BOSTON (AP) — To extend its run of Beanpot titles, Northeastern will need to knock off the tournament's top dog again.
Freshman goalie T.J. Semptimphelter made 41 saves and the three-time defending champion Huskies beat Boston College 3-1 in the semifinals of the 69th annual Beanpot on Monday night.
Sam Colangelo, Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and Justin Hryckowian scored for the Huskies (18-8-1), who will face Boston University for the championship next Monday night at TD Garden.
BU was a 4-3 winner over Harvard in the first semifinal.
“They've gotten healthy,” Northeastern coach Jerry Keefe said of the surging Terriers. “They're fast, they're skilled, they're strong.”
Playing because top goalie Devon Levi is with Team Canada at the Winter Olympics, Semptimphelter made sure the Huskies had a chance to keep their Beanpot streak going.
“Coming in I was just excited to get this unbelievable opportunity,” he said. “I haven't been able to play in front of a crowd the last two years because of COVID.”
The tournament returned this year after being canceled for the first time in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Held annually on the first two Mondays in February, it matches the Boston area’s four Division I hockey powers.
All four teams have at least one player away to participate in the Beijing Olympics.
BU (15-10-3) will be playing for its 31st title, most among the four schools, but first since topping Northeastern 4-3 in overtime for the 2015 championship. The Terriers have won 29 of the last 55 Beanpots and earned their 55th trip to the title game.
Northeastern has won the Beanpot seven times, fewest of the four programs. The Huskies outlasted Boston University 5-4 in double overtime for the 2020 trophy.
Harvard (12-8-2) has captured 11 titles, the last coming in 2017. Boston College (10-14-4) has won 20, with its most recent in 2016.
BC football coach Jeff Hafley was even part of the fun, winning an on-ice putting tournament between the first and second periods of the Eagles’ game.
Fontaine dove into the crease, poking in his own rebound, to make it 1-0 at 8:05 of the first. Colangelo one-timed a power-play goal past Boston College goalie Eric Dop to make it 2-0 early in the second.
Hryckowian added a power-play goal in the closing seconds for the Huskies.
“Their goalie played really, really well,” Boston College coach Jerry York said.
Patrick Giles scored for BC, which fell to 0-9-1 in 2022. Dop made 26 saves.
In the opener, Matt Brown and Ethan Phillips scored second-period goals for the Terriers as they held off Harvard. BU improved to 11-1-1 in its last 13 games since early December.
“It was great to see the building back having the Beanpot,” said coach Albie O’Connell, looking to become the first to win one as a coach after capturing four as a player.
“I thought our fans were terrific, our band was terrific, and they saw a pretty good college hockey game,” he added. “This was great, exciting for our group and, obviously, Harvard.”
BU led 2-1 after one period, scored twice in the second and held on to secure its 32nd finals appearance in 39 years.
“This is why I came back to BU, to try and win one of these,” senior forward Logan Cockerill said.
Brown beat goalie Mitchell Gibson with a wrist shot from the left circle for a power-play goal 4:10 into the second.
Brown’s mother died last week.
“He was probably looking up thinking of his mother when he scored,” O’Connell said.
Phillips tipped Ty Gallagher’s shot from the point, making it 4-1 midway into the period.
But the Crimson rallied, with Zakary Karpa and Jack Donato scoring 21 seconds apart in the closing two minutes of the second.
Jay O’Brien had a goal and an assist for BU, and Vinny Duplessis made 22 saves. Gibson stopped 29 shots for Harvard.