Northeast Regional | First Round
Orange Line, Cory Schneider lead to another
Betts, J. Krischuck
Sullivan, P. MacArthur
Lawrence, B. Yip
Laliberte, D. Van der Gulik
Charleston, J.P. Platisha
Lawrence, B. Yip
Ewing, P. MacArthur
Roche, B. Yip
Morrow, J. Redlihs
Sullivan, R. Weston
Jerad Kaufmann, 53:13, 28 saves, 9 GA; Eric Aarnio,
6:47, 1 save, 0 GA
John Curry, 53:13, 17 saves, 2 GA; Stephan Siwiec, 6:47,
3 saves, 0 GA
BU 3/6; NO 7/25
Plays: BU 4-7; NO 1-2
WORCESTER, Mass. – Before last Saturday’s
Hockey East championship game, Boston University bench boss
Jack Parker pulled his freshman line aside, scolded them
for their recent play and told them to just start having
a little bit of fun.
A few hours and a Jason Lawrence-to-Chris
Higgins-to-Brandon Yip overtime connection later, and the
three freshmen kicked off a wild celebration at the Garden
that was – as Parker ordered – fun.
And in the first round of the NCAA Tournament
on Friday evening, the freshmen – known as BU’s
Orange Line – kept the train rolling behind Higgins’
record-setting hat trick and five combined assists from
his third-line mates to help the Terriers dispose of Nebraska-Omaha
9-2 at the DCU Center.
Higgins highlighted a second period that saw
Boston University tally a six-pack of goals when he recorded
his trifecta in a span of just 5:31, the fastest hat trick
scored by anyone in regional play and the fourth quickest
trick ever turned in the NCAA Tournament. His third goal
put BU ahead 6-2.
“I thought a little bit about it [on
the bench] and was like, ‘Wow, this is like a dream,’”
Higgins said. “It was a great feeling just to help
the team get out to a pretty comfortable lead, and we kept
playing hard so it was a pretty good feeling.”
The Orange Line was instrumental in BU’s
Beanpot championship back in February but cooled off considerably
since then, causing Parker to take the group aside so he
could shed some light on their shadowy play.
“He told us that we were just trying
to be a little too cute with the puck and we were trying
to make the perfect play,” Higgins said. “He
said just to settle down out there, have some fun and play
how we know how to play.”
It has obviously worked. On the heels of Yip’s
game-winning goal and SportsCenter cameo, the Hockey East
Rookie of the Year picked up three assists while Lawrence
piled up a pair for the line’s eight-point performance.
“They really helped out in the Beanpot,”
said junior defenseman Sean Sullivan, who had three assists.
“We’ve just realized that these guys really
know how to play hockey when they’re out there. They
are poised with the puck. They’re out there controlling
and playing great hockey.”
“It’s been such a fun season all
around,” Higgins said. “We’re just having
such a fun time out there that it really helps us play with
a lot of poise out there. That’s what it’s all
College 5, Miami 0
Collins, P. Harrold
Boyle, B. Motherwell
Cory Schneider, 60:00, 33 saves, 0 GA
Charlie Effinger, 53:21, 26 saves, 3 GA
BC 12/24; MIA 10/20
Plays: BC 2-6; MIA 0-8
SCHNEIDER STANDS ON HIS HEAD AGAIN
Boston College sang a familiar song on Friday
night. The Eagles used a 33-save performance from Cory Schneider,
who racked up his seventh shutout of the season, and BC
swiped aside Miami 5-0 in the second game of the Northeast
Schneider was also able to exercise the demon’s
that haunted him during his last visit to the DCU Center,
when North Dakota whacked BC around 6-3 on March 26 of last
year to earn a trip to the Frozen Four.
“Last year we came in with a very good
team,” Schneider said. “We had some breakdowns,
and I don’t think I was at my best. That was a year
ago, and I’m a year older and a year more mature.
I didn’t really think about [last year]. It’s
just a building and just a rink. I was more worried about
While Schneider was busy worrying about Miami,
though, the RedHawks were worrying about how they were going
to break through the brick wall in net, the man who has
fast grown into the immovable object.
“Any time you don’t score any
goals, you have to give the goalie a little bit of credit,”
Miami’s leading lamplighter Ryan Jones said. “He
took a lot of shots in the chest, but he is a fantastic
goalie. He covered up the net, and he moves very well laterally.
We were trying to go backdoor a couple times, and he was
right there. He is a fantastic goalie.”
Schneider has now gotten himself back on the
right track after slumping for a bit towards the end of
the regular season, and he has allowed two or less goals
in five straight games.
“We had a little lull there in February
when I wasn’t on top of my game, but it’s great
to be peaking right at playoff time,” Schneider said.
“That’s obviously the best time to do it. I
struggled a little bit in the NCAA’s last year so
it’s nice to play the way I know I can.”
And with the win now, the Eagles have earned
themselves their much-awaited rematch with the cross-town
Terriers, who have beaten them four times in a row, stolen
away the regular season crown, come away victorious in the
Beanpot and then again last week in the Hockey East championship
“You play for those [trophies] during
the season,” Schneider said. “But this is another
season right now, and it’s an entirely different season.
I’m just excited to get another crack at them, and
hopefully we can move on.”
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
Benn Ferriero, Boston College
freshman came up big in his first career NCAA Tournament
game, scoring each of BC’s first two goals in
just 2:40 to break open what was a tightly contested
Chris Higgins, Boston University
It’s starting to seem like BU is breaking
postseason records on a regular basis, and this time
it was Higgins turn, as he was the sparkplug to the
Terriers’ electric second period.
