Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Icemen Provide Advice For Beanpot Newcomers

'Some of the best memories you'll have in college'


Jan 30, 2023

BOSTON — The Beanpot Tournament is unlike any other regular-season game for the four annual participating colleges.

And while the upperclassmen on Boston University, Northeastern, Boston College and Harvard will try to clue in their younger teammates who have yet to play in a Beanpot, they know the best way to describe it is just by having them gain the experience firsthand.

“It’s hard because you really don’t know until you experience that first game,” BU senior defenseman Case McCarthy told at Monday’s media day for the event. “I think the easiest way to explain it is we play Northeastern, Harvard and BC all year long, so take that atmosphere and put it in a 20,000-seat stadium essentially. It’s exciting. Try to support them because once you step on the ice it’s a whole different atmosphere.”

That atmosphere can sure be intimating for the freshmen who find their way onto the ice at TD Garden. And the Terriers will rely on captain Domenick Fensore in an effort to try to capture a second straight Beanpot title.

“It’s kind of unlike any other tournament,” Fensore said. “They’ve played in a lot of big games growing up and being around hockey. You kind of really can’t tell them what to do until their out there. Just enjoy the moment, but when it comes to playing, be ready to go. Kind of control your emotions throughout the game because there’s so many highs and lows.”

Northeastern senior captain Aidan McDonough is no stranger to the Beanpot, either, and will keep his advice simple to the rest of the Huskies.

“For me the messaging will just be take care of your first hit, get your first shot under your belt, first couple of shifts and try to settle in as quickly as possible,” McDonough said.

The advice from Fensore and McDonough is spot on, according to Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who is set to be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame. Grzelcyk played in three Beanpots while suiting up for BU in the mid-2010s and understands better than most that playing in the event, while it can be nerve-wracking at times, is a moment worth cherishing.

“Just try to control your emotions the best you can,” Grzelcyk said. “I remember my first Beanpot, I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous before a game. Just shaking in my boots. Just wanting to get out there, get a hit or something. But you kind of have to play with that emotion and control it the best you can.

“You see how much it means to everyone here and how much it means to everyone at the schools. Just enjoy the experience and have so much fun with it. It’s been seven years since I’ve played in one now and I wish I still had that opportunity. It’s some of the best memories you’ll have in college.”

The 2023 Dunkin’ Beanpot Tournament will kick off Feb. 6. BC faces Harvard in semifinal action at 5 p.m. ET on NESN before Northeastern takes on BU in the other semifinal at 8 p.m.

Thumbnail photo via Matt Woolverton/Boston University Athletics
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