Tag Archives: NCAA Tournament
–Recaps & photos courtesy of SNHU & Wheaton Sports Information–
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Alex Powers (Brewster, Mass.) hurled 3.1 innings of scoreless relief and a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference as top-seeded Southern New Hampshire University earned its first-ever NCAA Division II East Region baseball championship with a 4-3 win over second-seeded Le Moyne College in Sunday afternoon’s championship game at Penmen Field. With the win, the Penmen improve to 42-13 and advance to the Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C. at the USA Baseball Training Complex, while the Dolphins, in their first season playing at the Division II level after reclassifying in baseball from Division I, see their season come to a close at 43-15-1.
SNHU will face Minnesota State-Mankato (48-10), the champions of the Central Region, in the first round of the eight-team double-elimination tournament on Saturday, May 26 at 5:00 pm.
Powers, who entered the game in the top of the sixth with a man on second and two out, did not allow a hit in his effort out of the bullpen and struck out five while issuing a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth to Paul Speicher. Speicher moved to second on a sac bunt by Matthew Ciraco and over to third on a groundout by Kyle Kalaska, but after a tough at-bat by Vincent Redmond in which he fouled off several pitches, Powers got Redmond to ground to short and end the ballgame.
Southern New Hampshire scraped what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth against Dolphin reliever Mark Kuzma, who came in after starter Ed Kohout worked the first five innings. Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) led off with a single to left, followed by Riley Palmer (Goffstown, N.H.), who reached on a throwing error on his sacrifice attempt. Bryan Toland (Wildwood, N.J.) moved the pair over with his sac bunt before Kuzma loaded the bases by hitting Brendan O’Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.). Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) then worked a walk to bring in Wollerman and knock Kuzma from the game. Kevin Carroll came in and got Le Moyne out of further trouble by inducing a 5-2-3 double play.
Le Moyne took a 1-0 lead in the first when Brett Botsford led off the game with a single and eventually scored on a sac fly to center by Ryan Mahoney. Southern New Hampshire tied the game in the second with two outs on a Palmer triple deep to the gap in right-center that brought home Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.), who led off the inning with a hot-shot single to short.
Botsford and Zach Wiley gave Le Moyne a 2-1 lead in the third with back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning, but the hosts tied the game in the fourth as Minucci and Greg Pezzuto (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) registered back-to-back singles to lead off. After moving over on a Wollerman sac bunt, Minucci scored on a wild pitch with Toland at the plate and two outs.
Le Moyne again reclaimed the lead in the fifth as a sac fly by Matt Marra brought in Botsford, who had singled with one out and moved to third on a single to right by Wiley. Southern New Hampshire loaded the bases with one out in the fifth when Minucci sent a ball to center that looked to have a chance for the second Penmen grand slam of the tournament, but was hauled in on the track to bring in Spatkowski.
Consensus East Region Pitcher of the Year Tim Flight (Portsmouth, R.I.), working on two days rest after throwing eight shutout innings in Thursday’s tournament opener against Dowling, started and went three innings, recording a pair of strikeouts and allowing five hits and two runs. Jon Massad (Shrewsbury, Mass.) went the next 2.2 innings and allowed two hits and one run with three strikeouts before giving way to Powers, who upped his record to 5-1.
Kohout, who started and tossed five innings in Friday’s 17-4 Dolphin rout of Dowling, scattered six hits and allowed three runs in his five innings while notching a pair of strikeouts. Kuzma was tagged with the loss, while Carroll, Le Moyne’s closer, did not allow a hit in his 2.2 innings out of the bullpen, striking out three.
Spatkowski was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, while Flight, O’Brien and Andy Lalli (Lakeville, Mass.) were all named to the All-Tournament Team along with Spatkowski. Speicher, Wiley and Pat Weise were named to the All-Tournament Team from Le Moyne.
MANSFIELD, Conn. — The Wheaton College baseball team advanced to the College World Series for the second time in program history and first since 2006 with a 2-0 win over Western New England University Sunday afternoon at the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball stadium.
Senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John’s Prep) and freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) drove in runs in the first inning while junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) – pitching on three days rest – tossed seven shutout innings to earn his program-record ninth win of the season. He allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out five and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament.
The Lyons (38-9) will face Webster University – which won the Central Region – on Friday, May 25 at 11 a.m. EST in Grand Chute, Wis. Earlier this season, the Lyons defeated the Gorloks 1-0 in Auburndale, Florida.
