Hockey East Quarterfinals: Boston University 4, New Hampshire 2

By Elizabeth Thomas 

BOSTON, MA – The Boston University Terries managed to keep their Hockey East playoff hopes alive, thanks to a 4-2 victory on Saturday against University of New Hampshire.

“I am not only happy with the outcome, but happy with how we played compared to last night.  We look like we were actually skating tonight to try and win a Hockey East championship,” said BU head coach Jack Parker.

BU’s offense notched their first goal midway through the opening period on a power play when junior Alex Chiasson and freshman Alex Privitera connected with senior co-captain Chris Connolly at 8:05 to provide the Terriers with a 1-0 lead.

UNH answered roughly two minutes late with a strike from senior Stevie Moses to tie the game, 1-1.

However, the Wildcats equalizer didn’t exactly propel them with enough momentum, as BU responded with a body-slamming goal by sophomore Sahir Gill late in the second period, which gave the men dressed in red and white a 2-1 advantage heading into the third period.

Once in the third session, UNH’s junior Connor Hardowa evened the score at 2-2.

The Wildcats then attempted to build off their matching strike, but couldn’t, and instead watched BU’s sophomore Matt Nieto and junior Ryan Santana double the Terriers lead.

“It was very defeating. [Boston University’s] transitions were just so good tonight. We were just always playing catch up,” said UNH’s Hardowa. “We have to basically come back and play desperate hockey, starting from when we wake up in the morning to the first shift in the game.”

BU and UNH will return to the ice on Sunday for a win-or-go home matchup, which will send the victor to Causeway Street for next weekend’s conference semi-finals. The Terriers have experienced the third game of a best-of-three series over the past six consecutive seasons.

“Its 1-1 and we still have a great shot at winning tomorrow,” said UNH Head Coach Dick Umile. 

BU Rallies to Knock Off UMass In OT, 5-4

By Josh Kummins 

BOSTON, MA – It was a back-and-forth affair between Boston University and UMass Amherst at Agganis Arena on Saturday night, as both teams forced their second overtime appearance this season, which resulted in a 5-4 Terries victory.

“The game was similar to last night’s [2-2 game in Amherst], but not to the same effect,” said Terriers head coach Jack Parker. “We got a goal to make it 3-1 and that ignited us.”

“I’m incredibly disappointed with our inability to sustain the level of play that we worked so hard to create,” said UMass head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon. “BU is a fine team with a lot of really good players. We managed to beat ourselves along with them picking it up.”

Following Friday’s game, BU made some adjustments to the starting line-up, including the start of Grant Rollheiser between the pipes, while the head coach also scratched junior Alex Chiasson and placed rookie Evan Rodrigues on the top line – a move that seemed to pay off as the veteran bench boss said that he was “the guy that really jumped out at [him].”

The Minutemen had a strong start in the first period, as they beat Rollheiser for three tallies in his first start of the season. Redshirt freshman Steven Guzzo potted his first-collegiate goal at the 10:39 mark of the opening stanza, crashing the net to beat Rollheiser from the middle of the slot.

At 14:11, Troy Power was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce off the end boards, as he took a carom and beat Rollheiser, who was out of place on the play.

Conor Sheary made it a 3-0 game on a great individual effort along the boards, as he took the puck away from BU defenseman Charlie Coyle and deposited the puck top shelf on Rollheiser with just 30-seconds to play in the period.

“Everything that we did the first period that was so good and so effective…just went out the window,” Cahoon said. “Things that we work on in practice were not even considered, never mind executed.”

The Terriers offense came back to life – as it tends to do on many occasions – scoring two goals in the second period to cut their deficit to one goal.

At the 14:19 mark of the stanza, Garrett Noonan took a cross-zone pass from Corey Trivino and beat UMass’s Jeff Teglia with a pretty one-timer in the left circle for his fifth goal of the season. Then, less than one minute later, Sahir Gill pounced on a rebound to make it 3-2.

BU’s offense eventually tied the game and took the lead in the third period within two minute’s time. At the 9:51 mark, Charlie Coyle scored BU’s nation-best fourth shorthanded goal of the season, as he crashed the net on a 2-on-1 chance with Matt Nieto.

At 11:59, Chris Connolly fed a sliding Corey Trivino on the right side as he beat Teglia for his ninth goal of the season to cap off a lengthy offensive zone sequence.

The Minutemen quickly tied the game at the 14:55 mark of the final stanza as Michael Pereira beat Rollheiser in front of the goal from between the circles for his fourth tally of the season before BU picked up its first overtime victory thanks to Nieto’s shot through a screen to beat Teglia from the top of the right circle.

