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Women's Beanpot 2015: Tournament Preview

TONIGHT on ESPN3

BC Athletics

Have you ever said to yourself "Wow, you know, the Beanpot is great, but if there's one thing I could really go for it's multiple Beans-Pot in the same day."

As lame as it was that the men's Beanpot was postponed to tonight, it means that there are now four (4) hockey games going on between the hours of 5pm and 10pm. What a world we live in.

Not well-versed in women's hockey? Don't fret. We've got you covered with a your Women's Beanpot preview.

Game 1: Northeastern Huskies vs. Boston College Eagles
5:00pm, ESPN3

Team Name: Northeastern Huskies

Number Of Titles: 16 (Most)

Last Year's Beanpot Result: Runner-up

PWR: NR
KRACH: 19
GRaNT: 18

Player To Watch: Kendall Coyne. And that is pretty much it. Coyne is 6th in the nation in PPG and you have to go alllll the way down to 39th to find another Husky. The problem is that Coyne is one of the most talented players in all of women's hockey. An elite talent on Team USA during the Olympics, she could be the fastest skater in women's hockey and does stuff like this on occasion.

How do you know she's the whole team? She takes a million shots. She's had ten games with ten or more, and has 204 on the season—59 more than 2nd place Hannah Brandt.

Season Synopsis: To call Northeastern's season a disappointment would be a colossal understatement. The Huskies were a respectable 13th in the Pairwise last season, and that was with Kendall Coyne away from the team all year for the Olympics. Instead, Northeastern is a distant 4th in a top heavy Hockey East and has stumbled to a terrible 2-7-1 record in their last 10 games. Three weeks ago they gave up 16 goals in a home-and-home against BC. It's been rough.

Northeastern Wins If: Goaltender Chloé Desjardins stands on her head. Last time out against BC, she, well, didn't. In fact she spent about as much time skating back and forth to the bench as she did stopping pucks.

If Northeastern Was A Character On Modern Family They Would Be: Luke. Not all that bright, but a total goofball and pretty likable. Sometimes a bit of a troublemaker. As a bit of a misfit, you almost feel bad for him.

Team Name: Boston College Eagles

Number Of Titles: 5 (2nd fewest)

Last Year's Beanpot Result: Champion

PWR: 1
KRACH: 1
GRaNT: 2

Player To Watch: Emily Pfalzer. It would be too easy to pick current Patty Kazmaier Award frontrunner Alex Carpenter, superstar 1st liner for Team USA and current leader in just about every offensive category. But what really makes the BC offense run is its elite blue line, and that starts with senior Emily Pfalzer. She is the nation's leading defenseman by a ton and is 9th overall in scoring with a 6-26--32 line. There are only 4 other teams in college hockey who have a player with more points than she does.

How does she do it? Part of it is the system she plays in. BC sends defensemen below the goal line more than any team in the country, because they have the personnel to do it. They can play deep and have someone covering. But Pfalzer is very quick and very smart. She pinches in a lot but has the speed to get back if needed.

Pfalzer is 9th in the country in scoring but 5th in the nation in +/-. She's an offensive defenseman but one that keeps the puck away from her goaltender as well.

Season Synopsis: The Eagles are undefeated and #1 in the nation. But the early season high-octane offense has hit a speed bump of late, scoring only 12 goals in their last 4 games—roughly half their six-goals-per-game production of the first half of the season. BC seems to be coasting lately and with trophy season upon us, it is time for them to get back to their early season juggernaut status.

Boston College Wins If: The compete level is there. I was not kind in my recap of their last game against the Friars where they went into the 2nd intermission without the lead. There has been a lack of jump in their stride for several weeks now. BC is talented enough that they can and will beat every opponent—and that includes Minnesota—if they play to the best of their ability. Hopefully tonight the Eagles can get back on track.

If Boston College Was A Character On Modern Family They Would Be: Jay. The patriarch. Everyone looks up to him. As a old school kind of guy/Catholic school kind of school, sometimes struggles with homophobia, but his heart is in the right place. Rich. Cool. Did I mention rich?

