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Top-ranked Eagles survive a big scare from their biggest rival, advance to Beanpot final

02.07.11 at 11:44 pm ET
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Tommy Cross scored on the power play at 3:17 of overtime to lift top-ranked Boston College to a 3-2 win over Boston University in the second Beanpot semifinal Monday night at TD Garden.

Cross fired a shot from the high slot just 16 seconds after Ryan Ruikka was whistled for a cross-check. The Eagles advance to next Monday night’s Beanpot championship game, looking for their second straight title – 16th overall – against Northeastern, a 4-0 winner over Harvard in the first game of the Garden twinbill.

It marks just the third time in the 59 years of the tournament that the two schools will meet in the Beanpot title game.

BC, the 2010 Beanpot champs, took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Philip Samuelsson at 14:37 of the first. With the BC crowd in a frenzy, the Terriers came back just 38 seconds later to tie it on a goal by Wade Megan. BU took the lead, 2-1, on the only goal of the second period when Corey Trivino beat John Muse.

The Eagles appeared to tie it late in the second period when Pat Mullane came down the right wing and fired a shot on Kieran Millan. The BU goalie made the initial save but TV replays showed BC’s Jimmy Hayes appeared to poke the rebound across the line. The play was reviewed for several minutes but the goal was disallowed.

Hayes eventually got the equalizer five minutes into the third when his wrister beat Millan to the glove side. Samuelsson had a clean breakaway with 51.4 seconds left in regulation but Millan stopped the backhand shot.

BC, the No. 1 team in the nation, improved to 20-6-0 on the season and will play at Providence Friday night before taking the ice next Monday at 7:30 in hopes of defending their title. If they beat Northeastern next Monday, they will have captured three Beanpots in four years and will have claimed consecutive titles for the first time since the 1963-65 teams won three in a row.

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