Hockey East Semifinals
It wasn't picture perfect, but UNH got
the goal it needed to set up Saturday's showdown with BC
for the title
Massachusetts 2 (2ot)
Butler, T. Fortney
Quirk, M. Burto
Jon Quick, 81:30, 38 saves, 3 GA
Kevin Regan, 81:30, 44 saves, 2 GA
MA 2/4; NH 2/4
Plays: MA 0-1; NH 0-1
BOSTON – There were two great breakaways,
a handful of quality rebound chances and a number of near-perfectly
executed tipped shots. But, in a double-overtime that featured
a countless number of game-winning bids, it wound up being
Bobby Butler’s knucklepuck that was good enough to
get past Jon Quick.
With UMass trying to clear the puck from its
zone, Greg Collins poked it free to Butler, who was waiting
in the slot. Butler wound up and took a healthy hack at
the puck, but he didn’t make full contact, causing
the puck to wobble high past Quick’s glove hand and
giving New Hampshire a 3-2 win 1:30 into the second overtime.
“Collins poked the puck free,”
Butler said. “A kid had my stick, but I just pulled
my stick away from him. I couldn’t get full wood on
it so I just chipped it.”
“In a game like this, when there are
breakaways and great chances, and all of a sudden you pressure
the puck to get a turnover,” said UNH coach Richard
Umile, who will be trying to win his 400th career game Saturday
along with his third Hockey East championship. “Bobby
didn’t quite get the stick on it, but he threw it
to the net. It was a great play by him.”
Having grown up in nearby Marlborough, Mass.,
the goal capped off an exciting homecoming for the third-line
right winger, who had an entire contingent of family, friends
and old teammates from Marlborough High School in attendance.
“It feels awesome,” Butler said.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people watching
on TV. I know my dad (Marlborough High School coach John
Butler) has a bunch of people with him. It’s great.
Butler also assisted on Collins’ goal
earlier in the game, which gave UNH a 1-0 lead. Butler’s
only other two-point game came during a 4-4 tie with Boston
University on Nov. 10, when he registered two assists.
“He’s unbelievable,” UNH
goalie Kevin Regan said. “I was just so excited. He
is such a good kid and such a good player. For him to get
that goal was awesome.”
Regan was equally impressive, stopping 44
shots, including 13 in the first overtime and one in the
second extra session. He turned aside Will Ortiz on a breakaway
attempt 11:20 into the first overtime, and also made a pair
of great saves on Matt Anderson and Chris Capraro during
“He’s always huge,” Umile
said of his goalie. “He has been special for us. He
has been great. He has been the backbone of our team.”
“It feels good,” Regan said. “That’s
when you want to play your best in a game like this.”
Now, UNH has to face the task of coming back
to earth after such a dramatic win. While the double-overtime
win is nice, the Wildcats have a chance to be the ninth
team to win the regular-season championship outright and
then go on to win the postseason championship.
“We’re going to enjoy it for about
an hour, get some rest and focus on tomorrow,” Regan
said. “Hopefully, we get a win.”
Boston University 2
Ferriero, B. Motherwell
Boyle, J. Rooney
Rooney, D. Bertram
Smith, B. Boyle
Gilroy, P. MacArthur
Roche, E. Gryba
Boyle, B. Bradford
John Curry, 39:54, 17 saves, 4 GA; Karson Gillespie,
20:00, 9 saves, 2 GA
Cory Schneider, 60:00, 30 saves, 2 GA
BU 4/8; BC 7/14
Plays: BU 1-6; BC 2-3
Boston College’s 6-2 win over Boston
University in the second semifinal game served a couple
First, it pushed BC’s winning streak
to a national-best nine games. Perhaps a bit more important,
it marked the Eagles’ first win over the Terriers
at the Boston Garden since the 2004 Beanpot championship
game. BU had won four straight over its rival in the building
– last year’s Hockey East championship, the
last two Beanpot title tilts and the 2005 Beanpot semifinal.
“We just talked about it,” captain
Brian Boyle said. “We hadn’t won since my freshman
year in the Beanpot. It’s always huge to beat BU,
especially in this tournament. We came out hard. Tonight,
we really had their number. That’s the way it works
sometimes. Either way, it’s two really good teams
going head to head.”
“There was definitely a lot of talk
about that after the game,” said Brock Bradford, who
had two goals and an assist. “It’s nice to break
that. Our class was 0-3 against them. It’s definitely
in the back of your mind, but we knew we had the ability
to win. It was a hard battle against BU, so it’s nice
to come out with the win.”
SEEN AND HEARD AT THE GARDEN
• Overheard a few times while walking
into the Garden were some fans – from Maine and other
schools – talking about how the Black Bears “blew
it” and “went in the tank” over the last
• A group of five young kids sat in the first row
by the left point in the UNH zone (first and third period)
and stood up, yelling and waving every time play was over
in their area.
• Referee Tim Benedetto stopped play
prematurely at 8:46 in the first period of game one when
there was a loose puck in front of Kevin Regan. Benedetto,
at the right point when the puck was still loose at the
bottom of the left circle, made the wrong call and stopped
a UMass scoring chance.
• UNH's Craig Switzer took a two-minute
boarding penalty at 7:32 of the second period, marking the
first penalty of what had been a very clean game.
