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BC eliminates hockey Terriers from NCAA tournament

5-0 loss ends BU’s magic season

Goaltender John Curry (CAS’07) ended the season with a 19-2-2 record in his last 23 games.

The men’s hockey Terriers were fishing for the Frozen Four, but the big one got away. BU had beaten Boston College in the Beanpot title game and in the Hockey East championship game, but the most important victory against the Eagles eluded the team. BC, backed by a shutout performance from goaltender Cory Schneider, defeated BU, 5-0, in the NCAA Northeast Regional final on March 25 at the DCU Center in Worcester.

BU Coach Jack Parker had praise for Schneider, but he tipped his hat to the BC defense, which smothered the Terriers. BU went into the game with a 4-1 record against the Eagles this year, however, they couldn’t put the puck past the sophomore goaltender with the season on the line. “We weren’t near Schneider tonight like we were in previous games,” he said. “He played well, but I thought the team defense was absolutely outstanding.”

The Terriers knocked at Schneider’s door a few times, but he kept it shut. BC took a 1-0 lead in the first period when forward Brian Boyle intercepted a Kevin Schaeffer (CAS’07) pass in front of the BU net and fired it home. The Eagles made it 2-0 in the second period with a Matt Greene goal. When BU went on a power play with 7:42 left in the second, BU had a shining opportunity to cut the lead in half, but Boyle stopped a Brad Zancanaro (MET’06) pass intended for Sean Sullivan (MET’07) in front of the BC net. In the ensuing action, BC’s Joe Rooney scored a shorthanded goal, taking the wind out of BU’s sails.

Rooney struck again in the second, making it 4-0. The play was reviewed by the officials because the net had been jostled off its moorings as the puck crossed the line. There were several agonizing minutes of silence as BU’s season hung in the balance, but the goal was allowed and the BC faithful erupted in celebration. It was the backbreaking tally that spelled the beginning of the end of the Terriers’ run at a national championship – one that was unexpected at the beginning of the 2005-2006 campaign. BU went from an unranked squad in October to the number one ranked team in the nation.

 “Tonight I think we just got outworked,” said Zancanaro. “They wanted it more than we did.” Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97) was also disappointed with BU’s effort. “We didn’t have any jump to us,” he said. “We were getting beaten to the puck. We didn’t come out with the intensity and focus we needed.”

BU’s last flirtation with the Frozen Four was a nail-biting 5-3 quadruple overtime loss to St. Lawrence six years ago, when a win would have put them in an NCAA semifinal game against BC. But this year’s national tournament loss to the Eagles may have been even more dispiriting, because the Terriers never even got on the scoreboard.

The defeat was especially heartbreaking for the Terrier seniors, who played their last game in a BU uniform. But Dan Spang (CAS’06) said that despite the loss, he will hold his head up high and look back at a special season. “We had great team chemistry,” he said. “We came to the rink every day ready to practice, and it was a real honor playing with every single one of those guys.”