Western New England, who was making its seventh-consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, finishes its regional run at 38-13. After falling to the Lyons on Thursday evening, the Golden Bears won four-games in a 48-hour period and forced the if-necessary game on Saturday.
Notes: During their only other CWS appearance, the Lyons advanced to the championship game, where they lost to Marietta 7-2 in Grant Chute, Wisconsin … the Lyons are now 7-2 against teams from the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) this season: 4-1 against Western New England, 1-1 against Endicott, and 1-0 against Curry and Roger Williams … Haugh played in his 172nd career games, which moves him into a third-place in program history with Jake Yagjian (2005-08) … with a pair of hits on Sunday, Landers moved into No. 2 all-time at Wheaton with 242 career hits … De la Cruz now has 46 RBI this season, which is tied for No. 10 on Wheaton’s single-season list with Alan Beausoleil (2001) … Jensen moved into sixth-place in steals (48) in program history with a third inning steal of second base. His 152 putouts this season is No. 2 on Wheaton’s single-season list … Holbrook now has 16 career wins, which gives him sole possession of No. 8 all-time at Wheaton. He has thrown 75.2 innings this season, which is tied for the third-highest single-season mark in program history … Grant’s three saves this week pushed his season total to 12, which is No. 2 in program history.
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Following a 2011-12 season in which Boston College hockey captured its third national championship in five years, the team visited Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday.
Prior to yesterday, the Eagles were honored Monday by the Boston Red Sox and were honored during the Bruins’ first playoff game against Washington.
BC finished the 2011-12 season with a 33-10-1 record, including a 19-7-1 conference mark. The Eagles won the Ice Breaker Tournament title, the Beanpot championship, the Hockey East regular-season crown, the Hockey East Tournament title and the NCAA championship.
The national title marked the program’s third in five seasons, its fourth under York and its fifth overall. BC also captured NCAA championships in 1949, 2001, 2008 and 2010.
Boston College 4, Ferris State 1: Burn the Boats! Eagles Bring National Title Back to Boston, Hockey East
by Joshua Kummins
TAMPA — Jerry York and the Boston College are burning the boats yet again on Chestnut Hill this week as they captured the school’s fifth-ever NCAA title on Saturday night at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The road to victory was much more difficult for the Maroon and Gold as they earned a 4-1 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs for their 19th consecutive victory and capped an undefeated playoff run from the Worcester regional two weeks ago.
“You can’t buy one of these championships,” Eagles coach Jerry York said upon his fourth national title while guiding the alma mater. “You have to earn them. And this team definitely earned it.”
“We knew Ferris State was going to be outstanding. They might not have the name recognition, but we knew how good they were. We stayed patient through the first two periods…You can’t be measured until you win that last trophy. Now this team can take its place among the other championship teams.”
BC cruised from start to finish in Thursday’s game, defeating Minnesota by a 6-1 count in the semifinals. FSU defeated another Cinderella story in Union College to advance to the title game for the first time ever.
Junior netminder Parker Milner stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced, earning his 29th win in 34 decisions on the year. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native made six saves in the first and third periods, while stopping a whopping 16 in the middle stanza.
Milner was named to the All-Tournament Team and was also honored as the Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player.
Junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin was also named to the squad, along with senior forward Paul Carey and junior forward Steven Whitney.
At 3:02, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead thanks to Whitney’s 15th tally of the season — a true case of being at the right place at the right time.
Classmate Barry Almeida fought for puck possession between the circles, sliding it out to a wide-open Whitney for the backhanded rebound score.
Ferris State quickly tied the score at 1-1 just 2:01 later as junior Travis Ouellette pounced on the loose change in front of the goal, banging in a rebound past Milner off a rush by sophomore Andy Huff.
BC jumped back ahead at the 10:33 mark of the third as Carey parked himself in the slot in order to redirect Dumoulin’s shot from the left point into the back of the net for his third goal of the Frozen Four and 18th of the season.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second period and that was when both goaltenders came through when they were needed most.
In addition to Milner’s fine performance in the second, FSU senior Taylor Nelson made 14 of his 33 stops in the middle frame. The Regina, Sask. native finishes his final campaign as a Bulldog with a 21-7-3 mark.
Freshman Johnny Gaudreau upped the Eagle lead to 3-1 at 16:58 of the third, scoring his 21st of the season on a goal of the true highlight-reel variety. The New Jersey native stickhandled through a pair of FSU defensemen and roofed a nifty backhander top shelf on Nelson.
