Short-staffed Northeastern defense gets it done in the Beanpot

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He has an impressive hockey pedigree, but freshman Northeastern defenseman Matt Benning, 19, wasn’t expecting the kind of minutes he received in his first Beanpot Tournament semifinal, against Harvard Monday night.

But when junior blue liner Josh Manson, the Huskies’ captain and workhorse on defense, was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct at 14:12 of the opening period, Benning was one of the youngsters coach Jim Madigan had to rely on. They all came through, helping NU advance to the title game next Monday and standing strong in front of goaltender Clay Witt on the way to a 6-0 rout of the Crimson at TD Garden.

It was Witt’s fourth shutout of the year.

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