The Beanpot is one of Boston’s most electrifying and prestigious hockey traditions. Celebrating its 58th anniversary this year, the tournament has provided some of the most remarkable moments ever played in this wonderful hockey town. Many players dream about Beanpot glory in their youth and cherish winning the championship forever.
Over the years, we have witnessed everything from extreme upsets to heroic play to the creation of Beanpot legends. In light of this rich tradition, here are the top 10 Beanpot memories of all time — including games, teams, players and coaches.
Let the debate begin.
10. Dec. 26, 1952
The Beanpot is born. We must not forget the origin of what would turn out to be one of college hockey’s most valued institutions. The four-team tournament has taken tremendous leaps in popularity and stature over the years. After drawing only 8,487 fans for the first Beanpot, the tournament drew 35,130 in 2009. Anyone involved with the tournament either as a player, coach or spectator has a memorable story to tell. This date in history will forever be remembered as the creation of one of hockey’s most coveted events. The next day, Harvard University took home the first title with a 7-4 win over Boston University.
9. Boston College
The Eagles hold more records than any other team in Beanpot history. They have the most goals by one team in one period (7, against Northeastern in 1961), the most goals by one team in one game (15, against NU in 1961) and the most goals by one team in a single tournament (19, in 1961). They also have the most points in one game by one team (38, against NU in 1961), the most saves by one team in one game (52, against BU in 1970) and the largest margin of victory (14, against Northeastern, on Feb. 13, 1961, during the ninth Beanpot).
8. Tony Amonte
Amonte dazzled onlookers during the 1991 championship game by scoring a hat trick in only 5:24 of play in the second period of the 39th Beanpot. Amonte scored at 12:18 in the second on a Phil Von Stefenelli rebound, at 13:03 on the power play with a Shawn McEachern rebound, and finally again at 17:43 when he swooped up a loose puck and put it five-hole on BC netminder Joe Cleary. It was Amonte’s only multigoal game in two years, and the achievement sent a stream of hats on the ice. His efforts also earned him tournament MVP honors.
7. Billy Cleary
Harvard’s Cleary still holds the record for most goals scored in a period with four in a 12-3 win over Northeastern in the 1955 Beanpot. Cleary finished the game with five goals (BC's Ed Sullivan tied the five-goal mark in 1961, and BC's Mike Powers matched it in 1973). Cleary also added two assists for seven points — another record. Cleary also had seven total goals in that 1955 tournament, the most by anyone in a single tournament. This tremendous accomplishment brought him MVP honors and a Beanpot Hall of Fame induction.
6. Feb. 14, 2005
The name “Bourque” echoed through the Fleet Center, only this time the chants weren’t for Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, but his son, Chris Bourque. The freshman’s magnificent 14:10 overtime goal gave the Boston University Terriers an exhilarating 3-2 win over Northeastern to secure BU’s 26th Beanpot title. For numerous hockey fanatics looking on that night, it was a recreation of Chris’ father’s 1996 NHL All-Star Game overtime goal. While both Bourques were positioned approximately in the same spot in front of the net just below the hash marks, Ray went top shelf while Chris scored in the center of the net off a rebound. Both men also went on to secure MVP honors for their efforts.
5. Boston University
The Terriers have more titles (29) than the other three schools combined (BC-14, Harvard-10, NU-4). Also, the top five goaltenders in Beanpot history, not surprisingly, all went to BU. Michel Larocque (1997-99) and John Curry (2005-07) are tied for best save percentage in tournament history at .950, with Dan Brady (.942, 1971-72), Jim McCann (.940, 1967-68) and Sean Fields (.937, 2002-04) following behind. BU also possesses the record for the longest scoring streak. They have scored in every game from 1963 to present — 93 games.
4. Feb. 11, 1980
The 28th Beanpot Tournament was a magical moment for Northeastern hockey. In dramatic fashion, the Huskies pulled off what some consider the greatest Beanpot upset of all time, beating Boston College 5-4 in overtime and giving NU its first Beanpot title. At only 2:47 in overtime, Wayne Turner took a pass from a sprawling Dale Ferdinandi to end 27 years of Beanpot frustration. After playing the role of underdog for nearly three decades, the Huskies finally were the top dog. It was the perfect ending to an incredibly wrenching game, and it happened in front of nearly 14,500 roaring fans. To this day, many consider Turner’s goal the biggest shot in NU history.
3. Joe Cavanagh
The Harvard University forward (1969-71) still sits atop the Beanpot record book with the most points (19). He reached the total (7 goals, 12 assists) in only six games, as opposed to eight. Under NCAA guidelines at the time, freshmen were not allowed to participate in varsity athletics. That didn’t stop Cavanagh from making a name for himself. While at Harvard, Cavanagh was an All-American for three consecutive seasons and was inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994. His long list of honors also include first team All-American, first team All-East, first team All-Ivy, first team All-New England, winner of the Walter Brown Award (given to best American-born player in New England), and most valuable player of the 17th Beanpot in 1969.
2. Feb. 8, 1999
The 47th Beanpot Tournament will be remembered as one of the most cherished for Boston University. In what appeared to be just another Beanpot title for BU, we observed a truly monumental occasion. Travis Roy glided across the ice to join his teammates as the fourth senior on the roster to celebrate the victory. Roy was a promising 20-year-old hockey star for BU when he sustained a spinal cord injury during play and was paralyzed from the neck down 11 seconds into his first collegiate shift. During this particular Beanpot, the Terriers defied the odds by beating Boston College 3-2 in the first round as the underdogs and then went on to beat Northeastern 4-2 in the championship, despite having only two shots on net in the third period. That night, the entire Garden was mesmerized by the unforgettable scene of BU goaltender Michel Larocque holding the Beanpot in front of a teary-eyed Roy as he kissed it. The moment gave new meaning to the significance of the tournament.
1. Jack Parker
It is almost impossible to say “Beanpot” without having “Jack Parker” in the same sentence. The Boston University legend has created a legacy that will stand the test of time. His records, feats and accomplishments reside in their own playing field and still continue to grow. As a player, Parker won three straight Beanpot titles (1966-68) while playing for BU. As a coach, he has compiled a record 21 Beanpot titles in 36 years (1974-present) and a record six consecutive titles (1995-2000). Entering the 2009-10 season, he possessed an overall career record of 816-412-100 with a .652 winning percentage. A three-time NCAA Coach of the Year, six-time New England Coach of the Year and five-time Hockey East Coach of the Year, Parker was inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame in 2005. He will forever have a place in Boston and Beanpot hockey history.