Officially in desperation mode, the Bulldogs pulled Nelson in favor of an extra skater but Whitney notched his second of the game into an empty net with 1:03 to play.
With the win, BC captures its third national title in five seasons and closes the season with a 33-10-1 record.
During the school-record winning streak, the Eagles outscored their opponents by a 77-21 count. The Eagles were swept in Maine on Jan. 20-21, 2011 and ran the table the rest of the way while winning their fourth title as the representative from the regionals at DCU Center.
“You can’t say enough about what Boston College has accomplished,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said after his team lost just its 12th game of the season. “I think that’s a very special program. It’s going to be hard to duplicate.”
Jerry York increased his NCAA Tournament record win total to 37 with the victory and his 913 career victories are the second most in NCAA history.
The BC senior class concluded their careers with a 110-42-1 record and captured three consecutive Beanpot titles and Hockey East regular-season and tournament championships as well as national titles in 2010 and 2012.
Frozen Four All-Tournament Team
F – Kyle Bonis, Ferris State
F – Paul Carey, Boston College
F – Steven Whitney, Boston College
D – Chad Billins, Ferris State
D – Brian Dumoulin, Boston College
G – Parker Milner, Boston College (Most Outstanding Player)
2012 NCAA Tournament BC Point Leaders: Steven Whitney (3g, 2a); Johnny Gaudreau (2g, 3a); Chris Kreider (3g, 1a); Paul Carey (3g, 1a); Patrick Wey (1g, 3a); Pat Mullane (1g, 3a).
BOSTON — Our own Danny Jaillet checked in with Grant Salzano of BC Interruption yesterday to preview tonight’s NCAA Frozen Four Championship between the top-ranked Boston College Eagles and the Ferris State Bulldogs from Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.
BC looks for its fifth-ever national title tonight and comes into the contest on an 18-game winning streak, fresh off a 6-1 drubbing of Minnesota in Thursday’s semifinal.
Danny Jaillet: Is there something in particular that BC did well [on Thursday] that they need to continue to do in order to win [tonight]?
Grant Salzano: I actually thought the biggest thing is that we did all the things well that got us this far. Parker Milner is making some incredible saves, yes, but it’s not just him throwing his glove up and getting lucky. Same with the defense, how many well placed sticks or bodies have broken up potential scoring chances? We have been scoring enough goals to take luck completely out of the equation, but even so, we’re been making out own luck. Parker and the defense have been positionally outstanding, being where they need to be and making the plays they’ve needed to make. That is what we’ve done for games 1-17, that’s what we did in game 18, and it’s what we’ll need to keep up in game 19.
DJ: Which player for Boston College do you think will make the biggest impact [tonight]?
GS: Anyone who has spent two minutes within earshot of me in the last month or two knows that I am all about the freshman phenom, Gaudreaubey Baker. Did you see that fourth goal [on Thursday]? How do you shut down a guy who still can still create goals while The Undertaker gives him a Tombstone Piledriver behind the goal line? What do you do? Johnny Gaudreau is electric. He will be involved in half of BC’s goals [tonight], just like he has been.
DJ: Do you think nerves will be a big factor for the Eagles? They have been here many times, but they are young. Will that play a factor?
GS: There’s just no way. Not with this coach. Not with this leadership. The thing is, BC has been playing at such a high level for so long, executing play after play, that at this point they could probably do it in their sleep. Call it arrogance, call it whatever you want, but that’s just how it is.
DJ: What do the Eagles as a team need to do to win?
GS: We just need to keep up what we’ve been doing. But, the biggest thing is to score first, and score early. If you give up that first goal, you just can’t feel in control for the whole rest of the game, except in exceptional circumstances. You’re fighting to tie, you’re fighting to take the lead, you’re fighting to keep it, and you’re fighting to pull away. You score first, and you control the game. You control the tempo. It is much easier to pull away, plunge the dagger, twist the knife, and in turn, collect the hardware without any loss of years off the end of your life.
DJ: Can you tell me anything you know about Ferris State?
GS: The neon yellow lettering on their dark red jerseys has been known to cause seizures in children.
DJ: Finally, what is your score prediction?
