Boston College and Boston University will once again renew their rivalry in the final of the 60th annual Beanpot, meaning one of the two schools will emerge victorious from the popular tournament for the 19th straight year.
Either BC or BU has won the Beanpot every year since 1993, with the Terriers having won eight titles in that span, and the Eagles racking up six. In a season in which BU (No. 1) and BC (No. 5) are again among the nation's elite, it's relatively unsurprising that they'll again do battle with the championship on the line next Monday at TD Garden.
Each team took a different path to the final, though. The Terriers rode the hot hand of goalie Kieran Millan, who stopped 29 of Harvard's shots, while the Eagles used an offensive onslaught to storm past Northeastern. The Eagles racked up seven goals against the Huskies, including two apiece from freshman Johnny Gaudreau, junior Steven Whitney and senior Paul Carey.
Neither team broke much of a sweat on Monday night, although the Terriers were tested far more than the Eagles. In some ways, though, it looked like two warmup games for what many saw as an inevitable clash in the tournament final.
There will be no shortage of storylines leading up to this year's final, with BC seeking its third straight title and BU looking for its record 30th overall. The Terriers are 26-14 overall in Beanpot play against the Eagles, a trend they hope continues this time around. BU head coach Jack Parker knows his team will need to elevate its play even more in order to make that a reality, though.
"We were fortunate to get out of here with the W, and we're fortunate to get to the Beanpot final," Parker said. "The object is to win a championship. The object is to keep winning. We did that."
Winning hasn't just become the objective for Parker's BU squad over the years; it's become an expectation. He's led the Terriers to 50 tournament titles, including three NCAA crowns, 11 conference titles and 21 Beanpots in a career that's spanned five decades.
This season marks Parker's 39th Beanpot, and his win on Monday brought his overall record at the tournament to 58-19. It's a winning tradition that's carried over from his playing days, when Parker earned three Beanpot titles at the institution.
It's been three seasons since Parker's team has come away with the big pot of beans, however, as the man who will be on the opposing bench next Monday has enjoyed his fair share of success over the years, as well.
BC head coach Jerry York has guided Boston College to three national championships and five Beanpot titles since he took over as the school's head coach in 1994. He's 5-6 in championship games, with nine of his 11 appearances coming against Parker's Boston University team.
The latest installment should be intriguing, though, with each team battling for Hockey East supremacy, in addition to the bragging rights that come with each Beanpot title. But one look at the men behind the bench reveals that it's intriguing, sure, but a matchup that's not all that surprising.
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