2011 Beanpot Tournament Preview

Where's your Beanpot / Hockey East Tournament Title / National Championship? (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Eagles ice hockey team rolls into this year's Beanpot Tournament winners of four straight and 10 of their last 11 games. They face a familiar opponent in this year's semifinal -- the Boston University Terriers. Northeastern and Harvard square off in the first semifinal at 5 PM.

Let's take a closer look at this year's tournament.

The Field

Monday, February 7, 2011
Semifinal #1, Northeastern vs. Harvard, 5:00 PM
Semifinal #2, Boston University vs. Boston College, 8:00 PM

Monday, February 14, 2011
Consolation Game, 4:30 PM
Championship Game, 7:30 PM

Location: TD Garden (cap. 17,565), Boston, Ma.

Participants:

Northeastern Huskies (8-11-6, 7-8-5 Hockey East)
Head coach: Greg Cronin
Leading scorers: Sr. Wade MacLeod (13-13-26), Sr. Tyler McNeely (9-12-21), Fr. Brodie Reid (4-12-16)
Leading goaltender: So. Chris Rawlings (7-9-6, 2.22 GAA, .930 SV%)

Harvard Crimson (4-17-0, 3-13-0 ECAC)
Head coach: Ted Donato
Leading scorers: Jr. Alex Killorn (7-9-16), Sr. Michael Biega (6-10-16), So. Danny Biega (6-9-15)
Leading goaltender: Sr. Kyle Richter (3-9-0, 2.75 GAA, .909 SV%)

Boston College Eagles (19-6-0, 15-5-0 Hockey East)
Head coach: Jerry York
Leading scorers: Jr. Cam Atkinson (20-15-35), Sr. Brian Gibbons (11-21-32), Jr. Paul Carey (11-12-23)
Leading goaltender: Sr. John Muse (16-4-0, 1.98 GAA, .934 SV%)

Boston University Terriers (13-7-7, 10-5-5 Hockey East)
Head coach: Jack Parker
Leading scorers: So. Alex Chiasson (9-15-24), Jr. Chris Connolly (8-13-21), Fr. Charlie Coyle (7-14-21)
Leading goaltenders: Jr. Kieran Millan (10-5-7, 2.69 GAA, .919 SV%)


Awk-ward. This year just so happens to be one of those awkward years when Boston College and Boston University square off in the Tournament's semifinal round. Of course, it's not every year that BC and BU come into the Beanpot as Boston's two best college hockey programs, but I don't think you can argue that this isn't the case this season.

The Eagles and Terriers are the only ranked teams entering this year's Beanpot. BC is currently ranked number 1 in the country, while BU checks in at #14 (last week's poll).

This year's semifinal matchups are all rematches of games that have already been played at least once this season. Boston College comes into tonight's game against Boston University having already swept the regular season Hockey East series 3-0-0. In three games, the Eagles have outscored the Terriers 17-9. Northeastern and Harvard squared off a little over two weeks ago, with the Huskies blanking the Crimson 3-0.

Looking ahead, the only possible Championship Game matchup that hasn't occurred yet this season is BC-Harvard. BU has already faced both Northeastern and Harvard this season, winning both games -- 5-4 over Northeastern and 5-2 over Harvard. BC opened the season at Northeastern, winning 2-0, and has yet to face Harvard this season.

Predictions:

Obviously, I'm picking the Eagles to win. However, I did sign the rights to my 2011 Beanpot predictions over to The College Hockey Blog. Here's what I had to say when asked to give some predictions:

"I'll caveat this prediction by saying it is incredibly difficult to win four straight games over your arch-rivals, and Boston University always seems to get up for the Beanpot.

But ... I'm a homer, so I'm going to go with BC. What a shocker, right? Predictions for the opening round: Northeastern 5, Harvard 2 and Boston College 5, Boston University 4. For the consolation game, I'll go with BU a 3-1 winner over Harvard, and in the Championship, I'll take BC 6-3 over Northeastern. MVP is Cam Atkinson."

Go Eagles!

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