GS: I have never in my life been so sure of an outcome of a sporting event. Call it typical BC arrogance. Call it whatever you like. Boston College hockey is coached by a deity and has the same exceptional leadership we’ve seen on past BC championship teams. Our defense has been methodical. Stifling. Our offense is executing like the Spanish Inquisition. And aside from all that, the talent difference is staggering. BC will win this game by five goals, and if it is a single goal less, I will issue a written apology to Ferris State fans. 5-0 Boston College. Time to bring home the hardware.
Boston College 6, Minnesota 1: Eagles Soar Past Gophers; Take Aim at Ferris State, Another Frozen Four Title in Tampa
by Joshua Kummins
TAMPA — It looks easy and it was easy. Top-ranked Boston College had no challenge in Thursday’s Frozen Four semifinal against Minnesota at Tampa Bay Times Forum. When it was all said and done, the Eagles were well on their way to a fourth national title in five years with a 6-1 victory over the Gophers.
With its record 18th consecutive win, BC advances to face Ferris State with a chance for the school’s fifth-ever Frozen Four championship. The Bulldogs defeated No. 3 overall seed Union, 3-2, to advance to play for FSU’s first-ever title.
“I think that looking at our game, timely saves by our goaltender, opportunistic scoring, and then that bounce-back goal were keys to bringing us to our Saturday night game,” head coach Jerry York said upon improving to 31-9 in the NCAA Tournament while at BC. “I am very excited about our possibility of winning a national championship, it’s something we look forward to from the start of the year.”
In the victory, BC spread out the offense as 11 different players scored points and five different netted goals. The Eagle defense held the top-ranked attack in the nation to a single goal, thanks in large part to the outstanding play of junior goaltender Parker Milner who was on top of his game all night.
BC opened the scoring at 6:03 of the first period as junior Steven Whitney crashed the net on an odd-man rush, sliding the puck five-hole on Minnesota senior Kent Patterson.
Junior Kevin Hayes doubled the Eagle lead to 2-0 at 6:35 of the middle stanza with a power-play goal drawn up off the draw. Passes from seniors Tommy Cross and Barry Almeida found Hayes alone in the right circle for the high wrister.
BC closed the period with two more quick ones as freshman Destry Straight deked Patterson and dished to junior Chris Kreider for his team-leading 23rd score of the season at 17:45, before senior Paul Carey potted a rebound at 19:43.
Minnesota finally answered with a goal of its own just 1:22 into the third period when Erik Haula skated down the left wing and found Jake Hansen in the crease to tap it past Milner for his lone blemish in an otherwise-perfect performance.
Carey scored his second of the game a mere 22 seconds later as he took a pass from freshman Johnny Gaudreau who skated past the defense and up the end boards.
The scoring closed with a power-play tally at 5:51 as junior Brian Dumoulin beat Patterson on a shot from the point for the 6-1 buffer, doing so off a face-off win by junior Pat Mullane and a cross-ice pass from Chris Kreider.
Milner made double-digit saves in each of the first two periods, including 11 in the second stanza. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native totaled 30 stops while improving to 28-5-0 on the season.
Patterson started and factored into the decision in every game of the season for the Gophers as he fell to 28-14-1, despite 19 saves on 25 shots. The Plymouth, Minn. native finished the year with a single-season school record for shutouts with seven.
UM finished the season with a 20-8-0 mark in the WCHA, capturing the MacNaughton Cup for the third time in seven seasons as the regular season league champions.
Hansen’s third-period goal put the Gophers on the board and allowed the shutout to be broken. The team also went the entire season without being shutout for the first time since 2002-03.
All Business Ahead in the Sunshine State: BC Looks to Finish Off Another Frozen Four Title With Two More Wins
by Danny Jaillet and Joshua Kummins
TAMPA, Fla. – After the long and winding road of the college hockey season, it all comes down to this. One (and maybe two games) will decide Boston College’s season as the top-ranked Eagles venture south to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for yet another Frozen Four.
In the primetime semifinal on ESPNU, BC has to get past the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday at 8 p.m. in order to achieve their championship dreams for the fifth time in program history and third time in five seasons. Meanwhile, the Gophers are looking for their first championship since 2003.
The Eagles earned their tenth Frozen Four berth since 1998 by defeating Air Force and Minnesota-Duluth to capture the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.
In fact, the last three instances that BC won the national title – in 2001, 2008, and 2010 – came as a result of capturing two wins at nearby DCU Center. The Gophers earned their way to the Sunshine State as they topped Hockey East foe Boston University and archrival North Dakota at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
What does each team need to do in order to get a chance to play for the title on Saturday evening? Let’s take a look at some key players.
