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College Hockey In Belfast This November?

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Not long after the "Belfast Beanpot" rumors, there could be college hockey in Belfast this November.

This past summer, Boston mayor Marty Walsh caused a bit of a stir by suggesting the Beanpot might be played in Belfast at some point. As you may recall, the reaction to that was rightly full of venom and outrage. However, people were generally on board with it once it was "clarified" that the actual Beanpot wouldn't move; a Beanpot-esque tournament would be staged in Belfast instead.

Yesterday, Belfast Live reported that college hockey will be coming to Northern Ireland this November on Thanksgiving weekend, when "4 top teams from Boston and the USA" will converge upon Belfast for a hockey tournament. I suspected initially that the article might be an April Fool's joke, but 1) the article isn't funny, and 2) a friend of BCI with sources close to the situation told us the article is "legit."

So it looks like this might be happening. The article claims the event will be formally announced during the Frozen Four and that 12,000 tickets to the event will be distributed free of charge to Belfast youth. All cool.

Of course the natural question we have is who is going to be playing. The article doesn't suggest who will be there other than to say it's "four top teams from Boston and the USA." The article does not say it will be the four Beanpot schools, and BU actually just announced this week that they will be playing Cornell in Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden that weekend. So we don't know for sure if BC will be a part of this.

The Eagles are already scheduled to play in a tournament in Ostero, Florida between Christmas and New Year's, so that may be a factor too as non-conference scheduling could be tight. That said, it would be pretty odd if this event went forward with neither BC nor BU involved, particularly given Marty Walsh's involvement. I guess to the fine folks in Belfast, Harvard is probably the biggest brand name anyway.

This is something to keep an eye on during the Frozen Four to find out if this is really happening and if BC will take part in it. I'd love to see it happen, and I'd love to go. Having the Beanpot in Belfast was always a terrible idea, but actually playing some games abroad could be really cool for the players and some nice exposure for the sport.