What To Watch For As Northeastern, Boston University Battle In Beanpot

This is quite a popular Beanpot matchup

by abournenesn

Feb 14, 2022

A Beanpot winner will be crowned Monday after Northeastern and Boston University battle for Hub hockey bragging rights at TD Garden.

Northeastern advanced to the championship after besting Boston College, 3-1. Boston University, meanwhile, edged Harvard in the semifinals, 4-3.

Here are four things to keep an eye on in the matchup:

Northeastern seeking historic four-peat
Recent Beanpots have been defined by Northeastern making history, considering the Huskies snapped a 30-year tournament drought with their victory in 2018. When they won their third consecutive title in 2020, that marked the first time they had won three in a row.

So naturally, winning a fourth in a row would be historic, as well.

While that’s some significant Northeastern history, it hardly holds a candle to what Boston University accomplished at the turn of the century. The Terriers — who have a tournament-best 30 championships — won six consecutive titles from 1995 to 2000.

This could be a long one
If recent history tells us anything, it’s that fans in the stands at TD Garden and those watching at home on NESN should settle in for a long night.

Northeastern and BU have played twice already this season, and both games went to overtime. The Huskies won the first meeting, 1-0, in extra time on Nov. 19, then the sides battled to a 2-2 overtime tie on Nov. 20.

That’s not all. This game is a repeat of the 2020 Beanpot title game, when Northeastern won 5-4 in triple-overtime.

Conveniently, the rules have changed to mirror NCAA regulations. Now, should the games go to overtime, it will be five minutes of 3-on-3 before a shootout to determine the winner.

Battle of the backups
Both teams boast such talented goaltenders that neither of them will be available for the Beanpot. Northeastern netminder Devon Levi and Boston University goalie Drew Commesso both are playing in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Levi is on Team Canada, while Commesso starred with a 29-save shutout for Team USA in its first game against China.

That means when the Beanpot finale gets underway Monday, it will be two backup goaltenders on the ice. Both impressed in the semifinal round, when Terriers goalie Vinny Duplessis made 22 saves against Harvard and Northeastern’s TJ Semptimphelter stopped 41 shots from Boston College.

Both teams have winning streaks on the line
The Terriers are red-hot entering Monday’s final. BU has won its last six games to improve to 16-10-3 and most recently took a decisive 4-1 road victory over No. 17 Providence.

Northeastern also enters having won its last three games, punctuated by a 4-2 defeat of No. 13 UMass Lowell on Friday. It seems the Huskies have righted the ship after three tough losses against No. 12 UMass and Lowell, which was ranked No. 14 at the time.

Thumbnail photo via Jim Pierce/Northeastern University Athletics
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