Boston College Eagles
The freshman has 20 goals and 21 assists on the season and he has been a huge part of the Eagles’ success this season. Last time out against UMD, he scored a goal in the third period to seal the victory for the Eagles. I predict he’ll score at least a goal in this game as well. I can almost guarantee that he will be on the stat sheet in at least one category. The freshman has shown he can do it all and so far he has shined brightly on the big stage. Look for this game to be no different.
This kid has turned it on at the right time and he has played outstanding hockey for the second half of the season. In the beginning of the year he was a little shaky. Once the second half of the season started he was like Martin Brodeur in net, making incredible saves and he finally made the college hockey world take notice of him. He has a stellar 1.70 goals against average and six shutouts to his credit, which is incredible for a goaltender and he has started to look more comfortable in the net. I predict he will do much of the same against Minnesota on Thursday.
This may be the end of it all for Kreider. With the New York Rangers waiting in the wings, this may be the Boxford, Mass. native’s last game, unless BC wins the battle for the junior of course. With that in mind I predict he will play his best hockey of the season. As if his 22 goals and 21 assists weren’t enough, I think this is his chance to shine on the national stage. Sure, many of us Northeast folk have seen him play (including the Rangers), but not many outside of here have seen him play. He has certainly been hyped, now he needs to show the world that he is worth every single bit of it.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
This guy can do it all. He has 20 goals and 28 assists and have been a driving force for the Golden Gopher offense. He needs to be involved in play and needs to set up his teammates for scoring chances. Since he is their top scorer he has the responsibility of doing everything he can to get the puck to the net. If he can do that, the Gophers can win.
He may not be the highest goal scorer but he has certainly contributed for the Gophers, posting 18 goals and 25 assists this season. He is an excellent complementary player for Haula. It is always nice to have a guy that can complement your top scorer with solid scoring of his own and that is Rau.
He has started 42 games and been spectacular, making 947 saves. These impressive statistics include seven shutouts. In any big game the goaltender needs to be at his best and Thursday will be no different. Patterson needs to stop BC high-powered offense. If he does that, he will take away their momentum. He just needs to stay in his crease and make solid stops. Seeing a few shots his way to open the game may start to get Boston College thinking a little bit, and as a goaltender that is what you want to do.
Ferris State Bulldogs vs. Union Dutchmen
Ferris State and Union will pay each other in the afternoon semifinal contest on Thursday at the Forum. For Ferris State, this will be its first Frozen Four appearance ever. For the Dutchmen, this will be their first Frozen Four appearance since 1985. Undrafted pro prospect Jeremy Walsh leads the charge for Union with 27 goals and 16 assists. Kelly Zajac is second in points and that is largely due to his 24 assists.
After being ranked atop the college hockey polls for many weeks over the course of the season, Ferris State leveled off a little bit towards the end but still managed to put together a very strong 25-11-1 record, which ranked atop the CCHA standings. Jordie Johnson leads the way for the Bulldogs with 20 goals and 16 assists. Matthew Kissinger is next in line with 10 goals and 24 assists. This should be a great game: two teams battling it out for a chance to go to the National Championship game.
I predict both of these teams to come out hungry, and that scoring chances will be minimal. Whichever squad capitalizes on their chances obviously will win this game, but I feel that this aspect of the game will be paramount.
by Joshua Kummins
WORCESTER — Another Worcester Regional seems to be an automatic Frozen Four berth for the Boston College Eagles. Coach Jerry York’s squad punched their ticket to Tampa, Fla. with a 4-0 win over the defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth on Sunday night at the DCU Center in Worcester.
BC, the Hockey East regular season and tournament champions, will take a 17-game winning streak into its national semifinal matchup with Minnesota next Thursday, Apr. 5 at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Gophers punched their ticket to Florida after beating archrival North Dakota in the West Regional, 5-2, and will now seek their sixth national title in the Sunshine State. Union and Ferris State round out the field.
The last three times the Eagles won the title (2001, 2008, 2010) they won a regional in Worcester on their way.
“We’ve been fortunate in Worcester, to come out a winner more times than not,” York said with a big smile in his post-game press conference. “My favorite place other than Watertown (his hometown).”
Junior Pat Mullane and sophomore Bill Arnold had second-period goals for the Eagles, which captured their 31st win of the season over UMD. Junior Patrick Wey added an strange unassisted goal early in the third before rookie Johnny Gaudreau had one late.
