Is the Beanpot a ticket to greatness?

Last Monday, Boston College snagged its fifth consecutive Beanpot title with a 4-1 win over Northeastern. The lopsided score is hardly indicative of the fiery nail-biter that left both teams clawing for an edge until Boston College’s Patrick Brown buried a late third period goal to gain a 2-1 lead. From that point on, BC didn’t look back, adding two more goals in the last two minutes to clinch a surefire win over the Huskies.

The excitement that subsequently pervaded BC was palpable, as proud students and alumni beamed—knowing that this win preserved bragging rights for yet another year and affirmed that the Eags were still top dog in the hockey-crazy city that is Boston.

Thatcher Demko tracks the shooter during BC's tilt against Northeastern. Photo courtesy of flickr / jeffcutler.

Thatcher Demko tracks the shooter during BC's tilt against Northeastern.
Photo courtesy of flickr / jeffcutler.

In the wake of all of this excitement lie the questions: what has the Beanpot become? Has the Beanpot turned into a competition mainly between Northeastern and Boston College? And most importantly, what does this mean for Boston College?

The Eagles have appeared in—and won—the last five Beanpot finals. And they have been accompanied by Northeastern in two of the last three finals and three of the last five finals.

Quite simply, this means that BC and Northeastern have generally been the better two best hockey teams among the four that participate in the Beanpot throughout the past half-decade.

However, winning the Beanpot has been an incredible benchmark in prognosticating a team’s success—especially when it comes to national championships.

Could this year bring another title to Chestnut Hill? Photo courtesy of flickr / freddy_wheeler.

Could this year bring another title to Chestnut Hill?
Photo courtesy of flickr / freddy_wheeler.

When Harvard won their first and only national championship in 1989, they also happened to win the Beanpot that year. When Boston University won national championships in 1971, 1972, 1978, 1995, and 2009, they, too, happened to win the Beanpot alongside each national championship. When Boston College won in 2001, 2008, 2010, and 2012 (BC won in 1949 but the Beanpot hadn’t yet begun), you guessed it—they also won the Beanpot that year. And if you’re wondering why one team is missing, it’s because Northeastern hasn’t won a national championship.

Unless you believe in sheer coincidence, there is a trend that you might have recognized. That is, every single team that competes in the Beanpot has won a Beanpot title en route to a national championship victory—no exceptions.

It’s worth pointing out that a Beanpot title doesn’t guarantee a national championship—far from it. Throughout Beanpot history, the majority of the time, the winner has not gone on to win a national championship. However, as previously mentioned, every time BU, BC, or Harvard (sorry, Northeastern) has won a national championship, it has been accompanied by a Beanpot title.

If you’re a skeptic, this information may mean nothing to you. If you have the slightest inclination to believe that history repeats itself, you know that a Beanpot title has been a mandatory test (for BU, BC, and Harvard) on the path to a national championship. And if you’re downright logical, you know that a Beanpot title this year certainly won’t hurt Boston College on the road to a national championship.

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Joe Castignetti