• During a scrum in front of the net
with 7:15 remaining in the second period, Josh Ciocco put
his stick to work – half trying to knock home a loose
puck and half trying to make sure Jon Quick would never
• New Hampshire's Danny Rossman beat
Quick with a wrister from the high slot at 13:57 of the
second period to score his first career goal. The freshman
entered the night having notched three assists in 17 games.
• During the second intermission of
game one, NESN studio analyst Bob Beers said something to
the effect of, “It’s always nice when you have
a good dump.” We believe he was talking about UMass
dumping the puck into the zone to set up the Chris Capraro
goal in the second period.
• Before the first game, there were
copies of a photo handed out in the media room with Don
Cahoon and Richard Umile standing together in front of the
Berlin Wall in 1968.
• While a win for the Minutemen would
have firmly secured them their first ever trip to the NCAA
Tournament, the loss keeps them on the bubble. They still
appear to be in good shape, but Cahoon weighed in on their
chances following the game.
“I don’t know since there’s
always the unexpected,” Cahoon said. “Quinnipiac
won their game tonight, and if they win their tournament,
if Wisconsin wins their tournament, it obviously reduces
the odds. But, if more of the seeded teams win out, I think
we’re in pretty good shape.”
• Former Hockey East director of public relations
Noah Smith was on hand to host the press conferences. He
was roasted pretty badly during the first one.
• Kevin Regan on what went through
his head when he saw Will Ortiz heading in on the breakaway
in overtime: “You don’t really think too much.
You just try to look at what way he is going to shoot, where
he’s holding the puck, is he coming fast, is he coming
slow. It comes in so quick that you don’t really think
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Brock Bradford, Boston College
a pair of goals and added an assist in the easy win
for the Eagles.
Kevin Regan, New Hampshire
Stood on his ear in overtime with 13 saves
in first session and one in the second.
Bobby Butler, New Hampshire
Two points and a game-winning goal. ‘Nuff
• The second game didn’t get underway
until 9:17 p.m. due to the double-overtime marathon in game
one. While the Eagles waited, they watched a different double-overtime
game. The BC women’s team was in the Frozen Four,
but fell 4-3 to Minnesota Duluth.
• The Providence Friar scored the only
two goals of the Hockey East mascot game during the first
intermission of the second semifinal. If you’re counting
at home, that means the Friar scored exactly two more goals
than all of the Friars combined during last weekend’s
sweep by UNH.
• There was a possible goal under review
with 5:33 remaining in the second period of game two. BU
rushed the net, but Cory Schneider kept it out. The play
stood with no goal.
• The arena was never close to being
full at any point in the night, most likely because of the
storm that blanketed New England. When BC jumped out to
a 3-0 lead in the second game, though, the place really
• John Curry got yanked before the
start of the third period. The Hobey Baker candidate made
17 saves but allowed three goals. Karson Gillespie stopped
nine shots and allowed three more in the third period.
• Though it’s not in any record
books, we believe we witnessed the first time in history
that BU fans had nothing to say. Late in the second period
with the score 3-0, the BC fans chanted “We can’t
hear you!” across the way to the Terrier faithful.
Literally, not a sound.
• The BU students woke up a bit in
the third period. With 16:37 remaining during a timeout
on the ice, they chanted “Kill the midget!”
They were either talking about a St. Patrick’s Day
leprechaun or Nathan Gerbe.
• Brian Boyle picked up three assists
while playing solid on the blue line for BC.
• There were 15,828 tickets sold for
the semifinal games, but only 12,150 came through the gate.
• Mike Brennan made a solid defensive
play in the second period to keep BU from scoring. Jerry
York knows why. “He’s Irish, and it’s
coming close to St. Patrick’s Day. I think he got
a little lucky there.”
PLUSSES AND MINUSES
the atmosphere as a whole was subpar throughout the night,
especially late in the second game, it got entertaining
in the third period when the student sections from BU and
BC continually went back and forth with one another.
snowstorm that rocked New England Friday afternoon caused
huge traffic delays all over the region, which really hurt
the attendance for the beginning of the first game. It looked
more like a Beanpot consolation game than a Hockey East
semifinal. Oh, and temperatures reached the 70s around Boston
on Wednesday. Gotta love New England.
like buying some sweet new Hockey East swag? You might not
want to find somewhere other than the Garden to do so. The
tee shirt selection is weak – only one has all four
teams on it with the Hockey East logo.
UNH will play in its seventh Hockey East championship
and has a 2-4 record all-time. Its last trip was in 2005,
when Boston College won, 3-1. Its last win came in 2003,
a 1-0 overtime victory over Boston University.
BC took two of three games from UNH this year,
including a home-and-home sweep two weekends ago.
This is BC's 12th appearance in the Hockey
East championship game (third straight), tying Maine's record.
BC is 6-5 in the league championship. Last year, BC dropped
a 2-1 overtime decision to BU last year. BC's last win came
in 2005, when the Eagles topped UNH, 3-1. BC and UNH have
met seven times in the Hockey East tourney, with BC holding
a 4-3 edge. The Eagles are 2-0 against UNH in the championship.
This will be the ninth time the top two seeds
will play for the Hockey East championship. The No. 1 seed
has a 5-3 edge. All three times the second seed has won
this matchup were in the first five years of the conference's