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BC, BU primed for another Beanpot showdown 02.13.12 at 2:21 pm ET
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BC's Johnny Gaudreau scores during the Eagles' Beanpot semifinal victory over Northeastern that put them into Monday's title game against BU. (AP)

In the grand scheme of a college hockey season, the Beanpot means very little — it doesn’t improve a team’s place in the conference standings and it doesn’t ensure a good seed or even a berth in the NCAA tournament. But good luck trying to tell that to players on the Boston College or Boston University teams, as the game presents another layer of intensity to a rivalry that can seemingly not have much more venom.

The Eagles and Terriers, who combined have won three of the last four national championships, will look to add to the rich history of the Beanpot and their rivalry Monday night as they take the ice at TD Garden in the Beanpot championship. The game will mark the 41st time the schools have faced off in the Beanpot and the 21st time they have met in the Beanpot title game. In those championships matchups, BU holds a 12-8 edge.

While the Terriers have the overwhelming advantage in all-time Beanpot titles with 29, they have not won the four-team exhibition tournament since 2009, their longest drought since 1994. To add insult to injury, the team primarily responsible for BU’s drought has been the Terriers’ most bitter rival. BC beat BU 4-3 in the 2010 championship game and eliminated BU in the 2011 semifinals.

The Terriers, ranked No. 2 in this week’s USCHO.com college hockey poll, know that they cannot be considered a great team unless they can win a tournament sometimes referred to as the “BU Invitational.”

“You judge a team at the end of the year by what they’ve accomplished and by what they’ve won,” BU coach Jack Parker told the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. “BU teams aren’t real good teams unless they win some championships. You could be No. 1 in the nation or the No. 1 seed in your league. You can get to the Beanpot final.

“You can do all those things that make you look like you’re about to win a championship, but if you don’t win something, it’s just an OK year no matter what the record is. This team will be judged on what happens from now until March and April. We’ll see who is going to get a chance to win championships in March and April. This is the first one that is available.”

As should come to be expected from two schools that have combined to win nine national championships, BU and BC enter the game ranked among the top teams in the country this season, as the Terriers are ranked No. 2 by USCHO and the PairWise rankings, and the Eagles are slotted third by USCHO and are tied for fourth in the PairWise rankings.

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