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Northeastern ices Boston College 6-1, faces Boston University in Beanpot final

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BOSTON - Two of the top teams in the U.S. will play for Boston bragging rights next week.

Chris Donovan had a goal and three assists and Brad Thiessen of Aldergrove, B.C., made 45 saves as Northeastern beat Boston College 6-1 in the semifinals of the 57th annual Beanpot on Monday night.

The Huskies (18-6-2) will face Boston University for the tournament title next Monday after the top-ranked Terriers pulled out a surprisingly tough 4-3 win over Harvard in the opener.

Louis Liotti, Dennis McCauley, Steve Quailer, Ryan Ginand and Greg Costa also scored for the Huskies, ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Since 1952, the Beanpot has matched the area's four college hockey powers in a pair of doubleheaders for city-wide supremacy. Boston University has dominated, winning the charming trophy a record 28 times.

BU owns 11 of the past 14 championships while Northeastern has won only four overall, with the last coming in 1988.

Still, Huskies coach Greg Cronin won't let his team put too much emphasis on the matchup.

"The Beanpot's a game," he said. "Our focus is on winning the Hockey East this year. So you put this one in the bank and get ready for Merrimack on Friday."

The Huskies are in first place in the conference, with BU second in the standings.

Northeastern led 2-1 after one period and broke it open in the second. Liotti and McCauley scored 42 seconds apart midway into the period. Quailer scored when BC goalie John Muse was badly out of position, attempting to clear a puck in the right corner.

Matt Price of Milton, Ont., scored for the No. 12 Eagles (11-9-4).

In the first game, Jason Lawrence scored a power-play goal with 1:46 left to snap a 3-3 tie. Nick Bonino scored twice and Zach Cohen had the other goal for the Terriers (20-5-1), who reached their 25th Beanpot final in 27 years.

"For this decade we've already had our consolation game," BU coach Jack Parker said. "We didn't need to get back there."

BU lost in overtime to rival Boston College in the opening round last year. BC went on to win that tournament - and the NCAA championship.

This season, BU is ranked No. 1 in the country after rising to the top spot Monday.

"The Beanpot final was one of our main goals this year," Lawrence said. "We don't want to focus on that No. 1 rating."

Montreal's Michael Biega, Alex Killorn and Pier-Olivier Michaud of Mont-Joli, Que., scored for Harvard (5-12-4), which opened a 2-0 lead 64 seconds into the second period.

As the final seconds ticked away, Montreal's Alex Biega nearly sent the game to overtime for the Crimson, but a replay review clearly showed his shot crossed the goal line after time expired.

"I thought we battled to, I'd like to say the last second, but maybe the last half-second," Harvard coach Ted Donato said.

The Terriers tied it with a pair of goals by Bonino 1:43 apart in the second and went ahead when Cohen scored at 11:25 of the third. Michaud's power-play goal 3:08 later made it 3-all.

Harvard's Jimmy Fraser went off for hooking late in the third and Lawrence unloaded a rising slap shot from the left circle that beat goalie Matt Hoyle.

Edmonton's Kieran Millan made 22 saves for BU.

Harvard is winless in 14 of its last 15 games. The Crimson last won the Beanpot in 1993.

"It was close," Alex Biega said. "That's what makes the Beanpot a great tournament."

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