When one thinks of marquee sporting events in Boston, the Marathon and Head of the Charles Regatta usually are the first in people's minds. However, the Beanpot Tournament, played on the first two Mondays of February, is king when its wintertime.
The 61st semifinal round kicks off at 5 p.m. on Monday afternoon as Boston University faces Northeastern for the second time this season, but their first in the tournament since 2010. Three-time defending champion Boston College is the lone squad in the field that enters the first round as a victor, facing Harvard for an 8 p.m. start.
The Teams and Records:
Boston University (13-10-1, 10-7-1 Hockey East) vs. Northeastern (7-13-3, 4-11-3 HE)
Boston College (15-7-2, 12-6-1 HE) vs. Harvard (5-14-1, 3-12-0 ECAC Hockey League)
When: The semifinals take place on Monday, Feb. 4 at TD Garden. BU and Northeastern kick things off at 5 p.m. with BC/Harvard beginning 45 minutes following the conclusion of the opener.
TV: Both games live on the New England Sports Network with Tom Caron (play-by-play), Andy Brickley (color), and Naoko Funayama (rinkside) on the call.
Game 1 Radio: Commercial and student stations for both teams will cover the game.
NU: WRCA 1330 AM - Rob Rudnick (PxP), Bill Doherty and Ben Weiss (color)
NU: WRBB 104.9 FM - Ben Horner (PxP), Jack Thaler and Craig White (color)
BU: NBC Sports Radio 1510 AM - Bernie Corbett (PxP) and Tom Ryan (color)
BU: WTBUSportsRadio.com - Paul Ryan (PxP) and Jashvina Shah (color)
Game 2 Radio: Each team will carry one broadcast.
BC: 98.5 The Sports Hub - Ryan Johnston (PxP) and Ken Hodge (color)
Harvard: WHRB 95.3 FM - Anton Khodakov and Zach Kline
Social Media: SB Nation and Western College Hockey will have all the bases covered with myself (Twitter: @JoshuaKummins), Ryan Durling (@Ryan_Durling), Biz Jacobs (@BizJacobs), and Jeff Cox (@JeffCoxSBNation) all in the press box for the tournament.
Follow @GoNUmhockey, @BUGameDay, @BCHockeyNews, and @HarvardCrimson for all the updates on your favorite team.
Players to Watch: The most electric player in the opener may be Northeastern freshman Kevin Roy, who is currently tied (with Bentley's Andrew Gladiuk) as the nation's highest-scoring rookie with 1.17 points per-game and 104 shots on goal. Senior Vinny Saponari helped BU win its last Beanpot title in 2009 and is now the Huskies' captain. He has scored two game-winners against his former club, including one with 2:03 left for a 6-5 road win on Jan. 18.
For the Terriers, sophomore Cason Hohmann is the team's leading scorer with 23 points, while senior captain Wade Megan sports a team-high 12 goals. Entering the year, BU was without an NCAA-experienced goaltender for the first time in 43 years and now Matt O'Connor and Sean Maguire have split minutes as freshmen.
Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau is Boston College's most potent threat as he leads Hockey East with 33 points and 0.95 assists per-game - both national benchmarks among sophomores. Rookie Michael Matheson returned to the line-up from an injury on Friday and anchors a young defensive corps with senior Patrick Wey.
Ironically, Harvard's best scorers have strong local ties. Rookie Jimmy Vesey is a North Reading, Mass. native and has scored a team-best ten goals and 14 points. Sophomore Tommy O'Regan, a Needham native, is the brother of BU freshman Danny and has a team-high nine assists to go along with 12 points.
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.