Former Bruins Assistant Jay Pandolfo Shares Why Beanpot Is So Unique

Pandolfo isn't exactly a newcomer to the historic tournament


Jan 30, 2023

BOSTON — While it might be his first season at the helm of the Boston University men’s hockey team, Terriers head coach Jay Pandolfo is by no means a newcomer to the Beanpot Tournament. Pandolfo won a pair of Beanpot titles during his playing days at BU and he served on the bench when the Terriers hoisted the trophy last season.

Pandolfo, who was hired as the program’s head coach in May, also served on the staff of the Boston Bruins for five seasons after growing up in Burlington, Mass. All told, his well-established ties to Boston hockey and the Beanpot are what make him so qualified to explain the uniqueness of the event.

Pandolfo did just that Monday during Beanpot media day at TD Garden.

“Just to have a tournament like this in the middle of the season, obviously the city of Boston having the four schools so close together,” Pandolfo said, “and for all the alumni that still live in the area, I’m sure when they went to the school they went to the Beanpot. So I’m sure it just continues to carry on and I think that’s the big reason why.”

Pandolfo reflected on the times he attended as a young fan, too.

“Like for me, I’ve grown up in this area, experienced it,” Pandolfo continued. “I think a lot of kids now their dreams are to play in the NHL right away, but I remember for me going to the Beanpot and thinking, ‘I hope I can play for one of those schools.’

“And I knew Harvard was gonna be a long shot, but the other three were still in play,” Pandolfo joked. “So just to have that, I think it just carries on. I just think the energy building is incredible because you have all four schools that it means so much to. It’s just incredible atmosphere and a lot of fun to be part of.”

Pandolfo served as the BU captain in 1995-96 and played in the Frozen Four during four straight seasons. He also won the 1995 national championship and was the runner-up for the 1996 Hobey Baker Award. When he was hired, Pandolfo became the first Division I men’s ice hockey coach to have won an NCAA championship and two Stanley Cups as a player. 

He’s had an undeniable amount of early success at BU this season, as well. The 19-6 Terriers currently sit atop the Hockey East standings with 13 wins in 17 conference tilts. Now Pandolfo and company will look to continue that success heading into the Beanpot Tournament — an event he’s already so familiar with.

The 2023 Dunkin’ Beanpot Tournament will kick off Feb. 6. Boston College faces Harvard in Game 1 at 5 p.m. ET on NESN before Northeastern takes on Pandolfo and BU in Game 2 at 8 p.m.

Thumbnail photo via Matt Woolverton/ Boston University Athletics
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