For every sports fan, there is nothing quite like a fierce and historic rivalry between two teams. The energy, passion, and competitive spirit that these matchups bring are unmatched and make for some of the most exciting moments in sports.
In the world of college hockey, the Northeastern University Huskies have been involved in several intense rivalries over the years. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of their most important matchups, from the early days to the present.
The Beginning: Northeastern vs. Boston University
The rivalry between Northeastern and Boston University, also referred to as the Battle of Comm Ave, dates back to the 1920s. The two universities, located just 2.5 miles apart on Commonwealth Avenue, have a long-standing history of competition in various sports.
In the world of hockey, these two teams first faced off in 1925 and have been battling it out on the ice ever since. The rivalry reached its peak in the 1970s when both teams consistently ranked among the top teams in the country. Fans from both sides would pack the arenas, and the games were intense, physical, and often heated.
One of the most memorable moments in this rivalry occurred in 1982, when Northeastern and Boston University met in the NCAA Frozen Four semi-finals. The game went into overtime, and with just seconds left, Northeastern’s Randy Scott scored the winning goal, sending the Huskies to their first-ever national championship game.
This rivalry has continued to flourish over the years, and games between Northeastern and Boston University are always highly anticipated by fans.
The 1960s: Northeastern vs. University of New Hampshire
In the 1960s, the rivalry between Northeastern and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) came to the forefront. This was the era when both teams were part of the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) and faced each other multiple times throughout the season.
The rivalry between these two was especially intense because both teams had dominant players. For Northeastern, it was All-American goaltender Bruce Racine, while UNH boasted players like Ralph Cox and Dan Mandich, both of whom went on to play in the NHL.
Their games were often close and exciting, and the competition between the two teams was fierce. In 1965, Northeastern and UNH met in the ECAC Championship game, which was also the first-ever televised national championship game for college hockey. The game ended in a 4-4 tie, and both teams were declared co-champions.
The rivalry between Northeastern and UNH may have cooled down in recent years, but the memories of their intense matchups in the past remain etched in the minds of fans.
The Beanpot: Northeastern vs. Boston College & Harvard University
The Beanpot tournament is a highly anticipated event in the world of college hockey, featuring the four Boston-based teams – Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard University. However, the rivalry between Northeastern and Boston College is the most intense and storied in this tournament.
The two teams first met in the Beanpot in 1956, and their games have always been fierce and highly competitive. In fact, Northeastern’s only Beanpot championship to date came in 1988 when they defeated Boston College in the final.
Another notable rivalry in the Beanpot is between Northeastern and Harvard. The two teams first faced off in the tournament in 1919, making it the oldest rivalry in the Beanpot. Although Northeastern has only won five Beanpot championships in the tournament’s history, they hold a winning record against both Boston College and Harvard.
The Present: Northeastern vs. University of Massachusetts
In recent years, the rivalry between Northeastern and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) has intensified. The two teams currently compete in the Hockey East conference, and their games have been highly competitive and entertaining to watch.
In 2019, Northeastern and UMass met in the Hockey East Championship game, which was dubbed The Battle of the Bay State. The two teams put on an incredible show, with UMass coming out on top in the end. However, Northeastern got their revenge the following year, defeating UMass in the same game to win the Hockey East Championship.
Most recently, in the 2021 Frozen Four, Northeastern and UMass met in a semi-final matchup, which was deemed as a Battle of New England. Although Northeastern put up a good fight, UMass ultimately came out on top and went on to win their first-ever national championship.
As we look back at these historic matchups, one thing is clear – Northeastern has been involved in some of the most exciting and intense rivalries in college hockey. And as the Huskies continue to compete and make their mark on the ice, there will surely be more unforgettable moments and matchups in the future. So, as a fan of college hockey or simply a lover of sports, keep an eye out for Northeastern’s upcoming games against their biggest rivals – you won’t want to miss them.