Cory Schneider, Boston College
On the same night the BC men’s basketball
team was dismissed from the NCAA Tournament because
of a goaltending call, Schneider made sure the hockey
program kept moving in the right direction with some
goaltending in a little more appropriate sense of
SEEN AND HEARD AT THE DCU CENTER
• It took the Mavericks nine years to
pave their way into the NCAA Tournament, but it only took
them 3:32 to put a dent on the scoreboard. Kaleb Betts took
a big one-timer from beyond the right circle that was deflected
by Scott Parse before Bill Thomas made good with the rebound.
• The BU band played the national anthem
before the first semifinal of the night, but Pete MacArthur
heard the loudest bell of the evening 11:40 into the opening
period when he was blitzed at center ice by UNO’s
• UNO was mounting a five-on-five attack
in name only around the 18-minute mark of the first period,
as BU was trying to play defense while Brian McGuirk and
Tom Morrow were skating stickless. The unique measure of
defense worked, and the Terriers fetched their sticks as
soon as referee John Campion blew his whistle.
• INCH can’t confirm whether
or not the folks in Omaha are fans of Nicholas Cage, but
we can tell you that the Mavericks’ chances to move
into the regional championship were “Gone in 67 Seconds”.
BU jumped out to a 3-1 lead with a Dan Spang goal at 7:52
of the middle frame, which was answered 14 seconds later
when Tomas Klempa cut things down to 3-2. Twenty-two seconds
after that, Chris Higgins lit the lamp, and Bryan Ewing
joined in on the fun 21 ticks later. So 67 seconds and dozens
of new light bulbs later, the score went from 2-1 Terriers
to 5-2, closer resembling a Dallas Mavericks basketball
game than a UNO Mavericks hockey contest.
• After BU put home its eighth goal
of the night, the BU students were chanting to Jerad Kaufmann,
“Worse than Regan! Worse than Regan!” This was
obviously in reference to UNH goalie Kevin Regan, who allowed
seven goals before being yanked for Jeff Pietrasiak in the
Terriers’ 9-2 Hockey East Semifinal win over the Wildcats.
Once BU hit the nine-goal mark for the second straight Friday,
Eric Aarnio was called out of the UNO bullpen only to hear
“Pietrasiak, you suck!”
• Boston College forward Dan Bertram
picked up a loose puck along the right boards and was able
to skate into the Miami zone unabated because RedHawk defenseman
Alec Martinez tripped over a lost stick at center ice. Bertram
made a couple nice moves before shifting to the backhand
and squeaking his shot through the wickets of Charlie Effeinger.
“I think I’ve seen that once before,”
Miami coach Rico Blasi said. “It’s kind of funny.”
• One didn’t need to look at
the scoreboard to see that the Eagles were holding a 3-0
third-period lead. Rather, it was apparent when looking
at the two benches, which are side by side at the DCU Center.
For much of the final frame, the BC players were leaning
up and over the boards in support of their teammates while
the RedHawks were sullen in their seats.
• When the DCU Center scoreboard flashed
Holy Cross’ overtime win over Minnesota, all 7,663
in attendance cheered in unison. The Crusaders, if you didn’t
know, are from Worcester.
PLUSSES AND MINUSES
BU student section let UNO goalie Jerad Kaufmann know how
much they didn’t like him throughout a good portion
of the game, but after the Terriers knocked home their seventh
goal of the evening, the BU faithful began to welcome him
as one of their own, chanting, “We love Kaufmann!
We love Kaufmann!”
just a few miles west of Boston, the DCU Center in Worcester
was supposed to provide an unfair comfort level for both
BU and BC in the opening round of the Northeast Regional,
but since just a handful of fans made the brief journey,
the “home-ice” feel was nowhere to be found.
play-by-play radio voice was overheard harping on the snub
the RedHawks got when the tournament seedings came out,
complaining over every penalty Miami was whistled for, barking
over the allowance of Boston College’s first goal
and then said the Eagles were winning by playing just “mediocre
hockey” after the second period – which was
one of the better periods BC has played in awhile. There
is still no word as to whether or not the voice was spotted
watching the actual game.
For the 233rd time, Boston University will
meet Boston College on the ice. However, this will only
be the second time that two of college hockey’s greatest
rivals have met in the NCAA Tournament. BU defeated BC 5-3
in the 1978 NCAA Championship game. The Terriers hold a
118-99-15 lead in the all-time series and a 4-1 edge this
season, including four victory handshakes in a row.
“I’ve thought about this since
I saw the pairings,” Jack Parker said about the possibility
of BU and BC meeting in the regional championship following
his team’s win. “Do we want to play BC a sixth
time? The answer is, ‘No.’ But do we really
want to play a team that can beat BC? Because BC is so good,
how good must Miami be if they’re going to beat BC?
It’s six to one, a half-dozen to the other.”
“Jack [Parker] and I were talking when
the pairings came out, and we said we just had to prepare
for two teams,” Jerry York said. “Breaking down
the tape, we had to look at Omaha’s tape, and we had
to look at Miami’s tape. BU was the exact same. …
Last year [in Worcester] we thought we might play BU before
North Dakota beat both of us and walked out of the region
here. At least this time we’re going to go head to
head for the chance to go to the Frozen Four.”