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February 4, 2014 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Northeastern, BC to Meet for Beanpot Championship

Eagles Look to Extend Streak, Huskies Hope to End 25-Year Drought

CHN Staff Report

BOSTON — Boston College held on to defeat arch-rival Boston University, 3-1, in the second Beanpot semifinal Monday night at TD Garden.

The win sent BC to its fifth straight Beanpot final. The Eagles have won the last four tournaments. BC plays Northeastern next Monday night to decide the 2014 Beanpot champions. BU will meet Harvard in the tournament's consolation game for the second straight season.

Ryan Fitzgerald gave BC a 1-0 lead at 4:04 of the first period, beating BU's Matt O'Connor with a wrist shot over the goaltender's shoulder. Kevin Hayes made it 2-0 BC, scoring his 20th goal of the season, at 1:20 of the second period.

Freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko gave the Eagles strong goaltending with 27 saves on 28 shots. BU freshman Robbie Baillargeron halved the Eagles' lead at 6:43 of the third period with a wrist shot through a screen that snuck past Demko.

For BU, the loss marks five consecutive seasons without a Beanpot win. BU captain Garrett Noonan leads the second straight BU senior class to graduate without winning the tournament.

"I'll have nightmares about this one for a while," Noonan said. "It always stinks losing to BC, but the young guys, they're going to win a lot of Beanpots. This program is headed in the right direction.

Demko saved a deflection from BU's Kevin Duane in the final minute of regulation before Hobey Baker favorite Johnny Gaudreau scored an empty-net goal to seal the win for BC.

"It was a pretty close deflection," Demko said. "I just tried to get a shoulder on it, and I ended up getting it with my jersey."

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Northeastern freshman Dalen Hedges scored at 5:31 of the first period, and the Huskies added five more to complete a 6-0 thrashing of Harvard in the first semifinal of the night.

"(Northeastern) outplayed us all over the ice, and outcoached us for that matter," Harvard coach Ted Donato said.

"It's disappointing that we came out flat tonight because I thought we played well the last few games," Harvard captain Dan Ford added.

Six different Huskies scored in the win, and redshirt junior goaltender Clay Witt stopped 27 shots to earn his fourth shutout of the year. Witt ended the evening with a .945 save percentage, which ranks No. 1 nationally.

With Northeastern leading, 2-0, with fewer than 6 minutes left in the first period, captain Josh Manson received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head after a high hit on Harvard's Alex Kerfoot. Manson, the Huskies unquestioned No. 1 defensemen, was a major loss. Despite his absence, the Huskies kept the game from turning, killing the major.

"It was a big concern," NU coach Jim Madigan said. "He's our captain, and losing him that early really hurt us. We came in down one defenseman with Dustin Darou out."

Northeastern will meet Boston College next Monday in the Beanpot final. The Huskies have advanced to three of the last four tournament championships and met BC each time. NU has not won the tournament since 1988.

Harvard hasn't advanced to the tournament's championship game 2008 and hasn't won since 1993.

Northeastern senior Braden Pimm continued his stellar year for the Huskies, scoring his 16th goal of the year and adding an assist. Meanwhile, sophomore Kevin Roy scored his 15th goal of the year to go along with an assist.

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