Northeastern Looks for First Title Since ’88

The last time the Northeastern Huskies won the Beanpot, Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States.

A gallon of gas cost only $1.08, and a stamp was 22 cents.

Guns N' Roses had the No. 1 album, and Roseanne was the top ranked television show.

The Edmonton Oilers were in the middle of their dynasty, and seven members of the current Northeastern team weren't even born yet.

This Monday, the Huskies have a chance to erase their 21-year Beanpot drought when they play Boston University at the TD Banknorth Garden in the tournament's 57th championship.

Playing down the street from Boston University and Boston College, Northeastern has had to take a backseat in the local and national spotlight in recent years. But with an 18-6-2 record and a No. 3 national ranking, the Huskies are no longer playing second fiddle to their neighbors.

After embarrassing the defending Beanpot and national champion Boston College Eagles last Monday, the Huskies earned a spot in the finals against Boston University. Led by a four-point night from junior Chris Donovan, Northeastern scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods to rout the Eagles 6-1.

But now they face a much harder task with the nation's No. 1 Boston University Terriers searching for their 29th Beanpot championship. And out of the 28 titles BU has racked up in the all-Boston tournament, 14 of them have come since Northeastern's last one.

Northeastern's last championship appearance was four seasons ago, but the team and program has dramatically changed since their loss to BU in the 2004-05 finals.

The Huskies' defense has become one of the best in college hockey and is what has led the club to first place in the Hockey East standings. Northeastern's ability to avoid losing streaks and quickly bounce back from losses has fueled their 18-win season. The Huskies have yet to drop back-to-back games this season and have goalie Brad Thiessen to thank for that.

Thiessen, a junior, has been the backbone of the Huskies all season and clearly the team's most valuable player. Thiessen has allowed one goal or less in 11 of NU's 26 games and has played every single second in goal for Northeastern this season. His 45-save performance against Boston College in the Beanpot's opening round was the difference maker in NU's blowout win.

In trying to become the city's top team, Northeastern has already dispatched Boston College and will now look to knock off BU, which has absolutely dominated the Huskies in the Beanpot over the years. BU and Northeastern have squared off in the finals 10 times and the Terriers have brought home the hardware seven times at the expense of the Northeastern.

Since their last Beanpot championship in 1988, the Huskies have reached the championship on four different occasions — losing to Boston University every single time. On Monday, they will try to prevent that number from reaching five.

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