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Beanpot Has Special Meaning for Current & Future B's

Tournament is vital part of Boston's hockey fabric

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - Dominic Moore thought he had scored one of the biggest goals of his career. The then 19-year-old Harvard University forward believed he had beaten Boston University goalie Rick DiPietro with a wrap-around attempt during the semifinals of the 2000 Beanpot.

 

But Terriers coach Jack Parker begged to differ. The legendary bench boss asked for a video review, which confirmed his belief that the puck did not cross the goal line.

 

Video: Bruins recall their Beanpot memories

Moore's tally was taken off the board and Harvard went on to lose, 4-0.

Some 17 years later, Moore - now anchoring the Bruins' fourth line - still remembers that play vividly. Memories like those - both good and bad - are what makes the Beanpot such a storied part of Boston's hockey fabric.

"It was a big thrill," said Moore, who played for Harvard from 1999-2003. "Playing in an NHL arena as a college player is special, obviously. All the crosstown rivalries that go on are a lot of fun to be a part of.

"I did score what I thought was a pretty nice goal with a wrap around on Rick DiPietro…I don't think I even knew there was review at that time, except somehow Jack Parker was able to get that reviewed."

There will be plenty of memories made again this year in the 65th Beanpot Tournament, which kicks off Monday at TD Garden. Harvard will battle Northeastern in the first game (5 p.m., NESN), while Boston University squares off with defending champion Boston College in the nightcap (8 p.m., NESN).

The Bruins will be well represented with five prospects taking part in this year's tourney. Ryan Fitzgerald (Boston College), Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (Boston University), and Ryan Donato and Wiley Sherman (Harvard) will be battling for the city's college hockey bragging rights.

"It's a huge rivalry," said Bruins forward and Boston College alum Jimmy Hayes, who won two Beanpot titles with the Eagles (2010, 2011), scoring the overtime winner in 2011 over Northeastern.

"All four Boston schools - you take a lot of pride being the best school in Boston. It's kind of your claim to fame for the whole year.

"It's the first trophy you look forward to…we called it trophy season. The real start of trophy season was the Beanpot."

Hayes' classmate at BC, Tommy Cross, stayed at The Heights for one more season and captured a third Beanpot title when Bill Arnold potted the winner with 6.4 seconds left in overtime against BU in 2012.

"Bill Arnold scored in overtime to beat BU and he did the big celebration sliding on the ice," said Cross, now captain of the Providence Bruins. "That was fun. I remember that, chasing him down. The bus ride back, carrying the Beanpot. Usually you end up with the Beanpot in your dorm room and you eat cereal out of it."

Cross's favorite element of the tournament is the way it captivates the city.

"The best part about the Beanpot is just getting your fellow students there to support you and go for bragging rights for the best Boston school for the year," said Cross.

"I remember the excitement around campus leading up to the Beanpot. Obviously getting to the Garden and driving through downtown Boston is pretty special."

It may be Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk, though, that has the most memorable Beanpot moment of the bunch. Boston's 2012 third-round pick grew up dreaming of playing in the tournament some day.

He accomplished that and then some. Grzelcyk scored twice - including the winner just 51 seconds into overtime - in the 2015 Beanpot final, lifting Boston University to a 4-3 win over Northeastern and capturing the tournament MVP.

"It's really special," said Grzelcyk. "There's so much history and there's a lot on the line even though it's just two non-conference games in February. It means a lot to all the schools.

"It's certainly something that you get excited about when the schedule comes out earlier in the year. You see who you're playing first in that given year. It's just the coolest feeling really."

Grzelcyk's fellow Massachusetts native and Bruins 2014 second-round pick Ryan Donato, perhaps, summed up best what the Beanpot means to hockey in Boston.

"I remember going to this tournament since I've been younger," said Donato, who grew up in Scituate and is the son of former Bruin and current Crimson head coach Ted Donato.

"One of my buddies that's on the team is also from Boston. He was telling me, growing up as a kid, there a couple goals that you visualize when you're playing hockey with your buddies: the Stanley Cup goal, the National Championship goal, and a goal in the Beanpot.

"I think that kind of summarizes how most of the guys on our team are…I think we're all really excited about it."

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