Hockey East Semifinals
College (Re)Serves Notice, Beats UNH
New Hampshire 4 (3 ot)
Radja, Matt Fornataro
Gerbe, A. Aiello
vanRiemsdyk, N. Krates
Ferriero, N. Gerbe
Smith, N. Gerbe
Price, P. Gannon
Whitney, D. Bertram
John Muse, 100:43, 54 saves, 4 GA
Kevin Regan, 100:42, 62 saves, 5 GA
BC 4/8; NH 7/14
Plays: BC 3-6; NH 1-3
BOSTON — The Eagles may have missed
their dinner reservations, but they’ve reserved a
spot in Saturday night’s Hockey East championship
Boston College junior forward Benn Ferriero’s
slapper found the back of the net 43 seconds into triple
overtime to lift the Eagles past top-seeded New Hampshire,
5-4, in the Hockey East semifinals Friday night at the TD
Banknorth Garden. It was the second-longest game in league
tournament history and the longest ever in the semifinals.
As if the story needed any subplots, BC erased
a 4-1, second-period deficit and then had to regroup after
having a goal disallowed in the first overtime.
“I thought our club, down 4-1, to come
back and score the next six goals, right?” said coach
Jerry York, whose Eagles were slated to sit down at Ricardo’s
in Boston’s North End at 8:45 p.m. “It really
showed a lot of resiliency and character, and I like that
in teams. We’ve always had skilled players at BC and
always will have, and this year we’re setting the
benchmark for just mentally strong kids."
Boston College, which scored a total of three
goals in three losses to UNH in the regular season, appeared
to end the game 18:30 into the first extra session. Ferriero
beat UNH defenseman Craig Switzer into the zone but lost
the puck. Those two and Wildcat goalie Kevin Regan raced
toward the puck as it crept toward the right circle, and
all three dove to claim possession. The puck deflected back
to the left point where BC’s Matt Greene fired it
into the net, causing a mass celebration.
Regan’s helmet, however, got knocked
off when his head collided with Ferriero’s knee, and
replay official Dave Hansen made the correct call by disallowing
the goal when it went to review.
“The goal we scored and the celebration,
and we’re all excited; to have it called back because
of a really unique situation — in all my years of
coaching, I’ve never seen that happen where Regan
lost his helmet in the course of the play is a tough, hard
denial for us to take. I’m really excited with how
“It shows the character that we have
on our team,” Ferriero said of the Eagles’ ability
to collect themselves after the on-ice celebration that
went for naught. “It almost made us play harder.”
So, four hours and 51 minutes after the puck
dropped — that's an hour and 10 minutes after the
Eagles' dinner reservation — Ferriero ripped a low
shot that deflected off Switzer’s skate and over Regan’s
shoulder, causing party part deux.
“Regan is a great goalie,” Ferriero
said. “He won the Player of the Year, and he deserved
it. He played unbelievable all year. We knew that we weren’t
playing bad. We just needed to get a couple of bounces.
It was just being strong and hanging in there.”
GONE IN 29 SECONDS
3, Boston U. 1
Shattenkirk, C. Cohen
Downing, B. Irwin
Lenes, D. Strong
Joe Fallon, 59:49, 25 saves, 1GA
Brett Bennett, 58:59, 13 saves, 2 GA, 1 ENG
UVM 3/6; BU 6/12
Plays: UVM 0-6; BU 0-3
All it took was a 29-second span for Vermont
to seize control of a tight semifinal win over Boston University.
The Catamounts scored a pair of goals to erase an early
deficit and hang on for a 3-1 victory in front of a dreary-eyed
Dean Strong sprung Peter Lenes with a long
pass up the middle, and Lenes fought off BU defenseman Matt
Gilroy and buried a tough backhander past goalie Brett Bennett
to tie the score 13:48 into the second. Just 29 seconds
later, Vermont had three chances in front of the BU net,
and Colin Vock collected the puck in the slot and pounded
the back of the net with a hard wrister that gave Vermont
a 2-1 lead.
“It was great,” Lenes said. “We
weren’t at all worried that we weren’t going
to score. It was just a matter of when, and it came quickly.
We did a good job from there.”
Despite being outshot 26-16 — and failing
to record a single shot on goal during their seven power
plays — the Catamounts shrugged off a sloppy BU team
that couldn’t generate many solid chances.
Goalie Joe Fallon made 25 saves, but his defense
made sure most of those were care-free. And he was very
appreciative of his team’s 29-second spurt.
“I just thought that’s all we
needed,” said Fallon, who took a nap during the long
wait prior to the game while his teammates told jokes and
danced around the locker room. “And I was going to
shut the door.”
SEEN AN HEARD AT TD BANKNORTH GARDEN
• A young BC fan had a poster that read,
“Nice Example of Sporting News” while highlighting
“NESN” to get some face time on television.
OK, we’re all about kids trying to get on TV, but
that’s the best you could do?
• If you’re wondering, Ricardo’s
stayed open to accommodate BC’s dining needs.