“He’s a real good player,” Cahoon said. “He took care of business when he had opportunities. Mistakes often lead to those opportunities and we made some crucial mistakes and he capitalized.”

“It was a good competitive night for us as far as coming back from being down 3-0,” Parker said. “But we’ve still got a long way to go to become a good, solid hockey team. I certainly liked what happened after scoring the first goal. I liked how hard we played and how smart we were.”

UMass counted on the play of Teglia at many points throughout the contest, as he totaled 34 saves, including 15 in the second period.

“He certainly was following the puck,” Cahoon added. “He was aggressive and he made some big saves. I can not speak to the last goal…but I thought, in general, he made some big saves and gave us credible goaltending.”

In his inaugural start of the season and first since Dec. 11, 2010, Rollheiser was also strong between the pipes for the Terriers as he stopped 29 shots.

“I really give him high marks for really hanging in there,” said Parker. “Especially when he gave up a goal late in a period like that…”

The Terriers return to action next Saturday night at UMass-Lowell before returning home to Agganis Arena on Nov. 11 against Merrimack.

 

Holy Cross Shocks BU Hockey, 5-4

Holy Cross stunned the BU Terriers on Saturday, as the Crusaders escaped with an exciting 5-4 victory!

By Brian Willwerth 

BOSTON, MA – The Holy Cross hockey team did something Saturday night it had never done before. It beat Boston University, on the Terriers’ home ice no less. Backed by three power play goals, the Crusaders beat the Terriers at Agganis Arena, 5-4.

Don’t let the one-goal margin fool you. Holy Cross outplayed BU for much of the night.

“It’s fantastic for this group of guys,” said Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl. “This is a testament to these guys working hard.”

It was an action-packed first period. BU had the first golden opportunity when Alex Chiasson had a wide-open net on the power play, but hit the post. Shortly thereafter, the goals started coming fast and furious. Holy Cross got on the board at the 6:46 mark when Erik Vos put a rebound past Kieran Millan to put the Crusaders up 1-0.

It only took the Terriers 78-seconds to get the equalizer, as Sahir Gill took a beautiful pass from Adam Clendening and beat Matt Ginn to tie the game, 1-1.  Just 40-seconds later, Chiasson beat Ginn to put BU on top, 2-1. Chiasson extended his point streak to six games.

Holy Cross came right back, taking advantage of a 5-on-3, as Adam Schmidt beat Millan to tie the game. Then with less than three minutes remaining in the period, Schmidt gave the Crusaders the lead for good, once again on the power play.

“I thought defensively, we were pathetic in our own zone,” said BU head coach Jack Parker, who used the word ‘pathetic’ several times after the game.

“When we got the two goals, it was like everyone went selfish….everybody thought ‘oh, this going to be easy, I’m going to go take care of me now.’” Parker said that trend continued throughout the game.

In the second period, Andrew Fox gave Holy Cross a two-goal lead. The Crusaders continued to outshoot the Terriers by a margin of 9-6 in the second period.

“We had one ‘Grade A’ shot in the entire second period,” said Parker.

There was a serious moment in the third. BU’s Wade Megan threw a wicked hit from behind, injuring Shane Stockton. Megan received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The Crusaders took advantage of the ensuing power play immediately, with Brendan Baker scoring to make it 5-2.

With BU still shorthanded, the Terriers closed the gap to two when Chiasson scored a shorthanded goal right off the faceoff. His second goal of the night made it 5-3. When the BU penalty box was finally cleared, Matt Nieto made a beautiful move, coming out of the corner and fooling Ginn to make it 5-4. That brought the crowd of 5,766 to life. But the Terriers never could get the equalizer.

This was only the second-ever varsity meeting between these two schools. The last was in November of 2008, when BU beat Holy Cross, 3-2.  But on Saturday night, the Crusaders were the better team.

“This is by far the most fun game I’ve ever played in my life,” said Schmidt. “This team has been battling all year so far….beating a Top 10 team in the country is something to really scream out, and it feels great.”

The Crusaders travel to Connecticut on Thursday night, while the Terriers will face UMass in Amherst on Friday.

BU Beats Up UNH, 5-0

By Brian Willwerth 

BOSTON, MA – If the Boston University Terriers keep playing like this all season, they’re going to be tough to beat.

Kieran Millan stopped all 35-shots he faced, as the Terriers defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats, 5-0, Saturday night before a crowd of 5,148 at Agganis Arena.

