Boston College and Harvard could not have more disparate Women’s Beanpot histories entering Tuesday night’s 8 p.m. final at the Crimson’s Bright Hockey Center.
Harvard (12-8-4) is a win away from tying Northeastern’s record of eight straight Beanpot titles and are looking for a 12th overall. Boston College (15-9-4) has fewer titles than Brown, who won the one time it was invited in 1993.
The hosts are looking to continue a winning tradition, while the visitors are looking to start one.
“The last few classes that have been graduating have been walking out with four Beanpot championships to their name, and that’s exciting,” said Harvard captain Carrie Schroyer, who hopes to lead a fifth Harvard class with that distinction.
“We were wanting it for the seniors so they could go out with the championship,” said BC freshman Meghan Fardelmann, who scored BC’s semifinal overtime game-winner against Northeastern.
In the six times Harvard has met Boston College during its seven-Beanpot winning streak, the Crimson has outscored the Eagles 41-4 and never won by fewer than four goals. But given Boston College’s school record win total this season and Harvard’s scoring struggles as of late, this final promises a much closer result.
With both teams averaging fewer than three goals a game this season, scoring promises to be harder to come by than in any recent Beanpot final. Harvard’s 3-0 win over Quinnipiac Saturday was the first time in seven games that the Crimson had scored more than one goal in regulation. Getting more rebounds would help Harvard’s cause.
“We’ve got to get our sticks on the ice and be a little more physical in front of the net – show how hard we work in the weight room,” Schroyer said. “Get our sticks on the ice, muscle those defensemen out, and put the puck in the back of the net.”
A key might be whichever team can break out on special teams. Harvard is just 5-for-52 on the power play in its last seven games, but the Crimson has been successful at drawing penalties and has managed one power play goal in five of its last six games. Boston College is 0-for-15 on the power play in its last four games. Harvard’s penalty kill has been stronger than Boston College’s this season, but the Crimson also takes more penalties.
The low scoring also could lead to goaltenders taking on a starring role. Boston College coach Tom Mutch noted that much of the intensity of the semifinal against Northeastern could be attributed to senior captains in net on each end. The final could feature a rematch of senior goalies who each played in last year’s final, Quandt for BC and Ali Boe for Harvard.
This is Boston College’s ninth Beanpot final, but only the 1996 game against Northeastern a contest. Northeastern led 2-0 after a period, but BC came back to tie the game. Erin Magee, whose name blankets the Eagles’ record books, scored a shorthanded third-period goal for the lead. BC could not hold the advantage and lost 4-3 in overtime.
BC’s semifinal last week was its first overtime Beanpot game since that narrow defeat of 1996. Ten years later, the Eagles reversed that Northeastern result. Against Harvard on Tuesday night, they seek to reverse 27 years of history.