With a 6-3 victory over Northeastern last week, Boston College put a bow on the 61st Beanpot, denying the Huskies the chance to reclaim city-wide bragging rights for the first time since 1988 and recording its fourth straight first-place finish in the four-team, two-round tournament.
The Beanpot, Boston’s annual hockey tournament that has pitted Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern against one another since 1952, isn’t exactly an egalitarian affair. There has never been a Beanpot in which neither of the traditional powers, BC and BU, made the finals, and they have battled each other in the title game on 21 out of 41 possible occasions (the teams have met in the first round 20 times).
Harvard and Northeastern have been little more than also-rans in the last couple of decades; the last time either team won the Beanpot was in 1993, when the Crimson topped Boston University, 4-2. BC and BU have exchanged periods of dominance, with the Eagles currently on top, but the Terriers still have the all-time edge with 29 Beanpot titles to BC’s 18.
The graphics below illustrate the lack of parity in the tournament’s history. With an average finish of 1.80, BU has spent the most time at the top—the Terriers have taken fourth only five times. BC isn’t far behind, with a mean finish of 2.26 and only six fourth-place finishes.
Harvard has enjoyed moderate success in the Beanpot, winning the tournament a respectable ten times, but it has taken last twice as often (average finish: 2.75). The label of Beanpot whipping boy is reserved for the Huskies of Northeastern, however, who have finished last nearly half the time (30 out of 61) and have won the event only four times (average finish: 3.18).
Though the Huskies put together a respectable attempt to upset the traditional order last Monday, the Eagles, led by senior goaltender Parker Milner, were ultimately too much, as they have been so many times in the past. But even mighty BC has some ground to make up to match the all-time dominance of their crosstown rivals. In this, at least, Terriers fans can be confident that it does not “suck to BU.”
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.