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The 42nd Women’s Beanpot: Final Thoughts & Predictions

Two wins to a trophy

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John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

Welcome to Trophy Season!

No matter how your year has gone, you’re never more than two wins away from coming away from some hardware. This season, Boston College Women’s Hockey is the only unranked team in the Women’s Beanpot (HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE), but that just doesn’t matter. Any of these teams can win two to get the trophy, and it wouldn’t even be particularly shocking.

Let’s break down the semifinals.

WHO

No. 10 Harvard Crimson (12-8-1, 11-4-1 ECAC)
vs. No. 3 Northeastern Huskies (23-3-1, 20-2-0 WHEA)

Boston College Eagles (14-10-3, 13-8-2 WHEA)
at No. 8 Boston University Terriers (18-6-3, 13-6-3 WHEA)

WHAT

The 42nd Women’s Beanpot Semifinals

WHERE

Walter Brown Arena
Boston, MA

WHEN

Tuesday, February 5th, 2020
5:00pm EST (NU vs. HU)
8:00pm EST (BC at BU)

HOW TO WATCH

NESNplus will be carrying the full Women’s Beanpot on HDTV this year. That appears to include the consolation game, which is pretty funny because there has never been any video of any men’s consolations games, well, ever. Outside of Route 128 you can watch the tournament on CBS All-Access ($). The semifinals and championship game will also be on TSN GO in Canada.

PROJECTIONS

KRACH (used for odds) has BC in 15th and BU in 8th. That puts BC at 38.18% odds to win their semifinal, or BC +162 with your local bookie (for entertainment purposes only, of course).

In the other matchup, Northeastern sits 5th with Harvard down in 11th. That’s a similar gap to BC and BU, and gives NU a 76.81% chance of winning (or NU -331 in Vegas).

GRaNT (used for scores) has roughly the same rankings with BU in 8th as in KRACH, but with BC up a smidge in 13th. Those work out to BU being favored by a 3.02 to 2.07 score, or something like a 3-2 Terrier win.

Interestingly, we’ve got a sizable difference compared to KRACH. Northeastern is up in 3rd in the GRaNT Rankings, with Harvard all the way down in 16th. That gives Northeastern an impressive 4.14 to 1.10 projection, or roughly a 4-1 win for the Huskies.

We have a direct link to all our BC Interruption hockey calculators in the site header. Just hover over “More” at the top of the page to be linked straight to the Live Pairwise, Projected Pairwise, KRACH, and GRaNT calculators.

LAST TIME OUT

Boston University is playing much better than BC on the whole, but they’ve gotten several games against the bottom two teams in the conference recently to rack up a few wins (though they did tie last place Merrimack) before taking on league leader Northeastern to a close 2-1 loss. This past weekend the Terriers grabbed a win in their Beanpot warmup with a solid 4-2 win at home against Vermont.

Boston College has been up and down since their stretch of games against top teams, and they got the easiest warmup by far this weekend as they cruised to an 8-3 win over Hockey East newcomer Holy Cross.

Northeastern nearly had a stumble in their weekend matchup against UConn on Friday, needing overtime to dispatch the Other Huskies by a score of 3-2. We’ll chalk that up to looking ahead to Beanpot Tuesday.

Finally, Harvard skated to an easy 4-0 win over Dartmouth, who is ranked just above Holy Cross in KRACH. The Crimson are probably pretty happy to have gotten an easy game in that matchup.

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINE

Throw Out The Records. That’s good news for BC, whose record isn’t particularly good. Last year the Eagles had a pretty good season, making the NCAA tournament but crashing out in the first round, and didn’t get a single trophy — Beanpot, WHEA Regular Season, WHEA Tournament, or even one of those bronze trophies they give you for making the Frozen Four — for the first time in a very long while. This year’s been unquestionably worse, but all it would take is two wins here in early February to make this a better season than last year.

THE BIG QUESTION

Who’s Ready To Play? Part of why you can truly “throw out the records” for this tournament is because the teams really do play at a different level. And that’s not just media-speak — tournament season reaches Boston before it gets to the rest of the country, and while those of you outside of Route 128 may not “Get” the Beanpot, there is just a ton of pride involved in winning this tournament. If one team starts off on a misstep, the other team most certainly will have not, and you can bet that the team not ready to play will be down early and playing catch-up all night.

RANDOM, POSSIBLY INCORRECT FACT FROM THE OTHER TEAMS’ WIKIPEDIA PAGES

Boston University is an accredited university.

Northeastern started out as “The Evening Institute for Younger Men” at the Huntington Avenue YMCA. I would guess that not too many universities have such humble beginnings, and you know what, that’s pretty great! Stick tap.

How do you know if someone went to Harvard? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

GAME TIME MEAL OF THE WEEK

Hot Dogs & Beans

I’m typing this from Philadelphia’s airport on my way out west, and thought of making this week’s meal a “Whiz Wit” from your preferred establishment. But that’s blasphemy for our beloved Boston tournament.

So, why not go full-Beanpot and make yourself some hot dogs & beans? Here’s the thing about hot dogs & beans — if you haven’t had it in a while, you think “Honestly, there’s not enough going on there. It will not leave my stomach sufficiently satisfied.” Well, reader, you will surprise yourself if you whip up some. It’s filling, it’s got a good saltiness to it, and you can pep it up to meet the demands of the pickiest of taste buds (I’m a fan of throwing in some “A1 Thick & Hearty”). Go for it. You can thank me later.

GAME TIME SONG OF THE WEEK

Electric Light Orchestra — Mr. Blue Sky

Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ everybody’s in the play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey

Wow, last night was the *worst* huh? Let’s forget that ever happened and hope that something positive can come from Beanpot week.

Also, this song has big-time Beatles energy. Good stuff.

PREDICTIONS

Look, BC’s a mild underdog in all this, sure, and while Northeastern is a national contender, BC doesn’t have to beat Northeastern today. The Eagles have already beaten BU this year, and while the Terriers are a smidge above the Eagles in the rankings, these two teams are peers.

BC must know that their position in the Pairwise is such that they aren’t making the tournament without winning the conference title, so the team has to be all-in on the tournaments. The regular season otherwise doesn’t have too much meaning, other than jockeying for position. So I think we see BC’s best effort in a while, and I’m going to go full-homer and say BC actually raises a couple eyebrows by winning strong, 4-1.

In the early game, Northeastern is just too much for Harvard, I’m sorry. I see that one as another 4-1 game as well, going to the Huskies.