Power of the Beanpot

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Southern football has The Iron Bowl (and a few other cult rivalry, classics), the colder confines of the Northeast has The Beanpot. Two Mondays of college hockey with bragging rights, a place in athletic lore, and a trip around the Boston Garden ice with some cool hardware on the line. It is touted as a “special” tournament that inspires great play. The reason for this may be that it provides a unique competitive situation that levels the mental game, playing field.

Right now, Northeastern University is exceeding expectations, Boston University is in a bit of a rut, Harvard University is underperforming when pre-season hopes are considered, and Boston College is… well, being Boston College. BU and Harvard have reasons to be glum, Northeastern cause to be energized, and BC… well, to be BC. Yet, for two Mondays in February, it is a bit easier for all to believe the tournament is anyone’s for the taking. This is more than pre-tourney media hype, it makes sport psychology sense.

The situation of the Beanpot brings positive energy and focus regardless of the bumps and bruises that egos have sustained up until this point in the season. The stage is truly set for teams to “play in the present.” Past games and the rankings they manufactured matter little when the puck drops tonight. Also, in many regards, the future is the present. A two game tournament leaves little opportunity for looking ahead or daydreaming about an elaborate path through the finals. Four of the nations best college hockey programs will step on the ice, where conference rankings matter not and excitement will be high. Walking down the corridor towards the Garden ice, postive attitudes and high focus should be fairly easy to grasp. The Beanpot is built for solid compete-levels from all four teams.

Perhaps the big question is… can players find these attitudes and efforts outside of the two weeks in February when the Beanpot-assist no longer exists?

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