With a goal and an assist tonight, Gaudreau has points in six of his last seven games and 13 of his last 15, while becoming the third Eagle to 20 goals on the season.
Wey also chipped in with a goal (his second of the season) and an assist, creating his first multi-point game at BC.
Junior Parker Milner was named the region’s Most Outstanding Player as he stopped all 33 shots he faced en route to earning his 27th win of the season and the 40th of his career. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native has started every game of the current 17-game upswing and allowed more than two goals just once during that stretch.
Milner and the Eagles have now also shutout their opponent twice during the winning streak, also doing the same to Providence in a home-and-home on Feb. 24-25. He is the first goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts in a regional since fellow Eagle Cory Schneider did the same against Miami and Boston University on March 24-25, 2006.
With Saturday’s victory over fellow Hockey East foe Maine, the Bulldogs reached the regional final for the third time in four years as senior Kenny Reiter — a hometown friend of Milner’s from Pittsburgh – made 20 saves and fell to 23-9-6.
“We made a couple of mistakes around our net,” Bulldog coach Scott Sandelin said. “Good teams find a way to put it in the net. Obviously it says a lot about their program. They have a great tradition. When you build that, it’s a culture…and I want to be like them.”
York is now 35-19-1 all-time in national tournament play, which is the winningest record in all of Division I, and his squad improved to 10-1-0 in the DCU Center since winning the 2001 national title.
by Danny Jaillet and Joshua Kummins
WORCESTER — The DCU Center has been very kind to top-seeded Boston College. The Eagles won the Worcester Regionals in 2001, 2008 and 2010 before advancing forward to win the National Championship. Saturday the Eagles looked to do it again, and are hoping for the same result. Only two goals were scored and the Eagles’ Chris Kreider scored them both. His first goal was in the first period, This whole play started with the puck protection of Kevin Hayes. He did a good job of shielding the puck form the Air Force defense, and he came around the back of the net, where he dumped it to Kreider out front for the score. It was Kreider’s 21st goal of the season. In that period, BC had the shot advantage, 9-8.
No goals were scored in the second period and I thought the period was well played on both sides of the puck. Air Force did a good job backchecking against the Eagles and I noticed that they wanted to play physical right from the beginning. Jason Torf, the Falcons’ goalie had a great period, stopping all 11 BC shots that came his way. The Eagles did a nice job of getting back on defense, because when the Falcons did have the puck, they came into BC’s zone with speed.
In the third period, Kreider was up to his usual tricks again. BC was on the powerplay this time, and they did a nice job of setting up in the offensive zone. Pat Wey took the intial shot and it rebounded off Torf. Kreider was at the front of the net, and was there to put home the rebound for his 22nd goal of the season at 18:39, dashing the hopes of Air Force.
There was still one question that remained: Which team would BC play?
The night game featured a great match-up, pitting Maine and Minnesota-Duluth against each other. The Black Bears, in particular, were looking to rebound from their Hockey East championship loss to Boston College. Maine scored first when Spencer Abbott put one home on the power play at 17:16. Maine fans certainly loved that, as the building was electric. Maine fans were out in full force on this night. The Black Bears doubled their lead before the end of the period, as Matt Mangene was the next Maine goal-scorer as he scored on a breakaway and put one home on the backhand for his 16th goal of the year. The first period however would be the only bright spot on this night for the Black Bears.
Jack Connolly opened up the scoring for the Bulldogs as he scored 10:47 into the second period to cut Minnesota-Duluth’s deficit to one. Then it was freshman Caleb Herbert who tied things up, creating a turnover in the Maine zone and beating goaltender Dan Sullivan. The next goal proved that it was just not Maine’s night. Bulldog Jake Hendrickson shot the puck at Dan Sullivan who saved it. However, the puck bounced to the goal line and Hendrickson put it home, as he poked the puck into the net. In the third period, UMD sophomore Jake Brown scored his 24th goal of the season. Brown shot the puck and it bounced off Maine defenseman Will O’Neill. However, it bounced off O’Neill and Brown was able to put the puck home to make in 5-3.
That would be the final score and that sets the stage for a Bulldog-Eagle showdown tonight at 8 p.m. with a spot in the Frozen Four on the line.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Despite goals by senior Matt Ferreira and freshman Terrence Wallin, the UMass-Lowell River Hawks fell short of their first-ever Frozen Four berth as they fell to the Union Dutchmen, 4-2, in the East Regional Final at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.
