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HOCKEY

BC, BU advance to Beanpot title game

BOSTON (AP) — Boston College and Boston University will play in the Beanpot finals for the city's college hockey bragging rights.

BC advanced with a 6-0 victory over Harvard in the early semifinal on Monday night, then defending champion BU held off Northeastern's two-man skating advantage over the final 88 seconds to win 2-1 and reach the final for the 25th time in 27 years.

Harvard will play Northeastern in the consolation game next Monday, followed by the matchup of Green Line rivals and the last two NCAA champions.

Colby Cohen and Alex Chiasson scored for BU (10-11-3), which took a 2-1 lead with 5:47 left but gave Northeastern a power play with 1:28 to go. The Huskies pulled their goalie and applied pressure with a 6-on-4 skating advantage, but couldn't reach their second straight Beanpot final.

Carl Sneep had a goal and two assists, and John Muse stopped 33 shots for BC (14-8-2).

Harvard (5-12-3) has not won the Beanpot since 1993. Northeastern (11-12-1) has not won since '88.

BC is back in the tournament final for the sixth time in eight years. One of the surprising exceptions was last year, when Northeastern beat the Eagles 6-1 in the first round, depriving them of what has come to be an almost annual matchup with BU in the title game.

Since 1998, it is BC's only Beanpot loss to someone other than BU. The Terriers have not lost to anyone other than BC since '94.

"Last year's game was last year's game," Muse said. "I had plenty of confidence coming in."

The Beanpot pits the area's four college hockey powers against each other on the first two Mondays in February. Boston University has won 29 — half — of the titles, including last year when the Terriers followed up their Beanpot win with an NCAA title.

The year before, BC won the Beanpot and the national championship.

"It gives us a chance to play for a trophy in the middle of the season, which a lot of teams don't have," said BC's Brian Gibbons, a native of nearby Braintree. "I've been coming here since I was little. I'm playing here now. It's a good time. I love it. I'm never going to quit going."

Gibbons, the MVP of the 2008 tournament, had a goal and an assist for the Eagles, and so did Pat Mullane and Ben Smith. Kyle Richter made 33 saves for Harvard before John Riley took over with 5:58 left and made four saves.

BC led just 1-0 after one period, but Matt Price scored 18 seconds into the second on a wrister from the right circle that beat Richter on the glove side. Mullane made it 3-0 with 12:17 left in the second.

"I don't think we gave ourselves a chance to win," Harvard coach Ted Donato said. "We were never able to get into what we were trying to do, and I think their speed and skill had a large role in that."

BU finally broke through against Northeastern with 11:37 left in the second, when Cohen's shot from the bottom of the left circle got through goalie Chris Rawlings. The Terriers had a chance to add to the lead when Alex Tuckerman drew a 5-minute penalty — along with a game misconduct — for hitting from behind.

The Huskies were 27 seconds away from killing off that power play when BU's David Warsofsky cross-checked Wade McLeod in the neck and gave the Huskies a man advantage. Just 21 seconds later, Cohen was sent off for hitting from behind, giving Northeastern a 5-on-3.

Seconds after one shot hit the post as the first penalty expired, Kyle Kraemer beat Kieran Millan on a wrist shot that tied it with 7 seconds left in the 5-on-4.

That seemed to open the game up, and with 5:47 left Chiasson wrapped up a series of odd-man rushes by heading for the goal on a 2-on-1 and putting the puck between Rawlings' legs; it slowly trickled just over the line to make it 2-1.

BU picked up another power play with 4:28 left, but did not score and gave the advantage back with 1:28 to play. The Huskies pulled their goalie and controlled the puck for most of the final minute, but were unable to capitalize.