No matter how fiercely coaches may preach to their players about the virtues of shutting out the noise come game time, the clatter surrounding the annual Beanpot tournament – that madcap midterm examination of Boston collegiate hockey – is tough to shush. What with all the media coverage surrounding the 55-year-old event, together with the chance to skate in front of nearly 20,000 slap-shot happy fans in a building called the Garden, no less, the entire “pressure cooker” atmosphere of the four-game showdown is understandably something to behold. For homegrown icers, meanwhile, competing for the title of best in Boston is a particular honor.
“You grow up watching it [the Beanpot],” explains first-year Crimson forward Doug Rogers, a product of hockey powerhouse St. Sebastian School in Needham and one of seven Harvard players to attend high school in Massachusetts. About competing in the ‘Pot, the Watertown native added, “It’s always been a dream of mine. I’m sure it’s been a dream of every kid around the area growing up. Going into it, you just try to take a step back and just enjoy it. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.”
And although the outcome of Monday’s (Feb. 5) semifinal with Boston College – a 3-1 come-from-behind Eagle win – may not have been an ideal Beanpot debut for the talented freshman (marking Harvard’s ninth straight first-round exit in the tourney), his Crimson club will get a shot at redemption Feb. 12 against Northeastern in the consolation game. Looking to the future, Rogers and company – including fellow first-year Kyle Richter (who started between the pipes against B.C., recording 29 saves) – will have another three shots at Beanpot glory, accompanied, doubtlessly, by some February clatter.
With the loss, Harvard falls to 9-13-1 overall. The team takes on Princeton this Friday (Feb. 9) before resuming Beanpot play the following Monday at 5 p.m. For the latest scores and updates, visit http://www.gocrimson.com.