The teams played a scoreless first period, due to the stellar play of goaltenders Millan (BU) and Matt DiGirolamo (UNH), but the opening 20-minutes featured several glittering chances on both ends, but both goalies were up to the task.

However, the Terriers got on the board early in the second period on the power play, and when UNH’s Kevin Goumas was in the box for hitting from behind. Wade Megan took a beautiful centering pass and put it pass DiGirolamo to make it 1-0.

Then, exactly two and a half minutes later, they doubled their lead when Corey Trivino took a pretty pass from the wing from Chris Connolly, and knocked it home to make it 2-0. At the other end of the ice, Millan made the advantage stand up, as he stopped all 18 Wildcat shots – including several from the point-blank category.

“Overall, I thought both goaltenders played great,” said BU head coach Jack Parker, who said it could’ve easily been a 4-3 game after two periods.  “All of our players played extremely well… All in all, pretty good deal.”

In the third, Matt Nieto picked up a loose rebound in front off a shot from the point and beat DiGirolamo to make it 3-0.

“That third goal was a killer for us,” said UNH head coach Dick Umile. “I don’t think we played as well as we’re capable of playing in our defensive zone.”

Alex Chiasson added an empty-netter to make it 4-0, and then Kevin Gilroy scored on a wraparound to cap off the scoring.

As for Millan, he tied BU’s all-time record for wins, (62) and hopes to break the record in his next start too.

“It’s pretty nice,” said Millan.  “It’s pretty nice to tie it up in the first game, with a game like that.”

For BU – Saturday was also a rarity in its long, storied hockey history. It was the first time the Terriers’ season opener, home opener and Hockey East opener all happened on the same night since 1989, which is pretty cool, right?

The Terriers travel to Providence next Friday night to face the Friars, while the Wildcats will play at Northeastern, also on Friday too.

Rough Play and Penalties Pay Off, BU Beats Northeastern, 3-2

By Kat Hansenauer Cornetta

Like many Northeastern – Boston University matchups, Friday’s affair was filled with animosity, and therefore, penalties. Players began visiting the penalty box just over four minutes into the first period, and seemed to average a penalty every two or three minutes throughout the evening.

Why the chipiness? Both teams were jockeying for Hockey East playoff position, with the Terriers trying to secure home ice, and the Huskies trying to assert their late season comeback. At the end of the night, it was Boston University that ended up accomplishing their goal heading into the evening, winning 3-2 and ensuring a home ice position for the Hockey East quarterfinals that begin next weekend.

The game began with a penalty shot, as Northeastern Brodie Reid tripped BU senior Joe Periera just five minutes into the first, and was awarded a penalty shot. However, strong Northeastern goaltender Chris Rawlings wasn’t having any of that, and easily stopped Periera.

It was BU’s second line that stepped up Friday night, with junior Corey Trevino snapping a five game goal scoring draught with his first period tally, with help from leading scorer right winger Alex Chiasson. Northeastern didn’t answer until the second period, where they came right out of the gate after the intermission and scored thanks to their top freshman winger Cory Ferriero.

Despite the prevalence of penalties, neither team was successful on the man advantage. Knotted up entering the third period, the
chippiness elevated, with nine penalties assessed in with in 40-seconds just seven minutes into the frame. Each team had a player go
off on a game misconduct (Northeastern’s Randy Guzior and BU’s Adam Clendening) and multiple players off the ice for seemingly every penalty possible. BU’s second line took advantage with Trivino and Matt Nieto helping out Max Nicastro on a power play goal to put them up 2-1. Northeastern struck back though short-handed, with senior center Steve Silva netting the tying goal just two and a half minutes later with help from fellow senior winger Wade MacLeod.

With Silva’s goal came a slashing call on Terrier defenseman Ryan Ruikka, seemingly the advantage Northeastern would need to take the lead. But their power-play frustration continued, and it was BU who ended up scoring a short-handed goal. Freshman right winger Sahir Gill scored the game-winner with help from Nieto and sophomore defenseman Sean Escobedo.

In the waning seconds, BU’s Nieto took another hooking call, but Northeastern was unable to convert. Terrier fans suffered a scare as the Huskies pressured, as BU starting goaltender Kieran Millan was attended to after a fight in front of his net. He was able to stay in the game.

BU’s 3-2 win secures home ice for the playoffs. It also gives Millan his 60th win, moving him to a tie for second all-time in program history for wins. He needs just 3 more to set the program record. He made 39 saves Friday night. Northeastern netminder Rawlings made 24 saves.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7pm at Boston University to close out the regular season.