Chris Kreider, Chris Rawlings

Back to Class: Don’t worry Pats fans, it’s Beanpot Tournament time

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night with a doubleheader featuring No. 5 Boston College taking on Vermont and No. 2 Minnesota facing No. 13 Denver. 

We know Patriots fans are in mourning today, but fear not, there’s hockey to make you feel better as the 60th annual Beanpot Tournament kicks off today. With the semifinals today and the finals next Monday, fans all across the Hub of Hockey will get their fill as Boston University takes on Harvard and Boston College faces off with Northeastern.

BC has won the last two Beanpots but BU still leads all time with 29 titles. The tournament doesn’t come without its issues, however, as the last time neither BC or BU won the Beanpot was 1993 when Harvard took home the title. Northeastern last won it back in 1988. This year is once again set up for a potential BC-BU showdown, a pairing that’s produced some of the most exciting games in recent years throughout all of college hockey. With a bevy of NHL-caliber talent on both teams, perhaps we’ll see them dance once again next Monday in the finals.

Elsewhere in college hockey:

UMass-Lowell just keeps winning as they swept Vermont handily this weekend. (The Ice is Life)

No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth continues to struggle as they split their weekend with Alaska-Anchorage. (Go Seawolves)

No. 7 Michigan keeps winning as they swept Miami. (M Go Blue)

An ECAC showdown between Cornell and Union provided no winners in a 4-4 tie. (Slap Schotts)

Air Force stays hot sweeping RIT to take the lead in the Atlantic Hockey Association. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

Hats off to Robert Morris for winning the 100th game in program history. (USCHO)

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.