Tom Caron: Boston University Is Team To Beat Heading Into Beanpot

Editor’s note: NESN’s Tom Caron is on the 50-member USCHO ranking committee, and you can find his votes on the college hockey week that was every Monday on NESN.com.

For the second straight week, Boston University is back on top of my official USCHO.com ballot. The Terriers tuned up for the Beanpot with an impressive 9-5 win over Massachusetts — a game that UMass led 5-4 in the third period.

BU continues to develop into a complete team, a team that doesn’t just rely on superstar Jack Eichel to get things done. On Friday night, Evan Rodrigues put six assists on the board in the win — one helper shy of the school record. He would’ve tied the mark if not for a disallowed goal.

This young team has answered every challenge it has faced so far this season. Now, it will have to wait an extra day to see how it handles the challenge of the 63rd annual Beanpot, which was postponed due to snow. It’ll be Beanpot Tuesday this year, and NESN has coverage beginning with the Terriers game against Harvard at 5 p.m.

Harvard beat BU 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 25.

“This is our first opportunity to win a championship,” BU Coach David Quinn said. “We haven’t beaten Harvard in the last five tries, and we haven’t won the Beanpot since 2009. Playing Harvard before a bigger crowd will be good for us.”

It’s hard to believe the Terriers haven’t won the Beanpot in six years. Folks on Comm. Ave used to joke about renaming the tournament the “Jack Parker Invitational” since BU has won nearly half (29) of the championships. These days the trophy has spent more time on the other end of the Green Line, with Boston College winning five straight.

The Terriers (16-4-4) hit February with fewer than five losses for the first time in 17 years. They have the fewest losses in the nation and are the team to beat coming into the tournament.

In his second year, Quinn is excited to see how his team responds as the stakes get higher. They were beaten in the semifinals last year, the third time in four years they haven’t made it to the finals.

Terrier fans are expecting that to change this year. They’re looking for Quinn to win his first. I asked him how many he’ll have to win before we could call it the “David Quinn Invitational.”

“That’s a good one,” Quinn said with a laugh. “I don’t think I’ve got 40 (years of coaching) in me like Jack.”

Check out where the rest of the teams fell in the polls below.

Tom Caron’s official USCHO.com ballot for the week of Feb. 2:

1. Boston University
2. Minnesota State
3. North Dakota
4. Michigan Tech
5. Miami
6. Nebraska-Omaha
7. Boston College
8. Harvard
9. UMass-Lowell
10. Bowling Green
11. Minnesota Duluth
12. Denver
13. Providence
14. Minnesota
15. Yale
16. Quinnipiac
17. Merrimack
18. Penn State
19. Michigan
20. Vermont

And here is the USCHO.com Top 20:

1. Minnesota State
2. North Dakota
3. Boston University
4. Nebraska-Omaha
5. Michigan Tech
6. Harvard
7. Minnesota-Duluth
8. Bowling Green
8. Miami
10. Denver
11. Boston College
12. UMass-Lowell
13. Providence
14. Michigan
15. Yale
16. Quinnipiac
17. Vermont
18. Merrimack
19. Robert Morris
20. Colgate

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@bcinterruption

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