Saturday, February 25, 2017

BU Bucks Notre Dame, Shares League Title

For the first time in league history, there will be a three-way tie atop the Hockey East standings after BU topped Notre Dame 4-1 in the Irish’s final regular season game in Hockey East play.
Captain Doyle Somerby with the Hockey East regular
season trophy after the game.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
“To share the league championship, the regular season is a great accomplishment for our guys,” said Quinn. “To finish the season tied for the most points in the league says an awful lot about out leadership and our seniors. It’s been a lot of fun coaching this group so far and I’m really proud of the way we finished the season. The sky was falling if you listen to everyone in the hockey world and we have dusted ourselves off over the last two weekends. I think we got our game to another level.

It was again a slow start for the Terriers as Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead on Mike O’Leary’s second goal of the year. Jake Oettinger was able to stop the initial shot by Dawson Cook, but O’Leary was there to clean up the rebound, just squeezing it in behind the goaltender and have it bleed over the goal line.

ND had a slight edge in shots after one at 13-11, and midway through the second it again looked like Cal Peterson was going stand on his head.

BU finally broke through on their struggling power play midway through the second. Ryan Cloonan let a shot go and Keiffer Bellows picked up a loose puck and jammed it past Peterson down low. It was a power play goal and Bellows’ fifth point in his last five games.

With 3:30 left in the frame, John MacLoud unloaded a blast from the far point that beat Peterson up over his shoulder for just his second goal of the year. Ryan Cloonan worked the puck out the corner and was able to line MacLoud up for a one-timer right inside the blue line.

The Terriers continued to hold momentum going into the third and it led to Clayton Keller’s first of two on the night. Dante Fabbro wristed a shot from the near point and from the mid slot, Keller got a stick on the puck and tipped it past Peterson.

Clayton Keller celebrates after scoreing
his second goal of the game.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Keller later scored on a roof job from the bottom of the left circle to round out the scoring. It was his 19th of the year.

Jake Oettinger finished with 40 saves, 14 of which came in the third.

This is the 13th time BU has finished with at least a share the league title.

As the tie breakers all shake out, BU will be the second seed in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Lowell is one, BC three.

Unlike the night before, BU was able to finish on their opportunities and even cashed in on a power play rebound goal. Those were two issues after last night’s game. The Terriers also did a better job of getting pucks to the net and pucks through traffic.

“If you look at the goals, we got people to the net,” added Quinn. “I think we had a little bit more of an edge. We get to the net, but we are there because the coach tells us to go there, there's a difference between getting there and wanting to be there.”

“We got in his face,” said Doyle Somerby on the traffic in front of Cal Peterson. “There were a lot of scrums around the net, I don’t think he felt real comfortable in there. It always helps when you add some skill. It was a pretty good showing on the offensive side of things.”

All in all, it was much better effort from the team and BU is certainly on the right trajectory headed into the playoffs. BU could face anyone of the following: UNH, Merrimack, UConn or Maine

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