The Beanpot Tournament has become a tradition like no other on the first two Monday nights in February each season.
The annual event in which Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern battle for Boston's hockey bragging rights, opens Monday with a doubleheader at TD Garden.
New Jersey Devils forward Stephen Gionta, who played in four Beanpot tournaments as a member of Boston College, is very familiar with the excitement surrounding the games. Boston College has won the past four Beanpot tournaments.
"In Boston, that's almost bigger than the national championship, especially around that area and the four schools playing in it," Gionta said. "It's a lot of fun to be a part of; I was lucky enough to win one as a sophomore [in 2003-04]."
In addition to the 17,000-plus fans who will witness the games, the tournament will also give a few 2014 draft-eligible players an opportunity to make an impact and open some eyes in a pressure-packed event.