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GAUDREAU CHEERING ON BROTHER, BC IN BEANPOT

The 2017 Beanpot Tournament opens next Monday and Gaudreau will be following his brother Matt and Boston College closely

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

For three years, Johnny Gaudreau would head into the month of February eagerly awaiting the first Monday of the month.

As a student at Boston College, the winger and his Eagles teammates had the chance to play at the storied TD Garden in Boston every year at the Beanpot Tournament. The annual affair features four local schools - Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, and Harvard - going head-to-head for supremacy amongst Boston post-secondary institutes.

"The history, playing in that city, it's a great hockey city," Gaudreau said. "Those four schools are so close together. To get to play in a tournament like that, there's so much history behind it. We always get really excited for the first Monday of the month there. It's always a fun time.

"After you're done playing in it, you still look back and watch the tournament."

Despite the NHL's hectic schedule this time of year, Gaudreau has avidly followed the tournament he remembers so fondly not only to cheer on his alma mater but also his brother, Matt.

Matt Gaudreau leads the Eagles in scoring with six goals and 24 points through 28 games, averaging 0.86 points-per-game. He has developed into a top forward for Boston College, who leads Hockey East with a 17-9-2 record and have outscored opponents 95-63 this season.

Like his older brother, Matt has been a part of a few Beanpot-winning rosters over his four years at Boston College. Matt has captured the championship in 2014 and 2016. Johnny laid claim to hoisting the trophy every year of his college career: 2012, 2013, 2014.

One of Gaudreau's fondest memories from his collegiate career - which saw him nab a NCAA Championship, Hockey East Championship and the Hobey Baker Award - is skating in the Beanpot with Matt.

"I got to win it my junior year, which was his freshman year - we got to win it together. That was pretty special," Gaudreau reminisced. "Hopefully they win it this year. They won it last year in overtime, against BU. Hopefully they can win it again. It's an exciting tournament.

"I have such great memories from it and to share that with your brother is amazing."

On Feb. 6, the Calgary Flames will be in Pittsburgh ahead of their game against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Tuesday. Gaudreau already has his Monday evening mapped out, planning on hunkering down in his hotel room to root for Matt and Boston College in their semi-final contest against Flames prospect Brandon Hickey and Boston University.

"It's hard to find in Canada, if we're playing there, but if we're in the States, I always watch," he grinned. "I'm looking forward to it this year."

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