Hockey East Semifinals
New Hampshire has found its game in the postseason
Hampshire 5, Boston University 2
Collins, T. Teplitsky
Collins, T. Teplitsky
Ewing, K. Schaeffer
Kevin Regan, 60:00, 19 saves, 2 GA
John Curry, 58:19, 22 saves, 5 GA
NH 6/12; BU 11/30
Plays: NH 3-10; BU 2-6
After an 0-2-2 finish to the regular season that saw them slip
from first place to third in Hockey East, New Hampshire had every
reason to enter the playoffs with doubts.
coach Dick Umile instilled in his team the idea that this was
a new season, a concept they bought as if it were $0.99 per gallon
showed their newfound playoff form Friday, clicking from the start
and dominating Boston University in a 5-2 victory. Three goals
in a 2:46 span of the second period showed UNH at its tenacious,
skillful best. It was an extension of their dominant first-round
win over Northeastern, 6-1 and 4-0, when they simply overmatched
is a whole other season," Umile said. "We're playing
with an awful lot of confidence and didn't give them much of an
opportunity to come back on us. I thought we controlled the pace
of the game from start to finish, and that's what I was really
put up too much of a fight – "It's beyond belief how
poorly we played," said head coach Jack Parker – but
the Granite Staters made things difficult for the Terriers by
dictating the pace from the start.
wanted to get out and get that first one, get it rolling,"
said Callander, who put home a Matt Fornataro rebound for the
personifies UNH at its playoff best. He's attentive enough defensively
to earn Hockey East's Best Defensive Forward award, yet boasts
terrific feet and stickwork worthy of highlight reels. He had
the first and third UNH goals and was a presence everywhere on
pretty special when you can be the best defensive player and you
look at his point totals (52 after tonight)," Umile said.
"He's one of the most complete players in the league, and
he's been tremendous for us all season."
in the Wildcats' "new season," which continues Saturday
night against BC.
College 2, Maine 1 2OT
Gannon, J. Rooney
O'Hanley, D. Bertram
Jimmy Howard, 89:09, 36 saves, 2 GA
Cory Schneider, 89:09, 39 saves, 1 GA
ME 3/6; BC 6/12
Plays: ME 0-6; BC 1-3
kept turning up in nearly every key moment of Boston College's
2-1 double-overtime win over Maine, like a hockey-playing bad
penny or a 6-foot-7 Forrest Gump.
On the good
side, Boyle scored BC's first goal with a brilliant, patient wrist
shot, and helped set up the winner with some good work down low.
He also drew a penalty in the first overtime, created several
other chances and helped slow Maine's first line with solid defensive
He was also
there for some cover-your-eyes moments, like his errant pass that
went for icing and set up a glorious Maine chance with less than
eight seconds remaining in regulation and his holding penalty
that evened things up after the penalty he drew in overtime.
the game it was Boyle's overall effort that left a lasting impression
on his coach, as he rebounded from any setbacks and was one of
BC's best players in the overtimes.
was," York agreed. "He's improving by the week. He's
just getting smarter about how to play the game, and how to use
his physical strength to protect the puck."
was a perfect example of a player using experience and intelligence.
Fielding a nice cross-ice pass from Pat Gannon near the faceoff
circle to Jimmy Howard's left, he recognized that he had time,
waited, and wristed the puck past Howard.
made a real experienced move with the puck, he held it a bit and
snapped it past Howard," York said. "That was a real
good goal from our perspective. Brian hadn't had that in his game,
but now he's getting a little more patient, and he can score more
goals with that patience."
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Cory Schneider, Boston College
freshman played with the poise and confidence of a senior,
especially in the first period when Maine dominated the
Preston Callander, New Hampshire
Stood out as the very best among a UNH team that
is firing on all cylinders.
Andrew Alberts, Boston College
Excellent, as always, defensively, he also chipped
in the goal that finally ended the marathon first game.
And he was honest enough afterwards to admit that he didn't
think he could beat Jimmy Howard again from that spot.
