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The No. 3 Harvard women's hockey team, the host of this year's Beanpot, will take on Boston University in the first round of the local tournament tonight at 8 p.m. at Bright Hockey Center.

"We love playing at home and we're hoping for a big turnout for next week's final," said co-captain Kim McManama. "It definitely makes it more special when the Beanpot is at Bright."

In the other semifinal, No. 6 Northeastern will play Boston College at 5 p.m. The Huskies (15-6-3, 10-5-3 ECAC) are the heavy favorites over the No. 12 Eagles (5-16-1, 1-16-1). Harvard is expected to blow out overmatched B.U., normally a club team.

Should Harvard face Northeastern in the Beanpot championship game, it would be the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Crimson beat the Huskies 5-3 at the beginning of January, but the teams tied last Saturday at Bright, 1-1.

"B.U. is not traditionally a good team and we're looking forward to a final against Northeastern," McManama said. "We want to get some revenge after last weekend."

Last year, Harvard played Northeastern in the first round of the Beanpot at Northeastern's Matthews Arena. The Huskies scored six goals in the game's first 30 minutes, but the Crimson rallied to win in overtime, 7-6, en route to the 1999 Beanpot championship.

In addition to tying Northeastern on Saturday, Harvard lost to No. 8 Providence yesterday, 1-0. The loss was the first time the Crimson failed to score a goal in its last 83 games.

"We're psyched to get back on the ice after last weekend," McManama said. "We're treating this week as a fresh start."

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