Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hockey East Semis: BU-BC

From The Vault
Garrett Noonan and a BC
player tangle in BU's
4-2 win earlier this year.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
For the first time since early December BU and BC will square off tomorrow night at TD Garden. There are a number of story lines behind this game. For one, the sheer fact that BU and BC are playing at the Garden, but more than that is BU needs to win to keep it's season alive. That being said, if BU loses (baring a miracle) Jack Parker's legendary 40 year stint as head coach at BU will come to an end. I say baring a miracle because there is maybe, just maybe a chance that BU gets into the NCAA tournament with a ton of help. Although I've yet to figure out a way that can happen without BU at least beating BC. 

Lets start with the game. Boston College made quick work of seventh seeded Vermont last weekend, ousting the Catamounts in two games with wins of 4-2 and 4-1. Recently named player of the year John Gaudreau posted three points in the series with two goals and an assist. Parker Milner made 40 saves over the course of the weekend.

A lot has changed since these two last met. For one, BU has lost four players, who all played in the three prior games this season. Wes Myron left for the ECHL, Yasin Cisse went to the Q over holiday break, Alexx Privitera was suspended for two manny game misconducts by the team, and Matt O'Connor suffered a collapsed lung. O'Connor played all three games in net for the Terriers, so Sean Maguire will get his first BU-BC experience in the biggest game of the year, Friday night.

I left Garrett Noonan off this list because he is back. It was announced today that the junior defenseman will return from his separated shoulder and suite up to play the Eagles Friday night.

Boston College won the regular season series two games to one, winning the first game at Agganis 4-2 and the last game at Conte 5-2. BU won the middle game at home by a score of 4-2. 

The last time BU and BC met in the Hockey East playoffs was 2009. BC lead that game 1-0 well into the third, before BU erupted for three goals in 48 seconds. Those 48 seconds will be something that I never forget. I can still see Zach Cohen's shot from basically on the goal line slipping though John Muse's pads to tie the game. The way the BU faithful had not even sat down before Brain Strait floated a shot from the point into the back of the net was really something special. What I distinctly remember after the second goal was saying to myself "Wow that it would be really be cool if they scored again!". Before that thought left my head, Colin Wilson broke out of the corner and torched Muse far side to put BU up 3-1. The whole five minutes (real time) that it took for the three goals to find the twine was just one of many specific events that I probably remember too well from that year.

BU and BC also met in the 2003 Hockey East Semis. This is the first trip to the Garden I actually can remember (I'm told I was at the '97 Hockey East Championship game vs UNH, but I was one and a half when that took place). Anyway, the 2003 game saw Justin Maiser notch a hat trick in a 6-5 double overtime win for the Terriers. Maiser scored the game tying goal with less than five minutes left and then scored five minutes even into the second overtime to win that game. What I remember from the game: I forced my dad to leave early because I had a hockey game the next morning. Sorry Dad. 

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