Predictions:
Grant: BC 6, NU 1.
Joe: BC 7, NU 1
Brian: BC 8, NU 0
AJ: BC 5, NU 1
Jeff: BC 6, NU 1
Kwani: BC 5, NU 2
Dan "New Guy" Rubin: BC 7, NU 1
CoachJF: BC 6, NU 1

Game 2: Boston University Terriers vs. Harvard Crimson
8:00pm, ESPN3

Team Name: Boston University Terriers

Number Of Titles: 1 (Fewest, tied with Brown (lol))

Last Year's Beanpot Result: Last

PWR: 6
KRACH: 9
GRaNT: 6

Player To Watch: Marie-Philip Poulin. You may remember her as the Canadian who scored the overtime goal against Team USA to win the gold medal in Sochi. Could an enemy of America like that play for anyone other than BU? It's a match made in heaven.

Poulin has had something of an injury-plagued career, and missed a few games early this season as well. But she is at full health of late and has been on a tear. She is 10-12--22 in her last 12 games and is on a 1.50 PPG pace over the full season. The difference between Poulin and Coyne is that Poulin has a much better supporting cast. The Terriers have a lot of talent and they can score goals.

Season Synopsis: The Terriers have been all over the place this season. Last weekend was a perfect example: in a two-game series at home against Vermont, BU was shut out in game 1 and scored 9 goals in game 2. The week before they handed #4 Quinnipiac its worst loss of the season, but had to hang on for a one goal win against struggling Northeastern. You get the feeling that they are either a 4th ranked team or a 10th ranked team, but no one can really tell which.

Boston University Wins If: It can get a halfway decent game out of its goaltender. The Terriers' biggest problem is in net, which certainly explains their roller coaster of a season. All that high end talent doesn't do them any good if their goalie is a sieve, and unfortunately for BU, they have two of them. Their two goalies are 32nd and 34th in save percentage nationally. Yikes.

If Boston University Was A Character On Modern Family, They Would Be: Gloria. Like her home country of Colombia, that end of Comm Ave is known to be rather violent and has plenty of less-desirable members of society. Also, like Gloria herself, BU's roster is a bit 'top heavy.' They have a handful of superstar players, but hold off that top line of Lefort-Poulin-Tutino and you'll give yourself a good shot to win.

Team Name: Harvard Crimson

Number Of Titles: 13 (2nd most)

Last Year's Beanpot Result: BU Invitational Champion (3rd place)

PWR: 5
KRACH: 5
GRaNT: 5

Player To Watch: Josephine Pucci. Earlier in the season I might have said Miye D'Oench, who was leading the team in most offensive categories until missing a game with an injury. She hasn't been the same since and hasn't gotten a single point in 6 games.

Pucci missed the majority of this season with a concussion and has a history, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her come back. She has been one of Harvard's best players since returning, posting a +12 with a nice 2-5--7 line in 10 games, as a defenseman.

With not a single Crimson player scoring at over a point per game, it'll be a defenseman you want to keep an eye on.

Season Synopsis: When you look at the stats, Harvard is so average you wonder how they manage to be ranked so high. They are 5th in scoring but 10th in goals allowed, surprising for a team that has built something of a name for itself as defensive-minded. They don't have many bad losses and don't have many really eye-opening wins.

They do have an eye-opening loss, but at least that was to an elite team.

Harvard Wins If: BU doesn't play well. This game is more about the Terriers than it is about Harvard. With the Crimson, you pretty much know what you're going to get: halfway decent goaltending, halfway decent offense, halfway decent defense, and they probably won't lay an egg. BU's ceiling seems to be higher than Harvard's, but their floor is much lower.

If Harvard Was A Character On Modern Family, They Would Be: Alex. I mean, obviously. Very smart, but doesn't have much of a social life. The nerdy member of the family, she can also be a bit arrogant about her brains. How can you tell if someone went to Harvard? Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Predictions:
Grant: HU 3, BU 1
Joe: HU 4, BU 3
Brian: BU 7, HU 1
AJ: BU 6, HU 0
Jeff: BU 3, HU 2
Kwani: BU 3, HU 2
Dan "New Guy" Rubin: HU 3, BU 2
CoachJF: HU 3, BU 2