"There're great traditions there at both schools. I'm glad that they're doing something like that. It's such a big hockey area." -- Bill Guerin
One of the many events tied into the NHL game is a college hockey doubleheader. On Jan. 8, a women's game between New Hampshire and Northeastern will be followed by a battle between archrivals Boston College and Boston University.
"It's a great rivalry," Penguins forward Bill Guerin, who played two seasons at Boston College, told NHL.com. "There're great traditions there at both schools. I'm glad that they're doing something like that. It's such a big hockey area. The schools have a tremendous amount of pride in their hockey traditions. This is something nice they're doing with the NHL and getting together on that, it's great."
That rivalry also has found its way into the Pittsburgh dressing room. Guerin and defenseman Brooks Orpik played at BC, while teammate Chris Bourque played for BU.
"I know a few guys on the team there (at BU) and I know they're really looking forward to it," Bourque told NHL.com. "I know if I was playing in it I'd be really excited. It's nice for them to get out on the big stage, especially playing against BC. It's a huge rivalry. I'm sure they're going to pack Fenway for that. It should be a really exciting day."
Bourque was a Terrier for just one season, 2004-05, but he said playing against BC in the first round of the annual Beanpot Tournament stands out for him.
"I played against them the first round of the Beanpot and it was a real memorable game," he said. "It was my first time playing in the Beanpot and against them. It was a later game and the crowd was awesome. Just such a good tournament. It was a great thing to be a part of."
Guerin has his own memories of the rivalry.
"It was a hated rivalry," he said, still burning 18 years after his last game there, in 1991. "We hated them. That's just the way it was. The schools are separated by a couple miles, tops. It was more than in the standings, it was bragging rights."
Those bragging rights have extended into the present-day Penguins dressing room. Guerin and Bourque said they haven't yet talked about placing a wager on the winner -- both said there would be some kind of friendly bet involved -- but the trash talk already has started.
"I don't know if he's actually a BU guy because he never went to class," Guerin said of Bourque.
"Last time we were in Boston we got to practice at BU and that was fun," said Bourque. "We got Billy Guerin to sing the BU fight song so that was kind of funny."
And just in case Chris' parents, read this: "I was always at class. I was in every class."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org