The number-13 Boston University men’s ice hockey team season came to an end on Friday evening, March 21, when the Terriers dropped a 2-1 contest to number-18 Vermont in the Hockey East semifinals at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Terriers got on the board first, but Vermont scored back-to-back goals just 29 seconds apart in the middle period before tacking on an empty netter to advance to Saturday’s final.
The Terriers finished with a record of 19-17-4, while the Catamounts, who were making their first appearance in the Hockey East semifinal round, improved to 17-14-7 and went on to face number-7 Boston College — a 5-4 triple-overtime winner over number-3 New Hampshire — for the league title on March 22. Boston College took that game, 4-0, and the league championship.
Junior Peter Lenes scored the game-tying goal at 13:48 of the second before sophomore Colin Vock potted the game winner 29 seconds later. Junior Corey Carlson added the empty netter with 40 seconds remaining in regulation. The Catamounts got a 25-save performance from senior Joe Fallon.
Just six seconds after having its power play of the game expire, BU got on the board when Higgins snuck through Fallon’s legs from the left circle at 10:17 of the opening stanza. Freshmen defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (CAS’11) and Colby Cohen (CAS’11) each assisted on the play.
After taking the lead into the first intermission, the Terriers looked to extend it, outshooting Vermont 21-10 the rest of the way, but instead ended up trailing in one quick half-minute.
Lenes tied the game at 13:48 of the second when he got ahead of the Terrier defense along the right side and backhanded a shot that Bennett got a large part of before the puck tricked behind him.
Under a half-minute later, Vock sent home a rebound at the left goalmouth after Bennett made an initial save on a shot from the stick of freshman Jack Downing.
Looking to knot the game, the Terriers instead committed four costly third-period penalties, while Vermont stayed out of the penalty box for the final 32 minutes of the game.
The result marks the end of the careers of nine BU seniors, who helped lead the Terriers to 88 wins, 3 NCAA appearances, 3 Beanpot titles, and the 2006 Hockey East title during their four years with the program.