Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend In Review: Going Gardening

Player of the Week
Kieran Millan
Millan made 150 saves in three
games, including 68 in game
three alone a new Hockey
East Tournament record for saves
 in a game. Millan is only eight
stops away from breaking UNH
goal Kevin Regan's tournament
record of 157 saves. Regan set
the record in the 2007 tournament.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Sunday night, BU punched their ticket to the Hockey East Semifinals with a 5-4 double overtime, come from behind win over UNH in Game Three of the Quarterfinals. The weekend had many highs and lows, the Alex Chiasson game winning goal marking the pinnacle of excitement.

Lets start with Friday's game. After going up 1-0, BU fell behind 2-1 going into the second period. Kevin Gilroy knotted the game on a breakaway, midway through the period and the game would not see another goal scored for almost two whole periods. UNH's Grayson Downing scored a flukey goal two minutes into the second overtime.

For what it's worth, BU was lucky to even make it to overtime. They were badly outplayed and all it came down to was a lucky break for the Wildcats to scrape out a much deserved victory.

At this point in the series, people could have counted BU out. They not only lost the first game and UNH had a one game lead in the best of three series, but they lost it double overtime. That's rather heartbreaking if you ask me, not to mention the second game started at 4:00 the next day.

Odds were heavily against the Terriers, but what's new? The entire season this team has been proving people wrong. I really thought UNH would come out flying in Game Two. To my surprise, they didn't and BU took a 1-0 lead on Chris Connolly's 9th goal of the year. After the goal, UNH again took the play to BU and finally tied the game halfway through the second. Sahir Gill gave the Terriers a 2-1 lead on a diving play in which he swatted the puck past Casey DeSmith while he was falling.

UNH again tied it, this time in the third period. 50 seconds after UNH tied the game, Matt Nieto scored on a pure snipe from the top of the circle. Ryan Santana added another goal for BU in the third and BU forced game three.

Again, BU took a 1-0 lead in Game Three. Evan Rodrigues scored on sweet drive to the net before tucking the puck behind DeSmith. From there, UNH would score four straight goals, including a shorthanded and a power play goal. The shorthanded goal was the fourth goal and it came with 16:36 to go in the second. This was the lowest point of the weekend. After the goal, Agganis was dead (not that it had any life in it to begin with because of a crowd of just 3,025) and Parker took a time out.

The coaching tactic really paid off and prior to the period ending, Garrett Noonan had scored two goals to cut the lead to 4-3. 30 seconds into the third, Noonan had a hand in the tying goal. His pass found Wade Megan in the high slot and Megan's wrist shot found twine to knot the game at 4-4.

After a scoreless first overtime, BU completed it's monumental comeback in double overtime, as Alex Chiasson scored on a rebound off a Wade Megan shot. Once again, the team could have just bagged it after the fourth UNH goal. But no, they kept fighting and it clearly paid off.

At The Polls
BU moved up one place from sixth to fifth in the USCHO poll. Boston College was the unanimous number one for the second week in a row. Minnesota Duluth, Michigan, Minnesota and BU rounded out the top five.

In the PairWise, like the weekend itself, BU was up and down. After Friday's loss, they moved from 6th to eighth. The win Saturday moved BU into a tie for 7th and the team is currently stationed in a tie for fourth with Miami.

Around Hockey East
Thursday: Seventh seeded Providence topped number two Lowell 5-3 at Tsongas Center.

Friday: Forth seeded Maine dropped fifth seeded Merrimack 2-1 at Alfond Arena in Orono... Lowell forced Game Three in their series with Providence, winning 3-2 in overtime... Number one seeded Boston College snuck by eight seeded UMass 2-1 at home... Sixth seeded New Hampshire upended third seeded Boston University 3-2 in double overtime.

Saturday: Merrimack got past Maine in Game Two 5-2, to force a decisive Game Three... Boston College completed the sweep of UMass with 3-2 win to punch their ticket to the Garden... BU stayed alive with a 4-2 win over UNH.

Sunday: Providence shocked everyone (myself included) with 1-0 shutout of Lowell in the third game... Maine held off Merrimack and advanced to the Garden with a 2-1 win... BU came back and defeated New Hampshire 5-4 in double overtime.

The Match Ups
1. Boston College vs 7. Providence (5:00pm)
3. Boston University vs 4. Maine (8:00pm)

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