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Monday, February 06, 2006

54th Annual Beanpot Opens Tonight, February 6, 2006

Fans, students and alumni of the four major Boston college hockey powers will pack the TD Banknorth Garden tonight as their teams vie for bragging rights in the 54th annual Beanpot Tournament.

No. 3 Boston College (17-6-2) faces Northeastern (1-18-6) in the first game at 5 p.m. BC leads NU in Beanpot meetings (29-8). The Eagles, who last won a ’Pot title in 2004, are chasing their 14th title while NU, which last won the Beanpot in 1988, is on a quest for its fifth. BU faces Harvard later in the evening. Both first-round games will be broadcast on NESN.

The Lowell Sun reports that the Eagles are not looking past the hapless NU Huskies, who are winless in their last 12 games. More from The Heights.

Change the 'Pot?

Richard Tenorio of The Daily Item (Lynn, MA) argues that the Beanpot has lost its magic as of late due to its utter unpredictability. Tenorio notes that the Beanpot title is almost always a battle between Boston College and Boston University; for the past 12 years, either BC or BU has won the Beanpot. He suggests enlarging membership in the tournament as a possible solution.

BC's Lines

BC coach Jerry York made some minor adjustments to the Boston College lines, in the wake of the team's recent struggles. York switched a pair of wingers, putting freshman Brock Bradford back alongside freshman Nathan Gerbe, and moving sophomore center Dan Bertram and freshman Andrew Orpik back with junior left wing Joe Rooney and freshman center Benn Ferriero.

York left the unstoppable "CBS line" of Chris Collins, Brian Boyle, and Stephen Gionta untouched. This line enters tonight's game against "the hottest trio" in the league; in the Eagles' last six games, the line has combined for 34 points.

Women's Beanpot

History will be made at Harvard's Bright Hockey Center this week as the 28th annual Women's Beanpot will be the first with all four Boston schools sending varsity teams (BU had previously sent a club teams to the championship). BC faces off against Northeastern on Tuesday at 5 p.m. BC has already swept the three-game Hockey East season series, but all three games were decided by just one goal.
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