March 21, 2008
Hockey East Semifinals
Boston College (Re)Serves Notice, Beats UNH

By Jeff Howe

Boston College 5,
New Hampshire 4 (3 ot)
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-NH Bobby Butler (13) PP
5:17 J. vanRiemsdyk
2-NH Jamie Fritsch (4) EA
15:16 M. Radja, Matt Fornataro

Second Period

1-BC Ben Smith (20) PP
1:34 N. Gerbe, A. Aiello
3-NH Bobby Butler (14) EV
9:27 J. vanRiemsdyk, N. Krates
4-NH Thomas Fortney (2) SH
12:23 G. Collins
2-BC Joe Whitney (8) PP
13:42 B. Ferriero, N. Gerbe
3-BC Brian Gibbons (12) EV
16:37 B. Smith, N. Gerbe
Third Period
4-BC Dan Bertram (9) EV
4:53 M. Price, P. Gannon
First Overtime
No scoring
Second Overtime
No scoring
Third Overtime
5-BC Benn Ferriero (16) PP
0:43 J. Whitney, D. Bertram
BC: John Muse, 100:43, 54 saves, 4 GA
NH: Kevin Regan, 100:42, 62 saves, 5 GA
Penalties: BC 4/8; NH 7/14
Power 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 instead.

Fair trade.

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 we played.”

“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.”


Vermont 3, Boston U. 1
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-BU Chris Higgins (14) EV
10:17 K. Shattenkirk, C. Cohen

Second Period

1-UVM Peter Lenes (10) EV
13:48 D. Strong
2-UVM Colin Vock (9) EV
14:17 J. Downing, B. Irwin
Third Period
3-UVM Corey Carlson (8) EN
19:20 P. Lenes, D. Strong
UVM: Joe Fallon, 59:49, 25 saves, 1GA
BU: Brett Bennett, 58:59, 13 saves, 2 GA, 1 ENG
Penalties: UVM 3/6; BU 6/12
Power Plays: UVM 0-6; BU 0-3
Attendance: 12,522

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 Garden crowd.

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.”


• 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 record.

• 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

3. 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.

1. Nathan 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 the answers.

• 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 all-around game.

• 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 conference.


The 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.

The 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.

A 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.

Adding 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.

The 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.