The third-​​ranked North­eastern men’s hockey team will play for its­fifth Beanpot title and first since 1988 when it faces No.1 Boston Uni­ver­sity at the TD Ban­kNorth Garden on Monday night in the 57th annual Beanpot Tour­na­ment Championship.

After a dom­i­nating first-​​round 6–1 vic­tory over No. 12 Boston Col­lege, North­eastern coaches, fans and former players dis­cussed the excite­ment and antic­i­pa­tion of the upcoming game.

The Beanpot is not just an ath­letic must,” said asso­ciate dean and director of devel­op­ment in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion Jim Madigan, who won the Beanpot as a player for North­eastern in 1984 and 1985 and as an assis­tant coach in 1988. “It is a social must for all of the Boston com­mu­nity. It has a larger than life appeal.”

North­eastern hockey coach Greg Cronin acknowl­edged his players were ner­vous during the first few shifts against Boston Col­lege. He said the sig­nif­i­cance of the Beanpot weighs on their minds. “When you have that type of pres­sure and you’re on that type of stage, it becomes a mental battle before the game is even played,” said Cronin. “When you get on the ice at the start of the game, you want to feel con­fi­dent in your ability to win.”

Boston University’s con­fi­dence is buoyed by 28 Beanpot titles. “They have an edge, whether we want to accept it or not,” said Cronin. “Their believ­ability to win this tour­na­ment is in their genes.”

To counter Boston University’s expe­ri­ence, North­eastern will rely on its potent offense led by senior for­ward Ryan Ginand, the team’s active leader with seven points in five career Beanpot games, and hope for another out­standing per­for­mance from junior goalie Brad Thiessen, who saved 45 of 46 shots against Boston College.

Brad is one of the best goalies in the country,” said Cronin. “There’s a lot of pres­sure on him, but that’s why he’s wearing the big goalie pads.”

Phar­macy major Tim­othy Fouche fore­sees a high-​​scoring, nerve-​​wracking match ending in a 5–4 Huskies win.

I have a feeling this one’s going to be a back and forth shootout,” said Fouche, an avid fol­lower of North­eastern hockey since he attended a rau­cous October 2005 game against Boston Col­lege at a sold-​​out Matthews Arena. “Both teams can put the puck in the net. Teams will trade goals, North­eastern will hold off rush after rush for the last six min­utes of the game, giving me a heart attack in the process.”

Madigan, who noted that Northeastern’s work ethic, deter­mi­na­tion and strong goal­tending resemble that of his 1982 squad who reached the Frozen Four, spoke of his mul­tiple Beanpot victories.

When you win, it’s hard to process it,” he said. “The rush of adren­a­line that goes through you is incred­ible. The next day I was walking around campus five feet off the ground.”

North­eastern has a chance this season to win its first Hockey East title. The Huskies­beat Mer­ri­mack 4–3 at Matthews Arena on Friday.

The Beanpot cham­pi­onship game can be seen on NESN at 8 PM tonight.