AND HEARD AT THE FLEET
teams in the early game were missing key regulars, with Patrick
Eaves (shoulder/lung bruise) and Peter Harrold (mononucleosis)
out for BC and Rob Bellamy (broken fingers) out for Maine.
who have faced injuries all year on defense, adapted well to the
loss of Harrold, with freshman Mike Brennan becoming Jerry York's
No. 2 defenseman. Whitehead looked to a defenseman to fill Bellamy's
spot on what had been an all-freshman line, moving Tom Zabkowicz
alongside Keenan Hopson and Billy Ryan.
fan in an Alaska-Fairbanks sweater and Nanooks hockey hat was
spotted in Loge 14, but we presume his heart was in Detroit.
deciding goal of the first game very nearly came on an empty net.
With a delayed penalty coming on BC's Brian Boyle, Maine played
the puck dangerously close to the net vacated by Jimmy Howard.
Defenseman Mike Lundin swept it away for the goal line only to
have Dan Bertram swat it in the net, but the play was whistled
once he touched the puck. A brief video review confirmed that
it was not a goal.
best chance of the third period came with less than two seconds
to play. The Black Bears, always one of the nation's best teams
on faceoffs, got Josh Soares to slip behind two Eagle defenders
off an offensive-zone draw. The puck slipped to him and he had
two chances, but Cory Schnieder stopped them both.
was very nearly Flutie to Phelan when Ryan Shannon sprung Chris
Collins on a breakaway in the final minute of the first overtime
with a nice sand wedge, but Jimmy Howard got Collins' shot with
the pad. It was his second save on a Collins breakaway in the
the Boston College-Maine game stretched into the second overtime
thanks to the fantastic goaltending of Cory Schneider and Jimmy
Howard, it was very easy to picture those two as a future U.S.
Olympic goaltending tandem. British Columbia in 2010, perhaps?
celebrated his 19th birthday with the win Friday.
Umile found an unlikely spot to watch the Boston College-Maine
overtime, peering out from the tunnel behind the Black Bear bench.
University goaltender John Curry had his 182:23 shutout streak
end on Preston Callander's first goal. The streak is a Hockey
East Tournament record and the second-best scoreless streak in
Skating Friar is more than just a great logo. In the second intermission
of the second game, the nine Hockey East mascots took the ice,
and the Providence mascot was the clear-cut first star. The five
schools who didn't reach the semifinals beat the four who did,
East coaches, both participating and those on the sidelines, are
unanimous and enthusiastic in their support for former Northeastern
coach Bruce Crowder.
crowd of 17,565 marked the third straight year that the Hockey
East semifinals sold out.
all wasn't good news for New Hampshire associate coach Scott Borek
on Friday; his former team, New England College, lost in the Division
III Frozen Four to Middlebury. Borek was the head coach at NEC
for one year between his stops at Lake Superior State and UNH.
FleetCenter isn't afraid to have a little fun with its identity
crisis. On the front of the building is a giant billboard shaped
like a sticker, reading "Hello, My Name is TD Banknorth Garden."
to see the Hockey East logo at center ice, not even sharing billing
with the spoked B like the Beanpot logo did last month.
College women's hockey defenseman Sarah Carlson did a beautiful
job with the national anthem before the first game. Carlson, a
senior from Alaska, isn't just another pretty voice. She's also
one of five finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. If all
goes well, she could be following the Eagles to Columbus. let
us be the first to recommend her to the NCAA as an anthem singer.
College, already without two regulars, lost another key player
to injury when Stephen Gionta suffered what is apparently a broken
clavicle in the second period. He will not play Saturday and is
likely lost for the season.
one-piece sticks continue to be a blight on the game. When Chris
Bourque's twig snapped on a BU power play in the second period,
it led directly to UNH's 2-on-1 goal that made it 3-0. As the
Wildcats celebrated, there were two broken sticks littering the
The two big
rivalry possibilities we had for a championship game – BC
vs. BU or UNH vs. Maine – didn't materialize, but Saturday's
game should still be a terrific matchup. It's just the second
time the two schools have met in the Hockey East championship
game; BC won the first meeting, in 1999, 5-4 in overtime.
The game will
feature a New Hampshire team that's clicking offensively against
a BC team playing excellent defense. Jerry York wouldn't tip his
hand on who will start in net tomorrow, but it appears it will
be a matchup of freshman goalies: Kevin Regan vs. Cory Schneider.
BU should both advance to the NCAA Tournament, with BU hosting
the Worcester regional. Maine's location, and seed, are a bit