Tag Archives: College Hockey

The Beanpot – aka the BU Invitational

7 Feb

For the first and second Mondays of February, the four Boston* college hockey teams – Harvard, Northeastern, Boston College, and Boston University – take part in the Beanpot Tournament.  This special hockey tournament has grown to be one of the most unique and anticipated college sporting events in the country.

Winning the silver pot of Boston baked beans is a source of immense pride and bragging rights amongst players, students, alumni, and fans – especially for those of us with ties to Boston University (ie. myself and Pants). In the 59 years that the Beanpot has been played, the BU Terriers have won it 29 times.  That’s about 50%.  Hence the nickname.

We win. Again.
For those of us who have had the pleasure of watching in person, these games are truly special.  No matter what sort of season the teams are having, they always seem to step up when February rolls around.
BU could be considered to be in a “rebuilding” phase and have lost all their games vs. the Eagles.  BC is the defending national champs and atop the national rankings.  But when the puck drops for their semifinal match up at 8pm tonight, all the trials and tribulations of the current season don’t matter.  BU has got history on their side.  For many of BU’s players this year, this is the first time that they will playing in the Beanpot.  I hope they take a moment in the quiet before the national anthem to reflect on that this tournament means.   I hope they take a deep breath before the puck drop to realize how much this means to their fans.

Victory makes us want to hug everyone!

“What the Beanpot means to me? Quite simply, there are two words that come to mind: tradition and emotion. Anyone who has a pulse around here knows about the tradition of the Beanpot. I’m a local kid. I grew up in Scituate. I started coming to the Beanpot about the same time I started playing hockey.” — David Silk, former BU forward and 1980 Olympic gold medal winner

*Writer’s Note: Two of the four teams are not actually IN Boston.  Harvard is in Cambridge, right across the river and Boston College is in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Hockey Memories of Section 8

20 Jan

As a hockey fan living in New England, it is virtually impossible not to be a fan of or follow college hockey.  After all, Hockey East is arguably THE most competitive conference in Division I college hockey.  Since 1993, Hockey East teams have won 7 National Championships (and the last 3 in a row!) Can you say “Domination”?

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

When I was an undergraduate at Boston University, my winter social life pretty much revolved around the Terriers’ hockey schedule.  Hockey game, party on West Campus, recover, rinse, repeat.  I sat in Section 8 of the old Walter Brown Arena, where the seating bowl was weirdly elevated so that when I stood up from my 2nd row seats, my head was completely above the board.  While definitely unsafe (errant puck to the head, anyone?), it did make for an unimpeded vocal corridor right to the opposing team’s sieve..er…goalie.

Section 8 was especially adept at taunting these poor souls.  We had a knack for coming up with very creative insults and epitaphs to hurl at the visitor’s goalie.  My personal favorite (coined by some drunk dude in the 4th row) – “Your grandmother doesn’t love you.”  Another favorite wast the “Ugly Goalie” chant.  [Every time the opposing goalie would take off his mask, our crowd would yell “UGLY GOALIE!” over and over again.  Then when he’d put his mask back on, the crowd would cheer “YAY!”]

Random?  Yes.

Juvenile?  Maybe.

Effective?  You betcha.

You make her feel shame. Disappointment and shame.

 

On more than one occasion, an opposing goalie would hear one of these jeering affronts and quizzically look to his right.  Yeah, that’s right, buddy.  We’re talking about you.

SIEVE!

The team has since departing the charming Walter Brown and moved into the swanky Agganis Arena.  The seats are more comfortable and less precariously situated.  Section 8 has morphed into 2 spirited student sections at each end of the ice, but the cheers remain as lively and clever as ever.  I’ve been a  season ticket holder since my undergraduate years (minus a 4 year stint when I was living in LA) and I don’t think that I will every give up my seats.

College hockey is too special to give them up.  Special because you get to see players grow and develop.  You see their progression from skinny 4th-line  freshman to Hobey Baker finalist to NHL star.  College hockey is an imperfect game.  The goalie is not going to make every save.  The forward is not always going to score on the breakaway.  The defensemen is not always going to land that perfectly timed hip check.

But it is because of these imperfections of the college game that make it so enjoyable to watch. You feel like are a part of something just on the brink.  You are witness to these players on the edge of the diving board, ready to make the leap into the deep end of the hockey pool.

I, for one, cherish this and it makes me proud to be a college hockey fan.

No, no. Thank you!

Yes, folks, they do play hockey in Georgia

18 Oct

We here at WUYS are fans of all sort of hockey teams – mites, squirts, bantam, college, professional, beer league.  No matter where you are in the world, if you’re playing hockey, we’re cheering for you.

So we wanted to give a big shout out to the University of Georgia Ice Dawgs for keeping it real and spreading the hockey love all over the South.  I happen to meet two of the players (Bill and Brian?) on Saturday while they were selling t-shirts to raise money for their team.   I bought one and thought I’d give them a little plug on this little blog of ours.

