The 59th Annual Boston Beanpot tournament will conclude on Monday February 14, 2011, yet, while we eagerly count down the minutes to an exciting championship game, here are some pre-game thoughts on what should occur before the puck is dropped for both contests.
Consolation Game – Boston University vs. Harvard University:
Noonan’s Prediction: This particular matchup should focus on two things, goaltending and offense. After an exciting overtime win against University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, on Friday, Boston University should have no problem stopping Harvard and wrapping up third place. In fact, the Terriers can set the tone early with a quick goal, which may force the Crimson offense into instant, “attack mode,” but will they be able to combat a well-rounded Jack Parker offense?
SCORE: Boston University 4 – Harvard 1
Libon’s Prediction: Not much to say here. Give Harvard a lot of credit for playing with heart, but Boston University is too strong and should have no problem against the Crimson.
SCORE: Boston University 5 – Harvard 0
Championship Game – Boston College vs. Northeastern University:
Noonan’s Prediction: Boston College relied heavily on their power play units and special teams in order to secure a spot in Monday’s tournament championship. Yet, Northeastern has watched their goaltender, Chris Rawlings, not only act as an anchor for their defense, but has also, allowed his offense to score goals and win critical Hockey East contests. If Rawlings can deny the high-powered Eagles offense, then the Huskies will earn their first Beanpot championship trophy since 1988.
SCORE: Northeastern 3 – Boston College 2
Libon’s Prediction: For Northeastern to win the championship, Chris Rawlings is going to have to continue his stellar play between the pipes. The Huskies offense also better bring their “A-Game” because they are going to be facing one of the top teams in the United States. Boston College will rely on their goaltender too, John Muse, who is arguably is the best goalie in the nation. He will certainly be tested throughout all three periods, but will the Huskies offense bother him so much that he’ll be forced to allow multiple goals? Northeastern has a knack for upsetting ranked teams, but don’t expect an upset against the Eagles. Expect Northeastern to leave it on the TD Garden ice because Cam Atkinson and his Eagles should most likely skate to victory.
SCORE: Boston College 3 – Northeastern 1