After a thrilling night of action at TD Garden, it’s No. 10 Harvard and No. 20 Northeastern advancing to next Monday’s Beanpot final.
It will be the first time that the Crimson and the Huskies have ever met in the championship in the tournament’s storied 70-year history.
The Crimson knocked off Boston College in a wild 4-3 win that saw Marek Hejduk score his second of the night with 1.5 seconds left in overtime for the win. In the nightcap, Northeastern had two timely goals and a big third-period performance from goaltender Devon Levi to win 3-1.
Hejduk opened the scoring with 8:25 to go in Game 1, slipping through the Eagles’ defense and roofing a quick snap shot on an odd-man rush.
Matthew Coronato scored the first of his two goals just 1:48 into the second with a one-timer from the left circle on the power play off a slick tic-tac-toe passing play. BC cut it to 2-1 when Mike Post redirected a shot in front on the power play about six minutes later, but Coronato answered quickly with another power play one-timer from his spot to make it 3-1 going into the third.
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The Eagles made a huge push in the third period, outshooting Harvard 22-2, and they came through. Nikita Nesterenko danced through the Crimson defense before finishing a smooth individual effort to cut the deficit to one with 4:14 left in regulation. Then with time winding down, Cutter Gauthier knotted it up at three apiece with 1:31 left in regulation.
In a back-and-forth overtime, it was Hejduk finishing a 2-on-1 counter rush in the dying seconds to seal the win.
Not a bad way to spend a Monday night #GoCrimson pic.twitter.com/vQsFWJ7fLG— Harvard Men's Hockey (@HarvardMHockey) February 7, 2023
Game 2 saw another third period push, but it was no use for BU.
Northeastern captain Aidan McDonough got it started with six minutes left in the first, scoring on a wrist shot from the left dot after a cross-zone feed from Vinny Borgesi.
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Jakov Novak doubled the lead less than two minutes into the second period when he put home a loose puck in front of the crease.
The Terriers began to pick it up late in the second period and into the third, as Matt Brown scored from the top of the left circle to cut it to 2-1 with less than two minutes to go. But that was all the Terriers could muster as Levi stood tall, stopping 15 of 16 shots in the final frame, and Hunter McDonald's first career goal sealed the 3-1 final with 30.4 seconds left.
Devon, that man has a family. #HowlinHuskies | 📺 @NESN pic.twitter.com/Osuc0iNhWt— Northeastern Men’s Hockey (@GoNUmhockey) February 7, 2023
BU and BC will meet in the consolation game next Monday at 4:30, while Northeastern and Harvard will square off in the title game at 7:30.
NU is in search of their fourth title in five tournaments (seventh overall), while the Crimson are looking for their first since 2017 and 11th all-time.