Sunday, March 6, 2016

BU Knocks Out UMass, Faces Lowell Next Week

Tonight was a sea-saw battle that saw both teams control the pace of play at different times. UMass played far better than expected and had an answer for every Terrier goal except the last one.
Robbie Bailargeon and Jake Horton get into a shoving match
after the whistle in the first period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson put BU ahead 5-4 on his second goal of the night midway through the third. Danny O'Regan worked the puck up to the point, where Charlie McAvoy threw it back into the mixer. JFK picked up the lose puck and patiently moved out of the slot to increase his angle. Finally, he beat UMass goalie Nic Renyard, who was well out of position by then to give BU a lead they would not relinquish.

That wasn't that case for most of the night. It seamed as if UMass had a quick response for every goal BU scored. BU never had more than a one goal lead and UMass never was ahead at any point.

"Im proud of our guys to find a way to win tonight", said Coach Quinn about tonight's game. "It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. A lot of that had to do with how hard and how well UMass played. Some of it had to do with the way we played: taking penalties, ten minute misconducts. It was a reflection to our mental commitment to the weekend, but when we needed to, we played hard and we played smart and did enough to win."  

JFK kicked the scoring off just under six minutes into the game. He was able to bat home a deflected Danny O'Regan pass out of mid-air to Renyad's left. Jordan Greenway also had an assist on the play, as he moved the puck to O'Regan down low.

UMass responded less than three minutes later. Denis Kravchenko swatted home his 12th goal of the year to Sean Maguire's right side to tie the game 1-1.

The rest of the first period saw a parade of players head to the box. JFK and his  Sweden teammate from the World Juniors, William Lagesson, got into a bit of a scrap. Both were sent to the box. Later, Ahti Oksanen picked up a ten minute misconduct after a two minute rouging call. The game was full of little confrontations and outside of those calls, nothing else was penalized.

BU cashed in on the power play a little over five minutes into the second stanza. Matt Grzelcyk found Danny O'Regan with a cross box feed. O'Regan was able to get good wood on a onetimer and blasted his 15th goal of the year past Renyard's blocker side.

Minutes later, Shane Walsh once again tied the game on his 18th goal of the season. Maguire had a bit of an issue on the play, as his stick somehow got stuck in his leg pad or pants.

Less than a minute and a half later, Matt Grzelcyk put BU back on top. He wristed one through a crowd from the left point. The puck deflected off a UMass player or Renyard's stick (it was hard to tell) and into the net.

UMass again had an answer, this time on the power play. Sean Maguire had made a series of strong saves before Kurt Keats was able to beat him short side.

The game wasn't tied for long, however. From out of corner and along the end boards, Jordan Greenway own a puck battle and was able to shovel a one handed centering pass to Danny O'Regan. O'Regan wasted little time as he banged in his second of the game right past Renyard. The puck was in the back of the net before the goalie knew what happened. Charlie McAvoy also had an assist on the play. The goal came just 55 seconds after the Keats goal.

UMass didn't let their season end without a fight. Less than four minutes into the third, Austin Plevy potted a rebound goal glove side on Maguire to make it 4-4.

UMass battled the entire series. They played much stronger than a lot of people thought and made this series much closer than anticipated.

That being said, BU will indeed play lowell next weekend in their first road Quarterfinal series since 2004.

Tonight, Danny O'Regan became just the 18th Terrier to hit the 150 career point plateau.

With the win, BU finished 14-2-2 at home this season. That is good for the best home record in Aggains Area history.

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