With the win, Union became the first team to advance to Tampa, Fla. as it also did so for the first-time in school history after the school’s inaugural ECAC title. The Dutchmen improved to 26-7-7 on the season as Kyle Bodie and Josh Jooris scored two points each on a goal and an assist.
“I would like to congratulate Union College for moving forward and I wish them luck in the Frozen Four,” said head coach Norm Bazin, who completes his first season on the UML bench with a 24-13-1 record. “I’m very proud of our guys; I thought our effort was strong.”
The River Hawks earned the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996 and won the school’s third-ever NCAA Tournament game on Friday, defeating Miami in overtime.
“I think we took great strides from this year, obviously, coming from five wins last year to making it to this game today,” said Ferreira, a native of Brampton, Ont. “I think we’re great hands with Coach Bazin and Riley [Wetmore] leading us next year. I’m just proud of all the guys right now and I think we’ve got a bright future.”
Sophomore Doug Carr was stellar in the loss, turning away 35 shots and 17 of 18 in the first period alone. The Hanover, Mass. native finishes the season at 22-10-1 overall.
Minnesota 7, Boston University 3 (West Regional Semifinal)
Sophomore Adam Clendening scored a goal early in the third period for the Terriers, but it was not enough as the Gophers never trailed en route to a spot in the regional final in front of their home fans at the Xcel Energy Center. Playing in his final game, senior Kieran Millan stopped 35 of Minnesota’s shots and finishes his career with a program-best 81 victories. Senior captain Chris Connolly had his 153-game career come to a close in his native “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes,” recording a shot on goal in each period. Junior Alex Chiasson scored two assists as he finished BU’s season as its leading scorer with 46 points. Gopher rookie Kyle Rau had a career day with a first-period goal and three assists.
March 23 in Hockey East: Wetmore Plays Hero as UML Downs Miami, Advances to East Regional Final at “The Bank”
by Joshua Kummins
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Junior captain Riley Wetmore jammed home a rebound goal on the post for his second of the game, playing hero for the No. 13 UMass-Lowell River Hawks in Friday’s 4-3 victory over the No. 7 Miami RedHawks in the NCAA East Regional Semifinals at Webster Bank Arena.
With the Swanton, Vt. native’s winning goal, the RedHawks’ season ends at the hands of a Hockey East team for the seventh straight year. Head coach Enrico Blasi’s squad finishes the season with a 24-15-2 record.
“Obviously, we’re excited to get an opportunity to play in the championship game,” UML first-year head coach Norm Bazin said. “It was a goal of ours, and we’re realizing that now. It should make for another very exciting day tomorrow.”
The win sends the River Hawks onto the regional final against Union on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Neither team has before reached a Frozen Four, so this year’s field will surely have at least one first-time participant.
Four of those Miami tournament losses came at the hands of Boston College, while Boston University made an improbable comeback to beat the RedHawks for the 2009 national title.
With the victory, UML captures its first NCAA Tournament win since defeating first-round host Michigan State under head coach Bruce Crowder in 1996.
The River Hawks jumped out to score the game’s first three goals in just 22:21, including a shorthanded break by junior Colin Wright at 14:58 of the opening stanza. Wetmore scored his first of the contest and 13th of the season, beating UM senior Connor Knapp 2:21 into the second on a puck that clanked off the post and into the net.
Miami came storming back with three even-strength scores in the third period — all in a span of just under seven minutes.
The equalizing goal came at 9:56 of the final stanza as senior captain Alden Hirschfeld beat UML netminder and Massachusetts native Doug Carr on the blocker side for the third time in the contest.
Carr finished the contest with an even 30 saves as the Hanover native improved to 22-9-1.
The sophomore was the lone reason the River Hawks remained in the game through the middle and end of the third period, making several amazing stops on a five-minute major penalty kill to keep Miami from jumping ahead for the first time toward the end of regulation.
UML’s defense was very solid in keeping RedHawk junior sniper Reilly Smith off the scoreboard as his ten-game point streak was broken in the defeat.
Knapp finishes his final collegiate campaign with a solid 26-save effort, which included ten saves in the third period and overtime. The New York native took just his eighth loss of the season in the contest.
Here is the second of a two-part series on the four Hockey East teams in the NCAA Tournament, written by Danny Jaillet with assistance from our Hockey East Senior Writer Joshua Kummins.
