College basketball has its Big 5 in Philadelphia, an unofficial rivalry between Pennsylvania, Temple, Villanova, Saint Joseph's and La Salle; hockey has the Beanpot.
The iconic Beanpot Tournament began in 1952, pitting the Beantown schools of Boston University, Boston College, Harvard and Northeastern against each other over the course of consecutive Mondays in February.
It's a fun respite from conference play, giving fans a chance to see four excellent college programs duke it out downtown for bragging rights in a hockey-mad city.
Union College has had the opportunity to play all four schools in the course of its 27-plus seasons at Division I, and will face Northeastern in Boston on Friday and Saturday night for the first time since a 1-1 tie in Schenectady on Dec. 8, 2007.
In 66 Beanpots, all but the first played at Boston Garden (now TD Banknorth), BU has been the champ 30 times, BC 20 times and Harvard 11, but although Northeastern has the fewest (5), the Huskies are defending champs, having beaten BU 5-2 on Feb. 12 after blanking BC 3-0 the previous week.
Northeastern, picked fourth in the Hockey East preseason coaches poll, will present the Dutchmen with a stiff challenge next weekend. Union will also play ECAC Hockey rival Harvard twice, as usual, and could play BU on Nov. 24 in Belfast, Northern Ireland if both Union and BU win (or lose) in the first round of the Friendship Four Tournament.
Here's a look at the Dutchmen's history against the four schools who compete in the Beanpot, with Union's all-time record in parentheses:
BOSTON UNIVERSITY (1-2-1)
First time: Union tied BU, then ranked No. 1 in the country, 3-3 on Jan. 3, 2015 at Agganis Arena. Mike Vecchione gave the Dutchmen a 3-2 with 5:36 left in regulation, but the Terriers tied it on the power play 1:20 later.
Last time: No. 2 BU 4, No. 16 Union 1, Sept. 30, 2017 at Agganis. Brett Supinski gave Union a 1-0 lead midway through the first, but BU outscored Union 3-0 in the third.
Notable: BU hasn't been ranked lower than No. 5 in the four games vs. Union.
BOSTON COLLEGE (2-0-0)
First time: Union 5, BC 1, in the NCAA East Regional Semifinal at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., March 30, 2013. Josh Jooris gave Union a 2-0 lead with his second goal of the game 39 seconds into the second period.
Last time: Union 5, BC 4, in the Frozen Four semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Daniel Ciampini scored the hat trick for the Dutchmen, who gave up a goal with five seconds left to make it 5-4.
Notable: Union followed the 2014 win by beating Minnesota 7-4 for the national championship.
First time: Harvard 7, Union 5, Nov. 15, 1991 in Schenectady, Union's third game as a Division I program. The Dutchmen finished that season 3-21-1 overall.
Last time: Union 3, Harvard 1, Feb. 9, 2018, as freshman Liam Morgan scored twice. The game fell four days after Harvard lost 3-2 in double overtime to BU in the Beanpot, and three days before the Crimson beat BC 5-4 in OT in the Beanpot consolation game.
Notable: Union beat Harvard 2-0 before 8,981 very chilly, wind-whipped fans outdoors at Fenway Park on Jan. 13, 2012.
First time: Northeastern 8, Union 5, on Dec. 28, 1991 at Houston Field House in Troy as part of the RPI Invitational.
Last time: Union 1, Northeastern 1, Dec. 8, 2007 in Schenectady. Mario Valery-Trabucco scored for the Dutchmen at 7:49 of the first, but the Huskies' Randy Guzior tied it early in the third.
Notable: Besides that 1-1 tie, every game in the series has been decided by at least two goals.
Although Northeastern has won just five Beanpot championships, current head coach Jim Madigan has been involved in four of them, two as a player in 1984 and 1985, one as an assistant coach in 1988 and last year's as head coach.
As a freshman in 1982, he helped the Huskies reach their only Frozen Four.