A Winter Classic

By Jared Shafran, News Staff
Northeastern hockey fans are finally going to get what they’ve been clamoring for.Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, Andrew Merritt of hockeyjournal.com reported that the men’s hockey game originally scheduled for Jan. 14 at Boston College, will be moved to Fenway Park, home of the beloved Boston Red Sox.

While the women’s hockey team played at Fenway in January of 2010, it was not really what the fans were looking for. Not only was NU upstaged by the night game rivalry of BU and BC, they blew a lead to UNH and lost the game.

Whatever the reasons were for why the men’s team wasn’t included in 2010, the fact was that BU and BC stole the show once again. Then, this past August, Hockey East announced there would be games at Fenway this winter. For the second time, there was no mention of our men’s team as the games announced were UNH and Maine along with Vermont and UMass-Amherst. Just this week, Hockey East announced that the games had sold out, proving the demand for outdoor college hockey in a baseball stadium still exists.
Many fans had given up hope that a men’s Fenway game would ever happen. But lo and behold, here we are and the NU students deserve it. They earned this game by proving they can be loud, proud and energetic. But they will also prove they can work financially, as they have a big enough fan base. These tickets are going to sell. Everyone wants a chance to see NU at Fenway and with the school down the street, it won’t be a problem for students to get there.

For Boston College, moving this game to Fenway instead of having the home game at Conte Forum is a no-brainer. On Jan. 14, most of the BC student body will still be away from campus on winter break. The attendance for a game at Conte that night would have been pretty weak. Now, BC has the opportunity to showcase their highly ranked, national powerhouse of a team on a much bigger scale, playing at Fenway Park for the second time in three years.

The rink is being built for the other Hockey East games, which will take place just a week before the NU-BC showdown, and Fenway Sports Group will want to use it for as many events as they can while it’s up.

Beyond anything else, this is a great matchup of two teams that have produced some of the best games in college hockey in the last few years. BC handed the Huskies a crushing 7-6 loss in overtime of last year’s Beanpot final. A week later, the teams skated to a 7-7 tie at Conte and then the Huskies got their revenge with a 2-1 win at Matthews.

This season, the Huskies and Eagles will face-off four times. Each time will be in a different venue. The Eagles won the first game Oct. 22 at Matthews Arena, next weekend the teams will meet at Conte Forum, the January meeting will now take place at Fenway Park, and finally, the cross-town rivals will meet in the first round of the Beanpot Feb. 6.
This is yet another opportunity for NU to steal the show and make a statement against one of the best teams in the country. The fans will be there, along with the excitement of a great rivalry. Win or lose, this game is just another reason why it’s great to be a Husky hockey fan.