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BU dashes Northeastern's Beanpot hopes

Five different Boston University players scored goals, BU goalie Kieran Millan made 23 saves, and the Terriers defeated the Huskies 5-2 in the 57th Annual Beanpot Championship, dashing the hopes of a third-ranked Northeastern team bidding to win its first title since 1988.

The Terriers held a slim 3-2 advantage with slightly more than six minutes left in the third period, before erupting for two shorthanded goals just 28 seconds apart. Boston University defenseman David Warsofsky and forward Colin Wilson — the game’s high scorer with a goal and two assists — ripped two shots on two 2-on-1 odd-man rushes past Northeastern goalie Brad Thiessen, putting the game out of reach late in the third period.

In a valiant effort, Northeastern twice tied the game after the Terriers took 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not outlast the country’s top-ranked team during a fast-paced, physical and penalty-laden match-up at a sold out TD BankNorth Garden.

BU seized momentum slightly more than mid-way through the second period and just 1:05 after Northeastern tied the game at 2. Stationed in front of Thiessen’s net all alone, BU forward Jason Lawrence tipped home a rink-wide, tape-to-tape pass from forward Chris Higgins for the game-winning goal.

Northeastern tied the game at 2 with 10 minutes left in the second. Defenseman David Strathman slapped a shot from the right point on Millan, who gave up a rebound to forward Rob Rassey who tried to jam the puck into the net. Forward Tyler McNeely easily tapped home Rassey’s stuff attempt and slammed into the boards in exaltation.

BU took a 2-1 lead 27 seconds into the second period. On the penalty kill, a loose puck in the neutral zone led to a breakaway opportunity for forward Kevin Gilroy who missed the net. After a strange bounce off the end boards, forward Nick Bonino whirled around into the slot and fired a shot over Thieissen’s shoulder.

Northeastern scored its first goal with 26 seconds left in the first period after a frantic scramble in front of the net. While on the powerplay, sophomore forward Wade MacLeod fed a pass toward the crease for a diving Joe Vitale, the team’s capatin, who managed to deflect the puck on Millan. Forward Mike McLaughlin handled the rebound and lifted it over Millan’s shoulder for the goal.

BU took the lead more than 15 minutes into the first period on a 5-on-3 power play advantage when defenseman Colby Cohen ripped a one-timer past Thiessen from just inside the left circle.

Both teams started slowly offensively, with Northeastern managing the only shot on goal during the first six minutes. Theissen made a spectacular right-pad save on BU’s first shot after a loose puck squirted to Higgins in the slot. Northeastern fans chanted, “Hobey Baker” — in reference to a well-known collegiate goaltending award — after he made another reactionary right pad save on a hard slap shot from the point from Cohen.

Thiessen won the Eberly Award, which goes to the Beanpot goaltender with the highest save percentage in the tournament.

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