The Blizzard of '78 Was No Match for the Beanpot

The harshest snowstorm in Boston history hit the city 35 years ago this week.

This week is the 35th anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78—fitting, as we face a forecasted storm this weekend and a Beanpot final shortly after that. The coincidence recalls the year that the storm crippled New England for days, yet failed to deter the area’s college hockey fans. They packed the Boston Garden on Feb. 6 for the first night of the Beanpot, which somehow went off without a hitch. Harvard beat Northeastern, 4-3, in overtime, and Boston University blew out Boston College, 12-5. Those packing the old Garden couldn't claim they weren't warned. In 2008, Globe correspondent Rich Fahey remembered that evening:

Near the end of the first period of the second game, [longtime Boston Bruins employee Nate] Greenberg took a call from the MBTA, telling him that the T would be suspending operations from North Station in about 15 minutes.

Greenberg made the announcement to the crowd: “Boston is under a state of emergency and anyone taking mass transit should make plans to leave early.”

At the time, Fahey was working the concession stand at the Garden. His Volkswagen Super Beetle, he wrote, was buried in snow. Instead of trying to make it home after the second game, he and about 200 others spent the night in the arena. They ended up staying for a few days.

After the Terriers defeated the Eagles, the BU team bus made it back to campus, where the players got out and promptly filed into a bar (the Dugout), where they spent the rest of the night, and some of the next morning. “By the time we came out,” former BU forward David Silk told David H. Hendrickson of USCHO.com in 2008, “the snow was gone and so were the seventies.”

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