Hockey East Semifinals
Cory Schneider leads the Eagles into
the title game against their rivals from BU
College 4, Maine 1
Rooney, B. Boyle
Bradford, C. Collins
Cory Schneider, 60:00, 35 saves, 1 GA
Ben Bishop, 59:22, 25 saves, 2 GA
BC 4/8; ME 5/10
Plays: BC 0-5; ME 1-4
BOSTON – Cory Schneider may very well
be the biggest X-factor in all of college hockey right now.
When he is on top of his game, Boston College has been almost
impossible to beat, and he proved that yet again on Friday
night when he made 35 saves in the Eagles' 4-1 win over
Maine in the Hockey East semifinals.
Schneider and Ben Bishop were the two best
players on the ice at the Garden, as each made huge save
after huge save in a game that was much more competitive
than the score showed since BC added two empty-netters in
the final 47 seconds.
“He played great,” Schneider said
of Bishop. “It was like a one-on-one battle. He was
doing it on his end, and I had to respond on my end. We
would really feed off each other, and he helped me elevate
Schneider had no choice but to elevate his
game early. The teams went into the first intermission deadlocked
in a scoreless tie, mainly because of his 16 saves in the
opening 20 minutes. BC was able to put enough pressure on
Bishop to cause the freshman to crack in the second period,
as they picked up two quick goals in a span of just 2:28
to take a 2-0 lead. Twenty seconds after jumping ahead by
a pair, Schneider made a terrific save on Mike Hamilton’s
backdoor bid to keep Maine off the board.
“We relied on Cory Schneider to make
some terrific saves early, and he kept us in the game,”
BC coach Jerry York said. “Cory was just terrific.
We never would have been there without Cory early.”
Schneider said he knew Maine would focus on
scoring fast, as they have against BC in earlier matchups
this year. He acknowledged that he just wanted to get out
of the first period in no worse shape than trailing 1-0.
“I knew they were going to try to come
out early and put the game away just like they have before,”
Then in the third, he made 10 more big stops,
perhaps none more important than on Jon Jankus’ attempt
to beat Schneider’s five-hole on a quick transitional
play with 6:50 to play and BC ahead 2-1.
“They had some pretty good sustained
pressure there in the third period, but I thought our guys
did a great job keeping them to the outside and not allowing
many grade-A chances,” Schneider said. “We blocked
a lot of shots, were diving and doing everything we could
to keep the puck out of there. I just tried to stay as calm
as I could.”
Now, he and the Eagles have their chance to
sing their redemption song against the Terriers, who have
beaten BC three straight times, including in the Beanpot
championship at the Garden on Feb. 13. Schneider will get
the start between the pipes on his 20th birthday.
“It’s going to be a good one,”
he said. “They have obviously proven how good they
are. We’ve got to get out there and get after them
to try to get a big win out there.”
New Hampshire 2
Hemingway, B. Yandle
McGuirk, R. Weston
Van der Gulik (9)
Van der Gulik (10)
Sullivan, J. Curry
Van der Gulik (11)
Zancanaro, D. Spang
Hemingway, D. Winnik
Van der Gulik, T. Morrow
Gilroy, D. Spang
Kevin Regan, 42:07, 23 saves, 7 GA; Jeff Pietrasiak,
17:53, 6 saves, 2 GA
John Curry, 51:49, 25 saves, 2 GA; Stephan Siwiec, 8:11,
2 saves, 0 GA
NH 5/10; BU 6/12
Plays: NH 2-5; BU 2-4
QUICK TRICK FROM VAN DER GULIK
David Van der Gulik’s wild playoff ride
rolled on during the night’s first semifinal game
at the Garden on Friday. The BU senior captain recorded
the fastest hat trick in Hockey East semifinal history –
picking up three goals in a stretch of 23:21 to break Chuck
Kobasew’s old mark of 29:59 from 2001 – to help
the Terriers shellac UNH 9-2.
This is Van der Gulik’s second trifecta
in the last three games, as he also racked up three goals
in BU’s Game 1 quarterfinal win over UMass a week
ago. In the Terriers’ three postseason games, Van
der Gulik has recorded the game-winning goal twice and the
game-winning assist in the other.
This is after the Boston University star missed
the first half of the season with an abdominal injury
and had a tough time buying space on the score sheets early
in his return to the lineup.
“I’ve been getting the bounces
lately and not doing too much differently,” he said.
