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Women’s Beanpot preview: It's Northeastern's tournament to lose

It’s that time of the year!

Rich Gagnon

Boston University

Rich Gagnon

Last year: Champions

Total Wins: 2* (First win was as a club team in 1981)

Most Recent Championship: 2019

Outlook: Historically, the Terriers have been the stepping stones of this tournament, finishing last 20 times and not participating twice. Recently they have stepped up their game, capped off by their first win as a varsity program last time out.

This year, the tournament is being played at Walter Brown, where they have only won three games all time in the four times hosting, each in the first round.

This year, BU is clearly the second best team in the field with a good chance to defend their crown. They have solid goaltending and some of the most potent scorers in the country. The question is can they get past the mental block of the Beanpot once again, and also a Northeastern team that has beaten them three times this season?

Keys to victory: Staying composed. The Terriers could easily knock Northeastern out in the second week if they play their hockey for 60 minutes both weeks. Limiting opportunities for opponents, even when the opponents are shorthanded, will be important.

Prediction: Runner-up. Home ice won’t be enough to take the tournament again but they are clearly at least the second best team in this tournament.

Harvard

Harvard Athletics

Last year: Runner-up

Total Wins: 14

Most Recent Championship: 2015

Outlook: Which Harvard team are we going to get? While they have had no horrible losses (the loss against UNH, while bad, is not as bad as other top teams have suffered), they seem to disappear for a few weekends every once and awhile.

If the Crimson squad that beat Princeton 6-2 in Princeton and decimated BC 7-1 in Chestnut Hill shows up, they could very easily win this.

If, on the other hand, the team that got blown out by BU is the one that comes to play, then it will be a very long two weeks.

Keys to victory: Staying focused. This is a two-week tournament and Harvard has as tough a schedule between games as you can get. They need to win both their games over the weekend if they want a chance for the ECAC and Ivy League trophies, but any looking forward to those games will doom them against Northeastern.

Prediction: Third Place. This Harvard team isn’t as good as years past, but it also wouldn't be a total shock if they surprise Northeastern and possibly BU.

Boston College

Boston College Athletics

Last year: Third Place

Total Wins: 8

Most Recent Championship: 2018

Outlook: It’s been a rough go of it for the Eagles this year. After a scorching hot start, the wheels fell off in Storrs. Since then, they have had some high moments, including tying Minnesota, and also had a win taken away due to the lack of replay. There have been other lows too, like their 7-1 shellacking at the hands of Harvard.

They lost a lot of talent from last year and seem to be having trouble putting all the pieces together.

Keys to victory: Chemistry. This is a tough ask for the Eagles, who have lost all but one game against their Beanpot rivals (they won their first meeting with Boston University, which required a lot of late-game heroics). If the Eagles want to win, they need to get both their offense and goaltending in gear.

Prediction: Last Place. We talked about the 7-1 loss to Harvard, but BC was also blanked all three times by Northeastern. I just don’t see how the Eagles beat any of the other teams this year, but weirder things have happened.

Northeastern

Jim Pierce

Last year: Last Place

Total Wins: 16

Most Recent Championship: 2013

Outlook: This has to be their year. The Huskies come in as the overwhelming favorites. While they have finished dead last in both of the last two tournaments and haven’t won it since 2013, this year they have a lot of great pieces in play and need to put it all together.

There is a lot more on the line than even the high stakes of the local rivalries, as NU looks to host an NCAA tournament game once again, and any losses, especially to other ranked teams, could be killer.

Keys to victory: Keeping calm and playing their own game. You have to wonder if the long drought might be in their heads, and you also have to worry about the pressure of being favorites in this tournament and the pressure of the PWR.

Prediction: Champions. They have the best goalie, the best forward, and the best defender in this tournament. They need to take both of these games for their national aspirations, but adding any more stress to these games is rather inadvisable.