams won on a more consistent basis. However, the two-team run is unmatched at the collegiate sports level and it defies the odds especially with the growing parity in college hockey.
As this improbable run continues, a target now looms on BC and BU as Harvard and Northeastern desperately attempt to regain the pinnacle of the collegiate Boston hockey world. Chances are this streak will come to a close in the near future, but with each building year this dominance adds meaning to every Beanpot.
Despite Northeastern and Harvard’s struggles, the tournament is still highly competitive and a tournament that continues to represent city bragging rights for programs and fan bases. Harvard and Northeastern have each had their fair share of title appearances in the last 23 years, but are a combined 0-12 in such matchups.
To outsiders of the Boston hockey community, it can be hard to explain the importance of this tournament to the players, coaches and programs. For some, winning the Beanpot is as important as finishing toward the top of the conference standings.
“I don’t think you realize how special it is until you actually take the ice for it. Local guys understand because they grew up coming to it,” said Senior captain Doyle Somerby. “It’s really unique and special because nobody else has it.”
Longtime BC coach Jerry York has been around the Beanpot for over 50 years, winning it as a player for BC in 1963 and now nine times as a coach. The Super Bowl and start of the Beanpot comes on consecutive days and York said it is fitting because players and programs really build up to this moment all season long.
BU and BC have already played twice this season and goalies were pulled in both close games. Coach Quinn is aware how difficult it is to beat a team like BC three times in less than a month.
“It draws a little extra attention from both fan bases, when you play that game in the Beanpot it is even more special,” said Quinn.
All four teams are aware of the streak, and this is as good of a chance Northeastern and top-10 ranked Harvard have had to win the tournament in some time. BU might boast the best team in the tournament, but it will be a tough path for the talented Terriers if they want to win their second title in three seasons.