As Northeastern University and Boston College face off for the 61st annual men’s Beanpot college hockey tournament at Boston Garden tonight, and alas, our alma mater B.U. is relegated to the consolation game, we’re buoyed by this fact: current and longtime Wellesley resident Walt Greeley was the Beanpot’s very first MVP.
As a Harvard senior captain, Greeley earned Beanpot Most Valuable Player honors in December of 1952 for scoring the overtime game winner against Boston College for a 3-2 win, then led the Crimson over Boston University in the finals 7-4 by scoring a hat trick. Greeley also had 2 assists in the tournament. The games were played at Boston Arena, now known as Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena.
Greeley, quoted in a 1992 Boston Globe article on the occasion of the 40th Beanpot, downplayed his tournament accomplishments:
“I was some MVP,” said Greeley. “I scored a goal in the first game from a scramble, which was no big deal. No one was sure who scored it.
“The second night against BU, I scored three goals. The first was a 60-footer that just glanced off the goalie’s stick; the second was scored from behind the net when my shot hit the goalie’s leg and banked into the net; and the third was from a scramble.”
Greeley was inducted into the Beanpot Hall of fame in 2002. An all-around athlete at Harvard, Greeley earned letters in hockey, football and baseball, according to this Crimson piece.
Harvard’s men hockey team is off to a 5-15-2 start this season, including a 4-1 loss to BC in the first round of the Beanpot.
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