Now they may only be a club team at a school where football is a religion, but we give them mad props.  Keep at it, boys!

Follow UGA Hockey on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ugahockey

2010-2011 College Hockey Preview: Part One

30 Sep

Fall is upon us.  The leaves are turning.  The air is crisp.  It can mean only one thing…it’s time for another glorious season of college hockey!

Even the smart kids are crazy about college hockey!

Over the next two weeks, I’ll break down each conference and tell you who to watch throughout the country this year en route to the national title game in Minnesota.  We’ll also make some predictions with the WUYS staff and see who can pick this season’s national champ.  Today in part one we’re going west young man, and looking at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

The WCHA has an impressive history when you consider that since 1951, teams from the WCHA have earned 36 NCAA national championships and finished as the runner-up another 27 times.  That’s a lot of hardware (see below).

Cash for Gold?

Last season, four teams from the WCHA went to the national tournament: Denver, Wisconsin, North Dakota and St. Cloud State, with Wisconsin the eventual runner-up to Boston College (I hate the Eagles!) for the national title.

Look for North Dakota to be strong out of the gate.  With a great defensive unit anchored by  Captain Chay Genoway, the Fighting Sioux will be tough to beat.  It’s not an accident that ND is ranked No. 2 in the national preseason polls.   This team has the potential to dominate the conference and will be a serious contender in Minnesota come Frozen Four time.

Minnesota-Duluth has great scoring ability and should do well this year also.   Ranked No. 9 in the preseason polls, the Bulldogs return 20 letter-men, including five of their six top scorers from last year. The  star of that group, All-American center Jack Connolly (18G-31A-49P) is poised to take the Bulldogs to new heights this year.


UMD Standout Jack Connolly

St. Cloud State will sport solid  goal tending in their Lee-Dunn tandem.  However, with the loss of Ryan Lasch (20G-29A-49P), the Huskies could struggle to find enough offense this season.  The Huskies do return a large crop of upperclassmen and that experience should make them one of the teams to beat in the conference.

If Jaden Schwartz is everything he’s advertised as, Colorado College could have a very good year.  Schwartz, the WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year, was also selected in the first round of the NHL draft by the St. Louis Blues.

Jaden Schwartz - The Answer?

The Tigers are loaded with forwards, some proven, some raw recruits.  That being said, defense could be an issue with so many talented offensive teams in the conference.

The Denver Pioneers look to be in a bit of a rebuilding season as they lost many players from last year.  Picked 11th nationally in preseason polls, DU will look to build around a solid defensive corps that includes sophomore Matt Donovan.  The Pioneers will be tested early as they open their home schedule against defending NCAA champion Boston College (did I mention I hate BC?) with a pair of games October 15-16.

Bimidji State is new to the conference this season, but this is the team that shocked the hockey establishment a couple of years ago by advancing to the Frozen Four.  With a 23-10-4 record  overall last season in the CHA, the WCHA coaches poll has BS finishing in the bottom tier of the conference in 9th place.  I have to agree.

Nebraska-Omaha is the other new team this year and are a bit of an unknown.  They will retain most of their offensive firepower from last year, but defensively they could struggle.  Don’t expect them to finish any higher than 7th this season.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers, once a feared team and in the national consciousness has lost a bit of its bite int he last few years.  The coaches poll has them finishing squarely int he middle of the pack in 5th place.  Minnesota’s Nick Bjugstad did receive a vote for preseason rookie of the year.  Coach Don Lucia could surprise some folks this year out west and the Gophers could find themselves in the mix come playoff time.

Wisconsin will surprise me if they spend any time in the top half of the conference.  The national runners-up lost seven of their best players last year and you just can’t replace that kind of talent overnight.

This badger looks tough...

Minnesota State will struggle to put the puck in the net as they lose almost all of their top scorers from last season.  They will stay toward the bottom this year.  the same can be said of Michigan Tech, which was very thin at the blue line last season.

Finally, Alaska-Anchorage will again struggle to fight its way out of the basement as there are holes all over the ice for them this year.

Well, there you have it folks.  The west will (likely) be won this year by North Dakota.  I think this conference can legitimately send several teams to the NCAAs that will contend for a title.

Here’s how the WUYS staff picks the WCHA this year:

CI – North Dakota…they have too many weapons

Pants – North Dakota…” I don’t know enough to argue with those numbers.  That’s some seriously heavy favoritism.”

Chuck – Chuck, Chuck are you there?

DawnCherrie – TBD

Next time we’ll have a look at the CCHA.  Until next time.

From Chuck
Hey all.  I’m here!  So I’m going to have to go with CI and Pants on this one.  I pick the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota to win the WCHA.  They are stacked like Jenga.

Ed’s Note: Apparently DawnCherrie is picking Wisconsin to win this conference.  I know that Badger looks cute in the photo, but I don’t think the fellas on the ice will have it this year.