BOSTON – Steven Whitney had two short-handed goals in the second period and Johnny Gaudreau also scored twice to lift Boston College to a 7-1 victory over Northeastern in the 60th Beanpot tournament Monday night.
The Eagles (17-10-1) will face top-ranked Boston University, a 3-1 winner over Harvard, next Monday night to decide the annual showdown between the area's four college hockey powers.
It will be the 21st time the archrivals meet for the Beanpot championship, with BU holding a 12-8 advantage. The schools are separated by just a couple of miles on Commonwealth Avenue.
Boston College won last year's Beanpot, beating Northeastern 7-6 in overtime for its second consecutive title and third in four years. The Eagles are looking for their 17th crown.
Paul Carey had two goals and Barry Almeida also scored for the fifth-ranked Eagles, who won the 2008 and 2010 NCAA titles. BU captured the national championship in 2009.
Anthony Bitetto scored on a two-man advantage for the Huskies (11-12-3). NU hasn't won the Beanpot since 1988.
Whitney's short-handed goals were sandwiched around Gaudreau's second of the game, giving the Eagles a 5-1 lead after two periods.
Gaudreau's drop pass in the slot set up Carey's first goal to give BC a 1-0 edge 5:14 into the game. Gaudreau stole the puck from defenseman Luke Eibler before slipping a backhander between goalie Chris Rawlings' pads to make it 2-0 at 9:43.
Whitney one-timed Almeida's pass to complete a 2-on-1 break for his first short-handed score. He wristed one glove side after his initial shot was blocked and came right back to him for his second with the Eagles down a skater.
In the opener, Wade Megan scored a pair of second-period goals and Kieran Millan stopped 29 shots to help the Terriers (17-8-1) advance to their 26th championship game in 29 years.
Matt Nieto had the other goal for BU, which won for the seventh time in nine games. Earlier in the day, the Terriers took over the top spot in the NCAA Division I poll compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online.
Still, coach Jack Parker didn't think his team played like the No. 1 squad in the nation.
"We were fortunate to get out with a win tonight and get to the Beanpot final," he said. "We owe that to Kieran Millan."
Alex Killorn scored a power-play goal for Harvard (7-7-9), which was 3-0-3 in its previous six games.
The Terriers are trying to end what is — for them — a Beanpot slump. They haven't captured the championship the past two years and will look to avoid their first three-year drought since 1983-85 when they make their 49th appearance in the final next week.
BU has won the most Beanpot titles with 29, including 28 in the last 46 years. But last season represented a rare flop — the Terriers lost in overtime to Boston College in the first round and then were beaten by Harvard in the third-place game.
It was Harvard's first Beanpot victory over BU since 1994 and the first fourth-place finish for the Terriers since 1980.
"Last year left a bad taste in our mouth," Megan said. "We knew we had to play a good game today and this team was in our way."
Megan's two goals came just less than 7 minutes apart midway through the second period and pushed BU's lead to 3-0.
On the first, he fired a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle between goalie Steve Michalek's pads for a power-play goal. His second goal came off his own solid effort when Megan collected the puck in the left corner, cut to the front of the net and slipped a short backhander by Michalek.
Harvard cut it to 3-1 just more than a minute later when Killorn collected a pass in the slot and slipped a wrister over Millan's right shoulder.
"I really felt that if we could have got that second one we could have got some momentum and made the game a lot different," Harvard coach Ted Donato said.
The Terriers grabbed a 1-0 lead when Nieto beat Michalek with a wraparound 8:14 into the opening period.
BU rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Harvard 4-3 in overtime Jan. 15 in their only other meeting this season. The Crimson have won the Beanpot 10 times, but their last title was in 1993.