BOSTON — As women’s hockey programs across New England gear up for the 2023-24 season, four Boston teams do so knowing there’s a special treat on their schedule.

TD Garden announced in March the 45th Dunkin’ Women’s Beanpot Championship will be played at the home of the Boston Bruins for the first time. The Beanpot features men’s and women’s hockey programs from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University and Northeastern University with the annual women’s tournament set for January.

“It’s very exciting,” Boston College women’s hockey coach Katie Crowley said during Hockey East media day at TD Garden on Tuesday. “This is something that we have talked about as a group of four schools for quite a while and now to have that come to reality, I think it’s going to be a huge step for the Beanpot and for women’s hockey. It’s truly exciting. I know our players are excited for the opportunity and I think it will be a fun tournament this year.”

The Beanpot men’s tournament holds the entirety of the tournament at TD Garden. The host site of the women’s championship, however, previously rotated between the four area schools.

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The Northeastern Huskies will set out to defend their Beanpot title after defeating Boston College in last year’s title game.

“It’s a big step. A lot of people don’t realize, I think it’s been in the process for probably eight years, maybe more,” Northeastern head coach Dave Flint said at Hockey East media day. “It’s nice to see that it’s come to fruition and the athletes are going to have that opportunity. I know my players are super excited about it. I’m sure the rest of the Boston schools players are excited too. But it’s a big step, and a step in the right direction. So definitely excited for that to happen.”

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Boston University first-year head coach Tara Watchorn added: “I’m grateful for all the work from the coaches and administrators that have come before me to get to experience this in my first season. It’s such an exciting time for women’s hockey. To be able to play the Beanpot at TD Garden, I truly believe our game has come a long way and if you build it they will come. It’ll be an exciting first year.”

NESN will broadcast both the consolation and championship games on January 24. Before that, however, three of the four women’s programs participating in the Beanpot will begin their Hockey East schedule. The Northeastern Huskies have been picked to finish first in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll.

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Featured image via Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics