Feb. 3, 2013
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BOSTON - The No. 11/13 Boston University men's ice hockey team continues its quest for a 30th Beanpot title with a first-round match-up against Northeastern on Monday (Feb. 4) at 5 p.m. at TD Garden. It will be the teams' first Beanpot meeting since 2010.
Harvard and No. 5 Boston College will meet in the second semifinal at 8 p.m. as the Eagles attempt to continue their streak of three straight Beanpot titles. The Terriers dropped a 3-2 overtime contest to BC in last year's championship.
The Huskies topped the Terriers, 6-5, in a wild game at Agganis Arena on Jan. 18. Including the Beanpot, the rivals still have three more scheduled meetings this season.
BU's seniors are trying to avoid being the first BU class since 1965 to graduate without a Beanpot title. Of this year's Terriers, only redshirt senior Ryan Ruikka has celebrated a Beanpot title, as he was a freshman on the 2008-09 squad.
The Terriers have won nearly half (29) of the previous 60 Beanpot tournaments. After winning the Beanpot just once in the `50s, BU has won it 28 times in the last 47 years, including 12 of the last 18.
A win over the Huskies in this year's first-round match-up would send the Terriers to the Beanpot title game for the 27th time in the last 30 years. Even more amazing is that BU has been in the title game in 43 of the last 49 years and 49 times in the 60-year history of the tournament.
The Terriers come into this year's tournament with an all-time record of 85-35 (.708). They are 27-14 (.658) against both Boston College and Harvard and 31-7 (.816) vs. Northeastern.
Only 11 current Terriers have appeared in the Beanpot with six recording at least one point. Junior Garrett Noonan leads the way with five points (3g, 2a), including a pair of power-play goals in last season's championship game. Junior Matt Nieto has averaged a point per game in the Beanpot with a goal and three assists while senior Wade Megan has three goals, including the game-winner in last year's semifinal.
The Terriers are 17-5-4 against Northeastern in regular-season meetings since the start of the 2005-06 campaign, but the Huskies have won the last two, marking the first time in 14 years that has happened. This will be the 217th meeting between the two schools with BU holding a a 152-56-8 (.722) advantage in the series.
The Terriers are 31-7 (.816) against Northeastern in the Beanpot, including a 17-2 (.895) mark in semifinal meetings. BU has come out on top in the teams' last nine match-ups in the semifinal round and has won the last 15 Beanpot meetings -- the longest streak between two opponents in the tournament's history -- dating back to the 1988 championship game, where the Huskies earned their most recent title.
Northeastern is 0-3-1 since defeating BU on Jan. 18. On Friday, the Huskies dropped a 3-1 decision to New Hampshire at Matthews Arena.
Monday's game features Hockey East's top two rookie scorers in NU's Kevin Roy (12-15--27) and BU's Danny O'Regan (9-13--22). Nieto has 12 points (5g, 7a) in 10 career contests against the Huskies.
Despite erasing a three-goal deficit in the third period, BU dropped the 6-5 contest to Northeastern last month. On the wrong end of a 5-2 score through two periods, the Terriers reeled off three goals - including two from Evan Rodrigues - in the opening seven minutes of the third to knot the contest.
The loss spoiled a career-high four-point effort by Rodrigues, who added two assists. O'Regan completed the rally with a goal and also added two assists.