This is part 2 in a 2 part series on the annual Beanpot Tournament in Boston, Massachusetts.  This installment will explore the matchups in this year’s tournament.

The prevailing thought has to be that the 37th annual Beanpot is Boston College’s tournament to lose.  They’re 25-0-1, they’re 5-0-0 versus the likes of Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern, they take 67.58% of shots in their games to 57.17%, 57.46%, and 51.76% for the Terriers, Crimson, and Huskies respectively, and they’re the only team with a positive goal differential in games between the four teams this season.

beanpot head to head standings

But instead of talking about the reasons Boston College should win the tournament, which are numerous, let’s talk about the reasons they might not.

Boston University is a tremendously talented nightly wildcard:

The Terriers might have the best player in the NCAA right now in Marie-Philip Poulin and are incredibly athletic, but sometimes they tend to over-rely on their talent and athleticism and forget to play a smart team game.  Almost all of their losses come with a common theme: goals that come seconds or minutes apart as one bad play snowballs into a disaster of a game.

So which BU is going to show up if they have to play Boston College?  Well, their only meeting this season featured a little of both with the Terriers holding 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but only tallying 3 shots through the first 32 minutes of gameplay.  From then on shots were a more even 23-20 in favor of BC (if my memory is accurate) and the Eagles netted a 4-3 win.

Harvard University has a deep roster and seems to play well in key moments:

When you’re 25-0-1, as Boston College is, it’s pretty difficult to not have a tremendous amount of roster depth too, but Harvard also relies on a variety of contributors and seems to split their ice time more than anyone.

They also seem to come up big in key moments.  They scored late in the third to tie St. Lawrence before losing in overtime and their two wins over ECAC leader Quinnipiac both feature late goals, one in the third period, and one in overtime.

Northeastern can play run-and-gun hockey:

Exhibit A, and perhaps the only exhibit for admitted long shot Northeastern is their 7-3 loss to Boston College where shots ended at 52-37 in favor of the Eagles.  Northeastern got themselves into 4-0 and 6-1 holes they just couldn’t dig out of, but if they run an up tempo game and get some good shooting and timely goaltending, they’ve at least got half a shot.

The first round is tonight:

#1 Boston College – Northeastern – 5 PM EST

#6 Boston University – #4 Harvard – 8 PM EST

Right now it looks like the BC – Northeastern game is on ESPN3 and BU – Harvard will be on the Ivy League Network.