In addition to the big trophies handed out at the end of the year, teams competed for several in-season cups, tournaments, derbies (1 on 1 series matchups), and rivalry games. Some were official and some were entirely made up by me but they’re all here.
We’ll start with the four major, official tournaments, the Beanpot, the Nutmeg Classic, the Windjammer Classic, and the inaugural Minnesota Cup.
The Beanpot is played between the four Boston teams and Brown that one time and has been the premiere college hockey tournament since 1979. Northeastern leads with 16 Beanpot titles.
The Boston University Terriers won their first ever Beanpot as a varsity program, and just their second overall, the last coming in the 80-81 season. They would defeat Harvard, who notched their leading 15th runner-up spot. Boston College missed the title game for the first time since 2012.
The Golden Gophers hosted the inaugural Minnesota Cup to be played for at least the next four years between four of the five Minnesota teams; Bemidji State, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and St. Cloud State. I don’t know how they’re going to rotate which four teams play, but this year’s odd team out, Bemidji State, is set to host the 2023 tournament so we know they’ll be included in the future.
The hosts walked away with the inaugural title and will likely be the favorites in most tournaments moving forward.
Connecticut, the Nutmeg State, has sent it’s three Division I teams, Connecticut, Quinnipiac, and Yale, along with either a fourth, Sacred Heart, or a non-Connecticut team to be named later. The tournament began in 2004 and Quinnipiac has the most titles with 7. Boston College and Merrimack are the only non-Connecticut teams to win.
Surprisingly, this is the first time Providence has won the tournament despite being a solid to good program for most of its existence.
The Windjammer Classic has been a tournament hosted by the University of Vermont and generally (but doesn’t always) invites one team from each of the four major conferences. Hilariously, Vermont has never won this tournament.
This was the fourth running of the Windjammer Classic and it produced it’s fourth different winner and second Minnesota winner with Minnesota-Duluth winning last year’s tournament over Vermont.
Derbies and Rivalry Games
The NCAA boasts two official cup games, two “official” rivalries, and one I made up.
The Mayor’s Cup
The Mayor’s cup (watch that apostrophe) is played between the two Providence teams, Providence and Brown and has been since 1995. The series has allowed ties with the previous season’s winner keeping the trophy as it has to be won back.
The series has been surprisingly even with Providence winning the most games at 11, but Brown holding the cup for 13 years. This season Providence tipped the win count slightly in their favor with an 8-0 shelling of Brown bringing their Mayor’s Cup record to 11-10-3.
Starting last season, the two Albany…ish teams, RPI (Troy, NY which is west of Albany), and Union (Schenectady, NY which is east of Albany) decided to play their own Mayors’ Cup. RPI has won both iterations by identical 2-1 scores.
The Border War
The Border War has been used to describe games between the Universities of New Hampshire and Maine. To award a winner I opted to track the regular season series and break 1-1-1 ties with goal differential.
New Hampshire won their 13th Border War with a 2-1-0 record against Maine and wins of 3-2 and 5-2 coupled with a 5-3 loss. I have tracked this series back to the 99-00 season where New Hampshire has won 15 of the 20 Border Wars.
The Battle for Whitney Avenue
The Battle for Whitney Avenue has taken place between Quinnipiac and Yale who are connected by Whitney Avenue between Hamden and New Haven, Connecticut. Once again I tracked the regular season series, breaking 1-1-0 ties with goal differential, and letting the previous winner retain the cup in the case of ties all around.
This series has also been surprisingly even with both schools holding the title 9 time each and the Bobcats sporting a 15-13-7 overall record.
The I-90 Derby
This one I made up, with Syracuse University and the Rochester Institute of Technology split by about an hour and a half of New York’s Interstate 90. This tracks the season series, which goes back to the 2012-2013 season. This year RIT managed to win its second title with 6-4, 4-2, and 1-0 victories along with a 1-1 draw though Syracuse would go on to win the CHA and make their first ever NCAA appearance.
Now we veer hard into made-up land. The Ivy League is definitely a thing, and awards a trophy, but to go with it I invented five other mid-season trophies. The North Star Cup tracks the 16 conference games between Minnesota Teams, the Empire State cup does likewise with the 6 ECAC New York teams and their 10 games. The Patriots Cup tracks the 12 games between the 5 WHEA Massachusetts teams, the Keystone Cup tracks the 8 games between the three Pennsylvania teams, and the New England Cup does likewise with the 12 games between the 5 non-MA New England WHEA teams.
North Star Cup
The Gophers ran away with the title yet again this season. They and the Bulldogs have won all of the North Star titles going back to the 99-00 season with Minnesota nabbing 15 and Minnesota-Duluth nabbing 5.
Empire State Cup
Cornell made it back to Empire State Cup prominence, unseating Clarkson who had won the previous three. With the Big Red holding 5 titles and Clarkson 4, neither are very close to St. Lawrence, who has won the other 11. Though only the Saints and Big Red go all the way back to the beginning with Colgate starting ECAC play in 01-02, Union in 03-04, Clarkson in 04-05, and RPI in 05-06.
Like Cornell, Northeastern rose back to Patriots Cup prominence after a long absence, 14 years to be exact. The Huskies hold the second most Patriots Cup titles with 7, but hadn’t won since the 04-05 season.
Princeton won its third Ivy League title with an undefeated run. The Ivy League has always been hotly contested with all but Yale winning at least once since the 99-00 season. Harvard has the most with 7 wins, then Cornell with 5, Dartmouth with 4, Princeton with 3, and Brown with 1.
Robert Morris won its third Keystone Cup, cutting a bit more into Laker domination. Mercyhurst has won 11 of these things dating back to the 05-06 season, though the first 7 were sans Penn State.
New England Cup
I personally find this to be the most intriguing since there is typically the smallest gap between the best and worst teams. Aside from stretches of Providence and New Hampshire dominance, they’ve all had a chance most seasons. Only Maine has yet to win a title. Providence and New Hampshire have 9 titles apiece with Vermont and UConn winning once each.