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BU Men’s Hockey NCAA Journey Cut Short by Michigan

Terriers fall 6-3 in Northeast Regional final

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  • The men’s hockey Terriers lost 6-3 to Michigan in the NCAA Northeast Regional final
  • Hopes were high when a third period Drew Melanson (MET’18) goal tied the game
  • A series of third period Wolverine goals erased the Terriers’ shot at the 2018 Frozen Four

Expectations were high going into the 2018 NCAA Northeast Regional men’s hockey final in Worcester Sunday: both BU and Michigan were coming off impressive winning streaks, the Terriers with the longest unbeaten streak in the country, at eight games, and Michigan winning eight of its last nine. After defeating top-seeded Cornell 3-1 on Saturday in round one, the Terriers were looking to add to what they hoped would be an upset streak when they took on second-seeded Michigan. But with the Frozen Four on the line, the 10th-ranked Wolverines had other plans, cutting short the Terriers’ NCAA journey with a 6-3 win.

Ty Amonte (CGS’19) launched the Terrier offense with an attempt from the right, only to be deflected by Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavinge. The deflection led to a rebound attempt by defenseman Cam Crotty (CAS’21), but it was quickly blocked by Wolverine Nick Pastujov.

Michigan dominated the action-packed first period. With 14:18 left in the first, Wolverine Quinn Hughes’ left-handed shot from distance blew past goaltender Jake Oettinger (CGS’18) for the game’s first goal.

What followed were some troubling moments for the Terriers. A turnover near the net by Kasper Kotkansalo (CGS’19) led to a point-blank shot by Wolverine’s scoring leader Cooper Marody—stopped by Oettinger. In the game’s first power play, BU failed to secure the opportunity.

Things began to look up for the Terriers at the 7:34 mark, when center-iceman Jordan Greenway (CGS’17, CAS’19) picked up the puck from the neutral zone, took it around the left side, and scored his 13th goal of the season to tie the game. Fans celebrated, chanting “USA! USA!”—a nod to Greenway’s slot on Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Members of the mens hockey team celebrate Jordan Greenway's goal

Jordan Greenway (CGS’17, CAS’19) scored the first goal of the game for the Terriers.

BU sought to push the momentum: shots by Gabriel Chabot (CAS’20), Hank Crone (CGS’19), and Amonte all went wide. An impressive attempt by Nikolas Olsson (CGS’16, COM’18)—swerving around the defense for a good look—was again saved by Lavinge.

The Wolverines were unwilling to be bullied. They soon banked their power play opportunity, when Marody found a wide-open Tony Calderon to reclaim the lead.

During the next power play, with Logan Cockerill (CGS’19) off the ice, Michigan struck first, swinging the puck around to find Marody, whose shot was stopped by Oettinger. Greenway nearly scored a short-handed goal, blowing past all defenders, but it was Lavinge-time again, as the goaltender shut down the effort.

The second frame began much like the first, as Hughes attempted to repeat his goal from a similar spot, but Oettinger wasn’t going to let it happen again. Less than two minutes into the period, Wolverine Josh Morris’ attempt deflected behind the net. Oettinger failed to secure the puck, which hit off his skate to a wide-open goal by Brendan Warren to send the Wolverines up two.

In the ensuing minutes, the Terriers set out to respond: a Chad Krys (CAS’20) wrist shot from the left was blocked by Michigan’s Joseph Cecconi. Then Crotty’s shot from distance resulted in wrestling near the goal, which led to a BU power play. Greenway came close to scoring his second goal of the game when he seemed to have an open lane from the right, but a broken stick spoiled the play.

It was after the power play that Patrick Curry (CGS’18) scored a wraparound goal to make it a one-point game. The remainder of the second period saw close attempts from both sides, but when all was said and done, the score stood at 3-2 Michigan.

Statistically, Michigan seemed secure in the win at that point: the Wolverines had gone 17-1-0 when leading after the second. It seemed like that would hold true when Marody’s wraparound found Dexter Dancs, but Oettinger made the saving play, blocking the shot.

The Terriers refused to let the odds define their destiny. Greenway forced a turnover, and the puck found its way to Drew Melanson (MET’18), who faked left, then went right for the game-tying goal.

But Michigan quickly responded. After captain Brandon Hickey (CGS’16, Questrom’18) slipped and lost the puck at the defense zone, Wolverine Jake Slaker picked it up and quickly brought his team up, 4-3. Then with 3:42 left in the game, Dancs assisted on Nicholas Boka’s goal in transition, essentially securing the game for the Wolverines with a 5-3 lead.

Desperate for a goal at that point, the Terriers played with an empty net, with 2:43 remaining. But an empty net goal by Michigan brought the score to 6-3, officially marking the end of the Terriers’ season and dashing their hopes of a trip to the 2018 Frozen Four.

The win marks Michigan’s 25th trip to the Frozen Four. They will face Notre Dame on Thursday, April 5, at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.

Jonathan Chang can be reached at jchang19@bu.edu.

1 Comments

One Comment on BU Men’s Hockey NCAA Journey Cut Short by Michigan

  • Jennifer Weeden on 03.26.2018 at 10:21 am

    Jonathan, thanks for fantastic reporting throughout the season. Here’s to the Terriers, who gave us a great come-from-behind season, an impressive Hockey East title, and exciting hockey right down to the last minute.

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