• New Hampshire and Boston College combined
for 116 shots on goal, which set a Hockey East semifinal
• Kevin Regan made a career-high and
semifinal-record 62 saves. Of the five goals he allowed,
three were on deflections and two were batted out of mid-air.
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Kevin Regan, New Hampshire
He was solid despite the loss. There probably
isn’t a goalie on the planet who could have
done anything about the goals he gave up, and UNH
coach Richard Umile said it was his defense who let
Regan hang out to dry.
2. Peter Lenes, Vermont
Scored the equalizer in the second period and set
up the empty-netter late. His goal gave the Catamounts
enough jump to grab the game-winner.
Gerbe, Boston College
Gerbe didn’t notch a single point against UNH
in the regular season, but he was everywhere in the
semifinal. He recorded three assists and put an astronomical
15 shots on net.
• The rink wasn’t Beanpot-consolation
empty, but the crowd for the first game certainly took its
time showing up. And we’re still trying to find the
student sections. … OK, eventually the BC, BU, and
UVM sections filled up, but the UNH faithful weren’t
really heard from until the final five minutes of regulation
of the first game.
• By the end of the night, however,
the Garden crowd was Beanpot-consolation material.
• There’s a certain INCH editor
who would be very unhappy with the amount of attention that
was paid to basketball on the media floor televisions, especially
the end of the San Diego-UConn game.
• If Boston College coach Jerry York
is looking to add to his coaching staff, there were many
candidates sitting near the BC band who seemed to have all
• UNH senior assistant captain Mike
Radja was very, very lucky not to get thrown out after sending
a BC player into the boards from behind after a whistle
with 7:04 remaining in the third period. Radja did get a
two-minute charging penalty, though.
• The Eagles’ last three games
at the TD Banknorth Garden have gone to overtime, but they’ve
won them all, leading BC coach Jerry York to say, “I
hope they don’t change the name of the bank.”
The building, of course, was once called the FleetCenter.
• The second game started at 10:39 p.m.,
two and a half hours after the puck was scheduled to drop.
It ended at 1 a.m. on the dot.
• UNH was held scoreless in three straight
20-minute periods — the third period and first two
overtimes — for the first time all season.
• The Providence Friar scored during
the mascot game in the second intermission of Game 2, which
nearly equaled the number Providence scored as a team during
the Hockey East postseason.
• UNH junior forward Greg Collins only
had one assist to show for his effort, but he played a tremendous
• The clock inside the Garden that shows
the actual time of day (as opposed to time left in the period)
resets to zero at midnight. For instance, at 12:30, the
clock reads “0:30,” like military time.
• With the loss, BU is almost assured
missing the NCAA tournament. When asked about some of his
team’s missed chances and what-ifs from earlier this
season, Jack Parker responded, “If it was raining
in here, I’d be wet.” Parker later added, “There’s
an old adage. You get what you deserve.”
• One last stick salute for BU senior
captain Pete MacArthur, who played his final game Friday
and was trying to hold back tears during the postgame press
PLUSSES AND MINUSES
Montreal Canadiens are about as well-liked in Boston as
the Yankees. So when the TD Banknorth Garden video boards
flashed a shot of some Habs fans in attendance during the
third period of the first game, they were heartily booed.
Garden garage closes at 1 a.m., and that’s a pretty
strict deadline based on past experiences here. Fearing
another overtime game — or a game that didn’t
finish in record time — yours truly decided in between
games to leave the garage and attempt to find a meter. Anyone
who has tried to park in this area, especially on a Friday
night, knows that isn’t too easy. But the first metered
spot I encountered was wide open, directly across the street.
message showed up at 10:53 p.m. on the Garden video boards
saying the last trains from North Station leave at 12:30
a.m., drawing a round of boos from the crowd. This came
with less than 12 minutes to play in the first period of
the second game, meaning there was virtually no chance for
anyone in attendance to stay the entirety of the game if
they were relying on public transportation. The Green Line
goes directly to the campus of Boston University, and a
cab fare would instead cost about $12-15. Late games here
in the past have typically meant later trains, but that
apparently wasn’t the case Friday night.
to that, there was an announcement made during the first
intermission of the second game that BU would run a shuttle
service back to campus following the game. A few minutes
later, an official was overheard talking on his cell phone
about the poor logistics of that decision, claiming there
wasn’t enough real estate around the Garden to park
these buses (which is true) and there would now be a need
to alert the Boston police of the new traffic implications.
He ended the call by saying, “This could get messy,”
and then hung up. This gets a plus for BU’s decision
to accommodate its students and the entertainment I got
by listening to that conversation.
announced attendance was 12,522, about 5,000 less than a
sellout. That’s pathetic. And where were the UNH fans?
Vermont, in its third season in Hockey East,
will try to claim its first league title, while the Eagles
will try to win their eighth, which would extend their league
record. BC put a whipping on Vermont in early January, beating
the Catamounts by 4-1 and 5-2 scores at Conte Forum. The
teams tied, 3-3, in their meeting at the Gut in October.
UNH may not be such a lock for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA
tournament, especially if BC wins the title on Saturday.
BU, for all intents and purposes, is done.