Reflections III: Bring Pot to a Boil

I could start this off by telling you about how Tommy Cross played the role of the hero for BC  by scoring the overtime winner against BU in dramatic fashion. I could tell you that the Terriers seem nothing short of hexed against the Eagles this year going 0-4 against Boston College, the margin of each loss closer and closer to equal leading up to tonight’s 2-2 deadlock after regulation. I could talk about how the schools are on the same street and don’t like each other because they both have the word “Boston” in their names.

But you are an educated hockey fan with an Internet connection and presumably cable television. You know all of these things already. If you wanted to follow this game you would have been getting updates on your phone, laptop, or 64 inch high def television and known that Corey Trivino scored at 2:17 of the second period.

If you will, let me make a case for why you should have not been checking the score on twitter. Let me make the case for why you should have spent $30 dollars to see what will probably be one of the best hockey games played at the TD Garden this year (Collegiate and Professional)

Now I must be upfront that this was my first live in living color Beanpot experience. Guilty. I have been living in the Boston area for six years, the past two a 5k from the Garden itself. So easily assessable, but like the majority of the people who didn’t find themselves at the Garden last night, I was busy. I had something to do. I could just watch it while I did my homework.

This year Boston College has played Boston University three times and I have been in attendance for all three among many other games this season. Some were better than others, as having nine goals run up is a little harder to watch then when the teams are supposed to be bitter rivals. But the atmosphere was always exciting. The home ice advantage at either the Conte Forum or Agganis Arena is obvious. At Agganis its always 4,000 Terrier fans and four knuckleheads in superfan shirts who decide to tread into the enemy’s end of the B line, and at the Forum vice versa.

But on this night even numbers of red shirts and gold shirts filled the balcony. Two bands played. Both even had their own lanky 19 year old in a red or gold spandex body suit. It was great to hear something more creative echo down from the rafters than “Wideman Sucks!!” (I get it nobody liked him but for Gods sakes he wasn’t THAT bad. He plays for the Panthers now, move on he is not Lebron James),

After seeing each respective fan base in their own environment, everything now seemed to be magnified tenfold. The chants, the classical music covers of Lady Gaga songs, the drunken fights. It was college hockey on HGH. It was pumped up and it was angry.

While making far out comparisons to recreational drugs, for the true hockey fan, I’m not sure there is a street drug’s high that can top the feeling of the weightlessness in your stomach when you see two breakaways stopped back to back in under a minute when surrounded by nonstop screaming.

The moment where you forget you’ve been holding your breath for 45 seconds and remember to exhale you realize you are witnessing a performance that can only be made by young men who are not playing for money, but for their own pride and lets be real the adoration of hundreds of coeds in hockey jerseys and black leggings.

Tonight’s game followed that pattern throughout most of the sixty minutes. Frantic yelling, amazing saves, John Muse doing his best Tim Thomas impression performing some sort of two handed tomahawk jab knocking a Terrier player to the ice. Moments of breathlessness that one can’t get from watching through a TV screen, no matter how many pixels there are.

Jack Parker explained it best in three words “It’s the Beanpot” as he looked into a sea of cameras and shrugged his shoulders trying to explain why it was such an exciting game. To paraphrase Boston College’s assistant coach Make Cavanaugh (who filled in for Jerry York during the postgame press conference), “You can loose a game in your season and win a national championship. You can even loose a game in the league playoffs and still win the Hockey East Title but you cant lose a game and win the Beanpot.”

The general consensus seems like its just something you would know if you saw it with your own eyes, and felt under your own two feet. Oh that? That feeling? That’s just the Beanpot. I could try to write down the primal feeling in my chest when one man facewashes another with a dirty glove in close proximity to me, but I’m not sure I would do it justice.

But for $30 maybe you just need to see what it feels like for yourself.

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