Big Hockey Showdown This Friday
Men advance; others not as fortunate
On this big sports weekend, BU teams saved the best for last.
Tough losses for both the men’s basketball and women’s hockey teams were somewhat offset by a big win in men’s hockey last night, guaranteeing the Terriers their ninth consecutive appearance in the Hockey East semifinals, being held this year on Friday, March 19, at Boston’s TD Garden.
Third time’s a charm for men’s hockey vs. Merrimack
The Terrier icemen ripped up Merrimack last night, seizing a 3-0 win in the finale of a tough three-game Hockey East quarterfinal series at Agganis Arena.
After a rugged loss the night before, BU came out pounding. Nine minutes into the first period, center Nick Bonino (CAS’11) slipped the puck to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (CAS’11), who let one fly passed Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata. Bonino lit things up again with just 38 seconds left in the first, when he picked up a rebound from his own shot and flicked a backhander into the net.
In a physical second period, Merrimack struggled to rally, but the Terriers fended off threat after threat. Finally, with three minutes left in a penalty-rich third period, BU sealed the deal when Chris Connolly (CGS’10) took a power play pass from Vinny Saponari (SMG’12) and sent the puck home.
Last night’s trouncing gave goaltender Kieran Millan (CAS’12) his first shutout of the season, a fine way to enter the semifinals.
Men’s b-ball falls to Vermont in AE championship
They cut an 11-point halftime deficit to one with more than 10 minutes still to play, but the Terriers couldn’t overcome Vermont’s 7-0 run in response, losing 83-70 in the America East championship game Saturday afternoon in Burlington, Vt.
Corey Lowe (SHA’10) and Jake O’Brien (CGS’10) were named to the All-Tournament Team after helping the Terriers (19-13) reach the league final for the first time since 2003, in Coach Patrick Chambers’ first year.
The fourth-seeded Terriers hoped to become the lowest seed ever to win the league title. BU turned the ball over a season-low six times, but shot only 21 for 55 from the field and lost the rebound battle, 36-26. Lowe tallied 24 points to finish the tournament averaging 24.7 points per game, becoming BU’s third highest all-time scorer, with 1,803 points. O’Brien and Carlos Strong (MET’10) added 17 and 11, respectively, while Jeff Pelage (CGS’10) recorded a team-high eight rebounds.
Tournament MVP Marqus Blakely led the second-seeded Catamounts (25-9) with 24 points and 18 rebounds. The Terriers now await word about whether their year is over, or if they will be invited to another postseason tournament, possibly the NIT (National Invitational Tournament) or CBI (College Basketball Invitational).
Women’s hockey vs. Mercyhurst
The Boston University women’s ice hockey team battled into the NCAA quarterfinals, but lost on Saturday afternoon at Mercyhurst, in Erie, Pa., 4-1. Tara Watchorn (CAS’12) scored the lone goal for the Terriers.
The Lakers jumped ahead with a pair of power-play goals about two minutes apart in the first period and never looked back. The Terriers avoided a shutout in the third period, when the Lakers were whistled for a pair of penalties that gave BU a two-man advantage for 20 seconds. BU pulled its goaltender for a 6-on-3 advantage and after the first penalty expired, Watchorn took a pass from Jill Cardella (ENG’13) and buried her third goal of the season and second in as many games.
A mere 10 seconds later, the Lakers retaliated, putting the game out of reach, despite excellent goaltending from Melissa Haber (SHA’10), who stopped 29 shots for BU.
The College Hockey America champion Mercyhurst Lakers will face ECACHockey champion Cornell in the NCAA semifinals next weekend inMinneapolis.
The BU men’s hockey Terriers will face off against the Maine Black Bears on Friday, March 19, at 8 p.m. at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, in the Hockey East semifinals.3 Comments