BOSTON — The Boston University Terriers will be traveling out to St. Paul, Minnesota to face the Golden Gophers on Saturday. After losing to Maine in the Hockey Eat semifinals, Jack Parker and Co. want to prove that they had an off night and that it is not a sign of things to come. If they want to win, here is what they need to do:
1. Get the scorers going early
BU is second in the nation in team offense with 3.58 goals per game. In order to get it going they need to find their major scorers, guys like Alex Chiasson (15 goals, 29 assists) and Matt Nieto (16 goals and 26 assists). Earlier in the year the Terriers were a little short personnel wise due to disciplinary action and a big question mark came about in regards to who will fill that “scorer” role for BU. Luckily, the team did not have to look far and Chiasson, along with Nieto filled that role nicely.
2. Draw penalties…
BU is ranked 8th in the nation in power play percentage with 22.6 %. The need to force Minnesota to commit penalties: play physical, smart hockey. Get in the head of the team a little bit. Do a little talking here and there. If I were BU, I would do whatever means necessary (within the rules, of course) to try and draw a penalty here and there. Put that explosive power play on the ice as often as you can and get as many scoring chances as possible while you are out there.
3. …But don’t commit them
This has been an Achilles heel for BU all season: committing stupid penalties. BU is second in the nation with an average of 18.82 minutes per game. Garrett Noonan lead the team with 28 penalties which account for 64 minutes, BU has to play disciplined, effective hockey, because the last thing you want to do is give Minnesota (who ranks third in the nation in total offense with 3.55 goals per game) ample scoring chances.
4. Be consistent
We have seen it many times this season: one game the Terriers will be playing like they are the No. 1 team in the country and the next game, look like a junior high team. They need to play hard for the full 60 minutes skate fast, and give it their all. What they cannot do is play hard for 20 minutes and then rest for the next 40. This is the time of year where you play teams, which if you make mistakes, can capitalize on them. They need to play Saturday’s game as if it is their last, because you never know, it may be.
5. Kieran Millan
I mean exactly what the title says. Milan has to be on his game on Saturday of he wants to win. Just like the team, he can be up and down. But when he is on, he is a brick wall. I have a feeling he will be determined not to let a playoff win slip through his glove. I predict that he will have a Beanpot-esque sort of game. Yes, I know he lost, but he played very well. All these factors and more will make for an exciting Saturday in St. Paul.
UMass-Lowell’s story is truly of the underdog variety. After going 4-21-2 last season, the River Hawks soared into playoff contention with a 23-12-1 record and a second-place finish in Hockey East. So, what do they need to do to keep this magical season going? Check out the “Keys to the Game:”
1. Don’t stray away from their game plan
You are probably thinking, “Why is that a key for the game?” Well, Lowell has not reached the postseason in a couple of years and this is a very young team. As long as they stick to what they have been doing, and they do not try to force the issue with the puck they should be fine. Staying calm is key on the big stage.
2. Feed the freshman
Scott Wilson has 16 goals and 21 assists as a freshman! This kid has proven what he can do and has shown that he can be an impact player for Lowell. The Hobey Baker candidate has provided a spark for Lowell all season and now is the time to make an even bigger impact. Look to see him all over the stat sheet tomorrow night. I predict at least two goals and two assists.
3. Will the upperclassmen step up?
Besides Wilson, the River Hawks have many other weapons at their disposal. For example, junior Riley Wetmore is the team’s second-leading point-getter, with 12 goals and 25 assists. Next in line is sophomore Derek Arnold with 12 goals and 25 assists. Like many of the teams in Hockey East, Lowell is very balanced in terms of offensive output and has multiple weapons that can hurt you. If they are clicking on all cylinders, Lowell could make a very deep postseason run.
4. Doug Carr
Carr has been an excellent goaltender for Lowell all season and is second to Parker Milner in many goaltender categories. I think a solid game from him tomorrow night will be a stress-reliever for the rest of the tam. If Carr can make a few saves early, that prospect could really open up the offensive attack. I think they will be tentative in the early going, but if Carr can play with excellence I think the rest of the team will follow suit.
5. Norm Bazin
First year head coach Norm Bazin has dine a pretty fine job. However, will he crack under the pressure of being in his first playoff game? I don’t think so. But, it will be interesting to see if he shows any signs of nerves like being too high or low emotionally, telling his team to change to a different style of play or things like that. It should be quite dun to watch the team and coach compete on Friday.