“I’ve been going to the net, and the puck has
been going in for me. [Brad] Zancanaro has fed me some nice
passes, and I’m just happy I’ve been able to
Van der Gulik has now set the all-time tournament
record with two career hat tricks, and his six goals in
this year’s tourney put him one behind BC’s
Marty McInnis (1990), Maine’s Martin Robitaille (1990)
and BU’s Jay Pandolfo (1996) for the single-tournament
SEEN AND HEARD AT THE GARDEN
• If you haven’t already heard
by now, the two semifinal games were rematches of last year’s
Hockey East semifinals. Boston College defeated Maine 2-1
in double-overtime in the 2005 appetizer before UNH throttled
BU 5-2 during the main course.
• In light of St. Patrick’s
Day, eight UNH fans traded in their alma mater’s blue
colors for more festive green custom made T-shirts with
“UNH” inside of a giant shamrock. Slainte!
• BU was out-hitting UNH by a heavy
margin in the first period, but the Wildcats – or
at least Chris Murray – were the aggressors after
the whistle was blown. At the 18:15 mark of the first period,
Murray was penalized for drilling David Van der Gulik into
the boards several seconds after referee Scott Hansen blew
the play dead.
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Dan Spang, Boston University
your team scores nine goals, there are bound to be
one or two players who have great statistical games.
Spang had two goals and two assists in the win, but
his first goal of the game tied things at 1-1 to shift
the momentum and set the stage for BU’s big
David Van der Gulik, Boston University
He has made everyone’s game better
since his return to the lineup. He picked up three
goals and an assist against UNH and was instrumental
for BU to coast through an easy third period and into
the championship game.
Cory Schneider, Boston College
If it wasn't for the sensational sophomore,
there was a good chance Maine would have answered
BU’s nine-spot from the matinee.
• With the Terriers holding onto a more
than comfortable 9-2 third-period lead, Jack Parker called
off John Curry in favor of senior stopper Stephan Siwiec
with 8:11 to play in the game. Siwiec made two saves.
• Jack Parker was reminded in the post-game
press conference that his team scored six goals in the 2003
Hockey East semifinal – a 6-5 double-overtime win
over BC – only to get shut out in the final against
UNH the following night. He was then asked what he would
do to prepare his team for this year’s championship
affair. Parker responded with, “Who brought this kid
• UNH was the only team not to bring
a band to the night’s event.
• Heading into the night, it appeared
that both Boston University and Maine had locked up NCAA
Tournament bids while the fate of Boston College and New
Hampshire wasn’t as certain. UNH bench boss Richard
Umile had this to say about his team’s tourney chances:
“The way we played tonight is not going
to change what happens. It depends on what happens in the
other games. If we won tonight, I’m almost certain
we’d be in. Now I think it’s still up in the
air. We’ll find out on Sunday. I told the team I hope
our season is not over, but if we play like that, I hope
it is over.”
• Jerry York listed Chris Collins’
status for the championship game as “questionable”
after he struggled to make it through the semifinal game
against Maine. Collins collided with a goal post in BC’s
last practice and has been diagnosed with a with a hip pointer.
an apparent technical problem with the scoreboard, PA announcer
Jim Prior did his best Dick Clark impersonation by counting
down the final 10 seconds of Billy Ryan’s hooking
penalty in the first period.
winger Bryan Ewing attempted to score on a wrap-around 42
seconds into the third period, but he lost control of the
puck, which UNH forward Mike Radja ended up knocking into
his own net. The Wildcats apparently decided that enough
was enough and allowed three more goals over the next 2:54
to fall behind 9-2.
Patrick’s Day is good. Playoff hockey is also good.
But playoff hockey on St. Patrick’s Day isn’t
so hot, as this marked the first time since 2002 that the
Hockey East semifinals were not sold out at the Garden.
For the second time in as many months, BU
and BC will fight for a championship on the Garden ice.
BU took home the Beanpot crown on Feb. 13, and has won its
last three meetings with the Eagles. BU is 5-2 all-time
in the Hockey East championship game while BC is 6-4. Surprisingly,
these two programs have only met once for the Lamoriello
Trophy. BU beat BC 9-4 in the 1986 title tilt. BU holds
a 6-2 record against BC in tournament meetings. The last
time they met, the eighth-seeded Terriers knocked off the
top-seeded Eagles two games to one in the 2004 quarterfinals.