The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

Championship Preview: Northeastern and BU set to go head-to-head in 71st Beanpot final

Cameron+Whitehead+blocks+away+a+shot+from+Boston+University.+The+Huskies+defeated+the+Terriers+4-3+in+overtime+Jan.+30.
Sofia Sawchuk
Cameron Whitehead blocks away a shot from Boston University. The Huskies defeated the Terriers 4-3 in overtime Jan. 30.

The 71st men’s Beanpot championship is bound to be a fierce competition. It’s the sixth year in a row Northeastern and Boston University have faced each other in a Beanpot game, and the two teams combined have taken every title since 2018. Northeastern has claimed all but one of those competitions — the 2022 championship

Both the Huskies and Terriers are on a winning streak. Northeastern’s won its last five straight, while BU’s taken its past three, its last loss coming against Northeastern Jan. 30.

The reigning Beanpot champion, No. 20 Northeastern seeks to claim yet another upset victory over the No. 3 team in the country. The Huskies and Terriers have faced each other twice this season and both games ended in overtime. Each team won 4-3 on home ice, but at TD Garden, in neutral territory, it’s anyone’s game. 

Both teams bring a legion of fans, and with over 18,000 tickets sold in the 19,500-capacity arena and a near 100-year history between the two teams, the rivalry in the stands battles the one on the ice. TD Garden is a much bigger stage than the Huskies and Terriers usually compete on, and with plenty of new, high-performing players on both sides of the ice, the tournament rookies will need to stand tall against the city-wide pressure.

In the offseason, Northeastern faced massive turnover, with notable departures to the NHL; including Devon Levi, Aidan McDonough and Jayden Struble; and in the transfer portal; including Sam Colangelo, Jack Hughes and Riley Hughes. 

However, the Huskies picked up 13 new players, who have made a huge impact on the team. Senior forward Alex Campbell is the Huskies’ top-scorer, the former Clarkson athlete making a consistent effort on Northeastern’s top line. Freshman forward Dylan Hryckowian, the younger brother of captain and junior forward Justin Hryckowian, is on a seven-game point streak, with three goals and seven assists in the past month, including the game-winning overtime goal against BU Jan. 30.

Backing the team is freshman goaltender Cameron Whitehead. The highly-touted Golden Knights prospect was picked up in the fourth round of the 2022 draft, the earliest goalie selection in Husky history, and his development in Northeastern’s program has been evident in his debut collegiate season. Whitehead has started in nearly every game for the Huskies this season and has put on some real clinics against some of the top teams in the country. Having faced the Terriers twice already, Whitehead surely knows the challenge BU will create for him. The Terriers average 4.00 goals per game and forced Whitehead to two of his highest save counts, 36 and 38 (career-high).

The ice is quiet as Cameron Whitehead prepares for the next stretch of play. Whitehead joined the Huskies as a freshman at the beginning of the 2023-24 season and has since started 25 of 26 games. (Sofia Sawchuk)

Whitehead’s not the only first-time goalie in the championship — BU’s Mathieu Caron came to the Terriers from Brown University, after BU lost its goalie tandem to a pro career (Drew Commesso) and Quinnipiac University (Vinny Duplessis). Caron’s no stranger to pressure. He was Brown’s starting goalie the past two years, and after spending all that time playing for one of the bottom teams in the ECAC, he was thrust into the limelight with one of the top teams in the country.

BU’s stint in the nation’s top-3, peaking as the No. 1 team in the NCAA, has been highlighted by star forward, freshman Macklin Celebrini. The 17-year-old has racked up 41 points (22 goals, 19 assists) in 25 games and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Celebrini has scored two points in each of the past four games, including a two-goal performance to open the Beanpot semifinal against Boston College Feb. 5. 

In what’s bound to be a chippy game — an intense rivalry matchup late in the season with a prestigious trophy and title on the line — both teams need to be careful of penalties. Of the 14 goals they’ve scored against each other this season, five have been on the power play (3 BU, 2 Northeastern), with both teams capitalizing on around a quarter of opportunities this season. 

This electric competition will be broadcast on NESN when the puck drops Monday night at 8 p.m. and the Huskies and Terriers go head-to-head for the most coveted title in Boston college hockey.

About the Contributor
Amelia Ballingall, Sports Editor
Amelia Ballingall is a third-year speech language pathology and audiology major. She is sports editor for The News and previously served as deputy sports editor and deputy design editor. She is also Vice President of Membership Development for Delta Phi Epsilon, the social media manager for Speech and Hearing Club, and a Student Success Guide on campus. Amelia is looking forward to another great semester with The News!
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