Sports fans will tell you that every game matters, but the truth is, some games matter more than others. This week, BU Today presents a five-part look back at the games, the players, and the teams that made the difference in BU’s 2007-2008 seasons.
The men’s hockey team earned home ice for the Hockey East playoffs and scored the second seed in the tournament with two wins over Providence College, on March 6 and 7. Women’s basketball also had a strong showing, defeating Albany on March 8 to secure the third seed in the America East playoffs and remain undefeated at the Case Center this season.
Men’s Hockey: Gillespie Backstops Terriers to 2-0 Victory over Providence
BU secures number two seed for Hockey East playoffs
Karson Gillespie (CAS’08) turned in a 33-save shutout and Joe Pereira (CAS’11) and Nick Bonino (CAS’11) each scored a goal, leading the number 16 Boston University men’s ice hockey team to a 2-0 victory over number 17/15 Providence on March 7 at Agganis Arena. The win allows the Terriers to clinch the number two seed for the Hockey East playoffs.
BU, which is 9-1 in its last 10 games, closes out the regular season with a record of 17-15-4, with a 15-9-3 conference mark. Providence falls to 14-15-5 overall and an even 11-11-5 in league play.
The victory extended the Terriers’ home winning streak to six games, their longest since moving into Agganis Arena in January 2005. The team last won six consecutive home games in 2000.
The Terriers held the Friars scoreless for the second night in a row, but it was not easy, as Gillespie made 15 of his saves in the third period alone to preserve his third career shutout. Providence held a 33-17 advantage in shots.
Pereira opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the year on a nifty backhand at 6:26 of the first off a pass from Jason Lawrence (CAS’09). Lawrence intercepted a puck that was wrapped along the backboards of the zone by a Friar defender and found Pereira, whose shot eluded Providence netminder Tyler Sims before getting a piece of the right pipe and finding the back of the net.
Bonino made it a two-goal game on a power-play tally at 1:33 of the middle period. He potted his 15th goal of the season when he skated through the inner edge of the right circle after receiving a pass from Matt Gilroy (CAS’09) and beat Sims. Colin Wilson (CAS’11) also assisted on the play.
The Terriers’ penalty kill was a perfect 0-for-7 on the night, while the team’s power play was 1-of-6.
Two saves in Gillespie’s performance were on 2-on-1 breakaways by the Friars, including a shorthanded offer in the first and an incredible glove save in the third.
Women’s Basketball: Terriers Beat Albany, Secure Third Seed in AE
Terriers remain undefeated at Case Center this season
The Boston University women’s basketball team held Albany scoreless in overtime as it defeated the Great Danes, 76-67, on Saturday at Case Gym to clinch the third seed in the America East tournament. Kasey Devine (CGS’06, SMG’08) and Amarachi Umez-Eronini (SAR’09) posted double-doubles, while Cheri Raffo (SAR’08) recorded a team-high 15 points. Five Terriers reached double figures, as they improve to 18-11 overall, 11-5 in the America East conference. Albany falls to 12-17 overall, 10-6 in the league, and enters the tourney as the fourth-seeded team.
Devine earned America East’s Player of the Game honors after posting 11 points and 10 rebounds, with 5 blocks and 3 steals, and Umez-Eronini contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds. Raffo was 5-for-14 and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Christine Kinneary (CAS’09) added 11 points to go along with a game-high 7 assists; Aly Hinton (CAS’10) was the fifth Terrier in double figures with 12 points and 8 rebounds. The win marked head coach Kelly Greenberg’s 150th victory as a head coach.
BU outrebounded UA, 43-38 and held a commanding 21-6 advantage on second-chance points. The Terriers also forced 20 Great Danes’ miscues and converted on 18 points off turnovers. The game saw 9 lead changes and 14 ties. BU finishes the regular season with a perfect 11-0 record at Case Gym, with its lone home loss coming at Agganis Arena on November 17 to Ohio State, then number 16.
For much of the first half, the Terriers and the Great Danes traded baskets, remaining within 3 points of each other until Albany took the largest lead of the game at 1:18, after going on a 12-2 run to move the score to 36-26. BU closed out the stanza with four consecutive free throws to cut the deficit to six at the break. In the first period, Albany was able to penetrate the Terriers’ defense, scoring 16 in the paint. BU was led by Raffo with 8 points, while Charity Iromuanya posted a team high of 11 points.
In the second half, BU quickly cut the lead to one by 17:38 and reclaimed it at 15:54 on a Kinneary jumper. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Great Danes nailed a jumper in the paint to move the score to 42-41. Over the next five minutes, BU steadily built a five-point lead with five rebounds and two steals to bring the score to 54-49 at 10:06.
BU maintained that edge until UA came roaring back to go ahead by seven with 2:13 remaining in regulation, in what proved to be its final field goal of the game. Kinneary turned the tide with a jumper at 1:55, the Terriers hit two free throws, and a clutch three-pointer from Raffo knotted the score at 67. Hinton brought down a crucial defensive rebound with four seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime.
BU took over in the overtime period with a field goal and made seven free throws to secure the victory. In addition, the Terriers brought down 10 rebounds in the extra stanza.
This story originally ran March 10, 2008.