The Beanpot becomes a family affair
Northeastern, BC feature several pairs of brothers
Elliot Olshansky, NCAA.com
Northeastern freshman forward Cody Ferriero has only played one game in his career against Boston College – the team he and the Huskies will face on Monday in the Beanpot championship - but he already knows the Eagles very well.
While he’s only faced BC players like Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons and Paul Carey once at Northeastern, Ferriero had ample opportunity to see all of them play while watching his older brother, Benn.
Benn Ferriero scored 64 goals and recorded 75 assists during 165 games in his four-year career with BC, helping the Eagles win the 2008 national championship before moving on to a pro career that’s seen him play 56 games in two seasons with the San Jose Sharks, and Cody got to know his brother’s teammates on and off the ice.
“I know a lot of the guys on the BC team,” the Northeastern freshman said. “Grew up playing against a few of them, watched a lot of them with my brother. I’m friendly with the majority of them.”
Cody, who was drafted by the Sharks in the fifth round of last year’s NHL Entry Draft, may one day join his older brother with San Jose. For now, though, he’s looking forward to facing his brother’s old teammates at TD Garden with the Beanpot on the line.
“It’d be huge for our program,” Ferriero said of the chance to win Northeastern’s first Beanpot since 1988. “We’ve been knocking on the door for a few years now, and I think we’ve got a good shot this year. We’re hot right now. Obviously, we’re going up against the No. 1 team in the country, so hopefully, we can play our game and keep the puck out on the net, capitalize on a few chances.”
And, while there’s no question that Benn Ferriero is proud to be an Eagle, Cody has no doubt which side Big Brother will be on during next Monday’s game.
“He supports everything that I do,” Cody said. “He wants the best for me, no matter what it is. I’m sure he’ll be giving me a call sometime this week, giving me a kick in the butt for this one. I’m not sure I’ll need it, but I’ll be excited and ready to go.”
Cody even got a bit of advice from his big brother before Monday’s Beanpot semifinals, which saw the Huskies defeat Harvard, 4-0.
“Before the Beanpot,” Cody said, “he said, ‘Just play it like any other game. Don’t change what you do. Go hard. Make sure you put everything into it like you always do. He gave me a little extra motivation, saying “it’d be pretty sweet to win this one with the Huskies.”
Of course, while Cody Ferriero may be at one of BC’s in-town rivals – where he plays with a pair of twin brothers in fellow Sharks draftees Justin and Drew Daniels – there’s no shortage of brotherly love on this year’s Eagles.
The Jerry York era in Chestnut Hill has seen several pairs of brothers play for the Eagles – although not always at the same time – including Brian and Stephen Gionta, Brooks and Andrew Orpik and Joe and John Adams. This season, three different pairs of brothers play for the Eagles: junior forwards Cam and Tommy Atkinson, junior forward Jimmy Hayes and freshman forward Kevin Hayes, and Eagles captain Joe Whitney, who is in his second year with his younger brother, sophomore forward Steven Whitney, as a BC teammate.
While Joe Whitney undoubtedly enjoys sharing the BC experience with his younger brother – particularly winning the NCAA Championship last season at Ford Field in Detroit – he likes to think of himself as having plenty of brothers at BC.
“If you have a brother,” the elder Whitney said, “you grow up doing a lot of things together, so it doesn’t change when you get to college. We look at our team as a sort of family. It doesn’t matter if you’re blood-related or not. We’re all brothers in the locker room. We try to play like a family.”
That family won its second Beanpot in three years last season, an appetizer of sorts for the postseason run that saw the Eagles capture the Lou Lamoriello Trophy as Hockey East Champions before defeating Alaska, Yale, Miami University and Wisconsin to capture BC’s second NCAA Championship in three years. Cody Ferriero saw his brother win a Beanpot in 2008, and now he wants one of his own, and silence the chants of “Where’s Your Beanpot?” that often rain down on the Huskies when they play at the Beanpot.
“Benn had some success at BC in the Beanpot, and hopefully, we can do the same sort of thing with our Northeastern team.”
And if the Huskies can do it, Cody Ferriero knows that it’ll put a smile on the face of at least one former Eagle.