BU (Likely) Ends BC’s Season in OT Heart-Breaker
By JD Biagioni
Who: BU Terriers
Where: TD Garden
When: Friday, March 16
Result: BU 4 – BC 3 (OT)
It’s a strange day when BC-BU is the early game of a doubleheader. But these two teams proved that, no matter where they rank in the standings, they always put on a show worthy of primetime television.
This was the third and final iteration of the Battle of Comm. Ave. this season. The teams split the regular season series, each winning on the other’s ice. With both teams sitting on the NCAA Hockey Tournament bubble, this Hockey East Semifinal matchup became a de facto game 7 for both squads. BU only led for one second in the contest, but unfortunately for BC, the Terriers picked the right second to lead.
The Eagles jumped ahead in the first minute of play on a Connor Moore one-timer. Aapeli Rasanen shuffled the puck along to Graham McPhee in the center of the attacking zone. McPhee dropped it off to a trailing Moore and Moore beat Jake Oettinger glove-side to give BC the 1-0 advantage.
That was the only goal scored in the first 20 minutes of action, but BC doubled its lead early in the second during a 4-on-4 stretch of play. Logan Hutsko hooked Jordan Greenway, but both were sent to the box after it was deemed that Greenway embellished the hook. Five seconds after the 4-on-4 situation began, David Cotton broke up a Terrier break-out behind the BU net. Julius Mattila was open right in front of the crease and Cotton found him for the quick snap-shot.
A few minutes later, another 4-on-4 stretch of play arose when Brady Tkachuk, a consensus top-5 pick in the upcoming NHL draft, cross-checked JD Dudek and then proceeded to sit on him and shove him into the ice for a good 10 seconds . The referees must’ve deemed that Dudek was the instigator, because he got 2 for interference, landing him in the box with Tkachuk.
No goals were scored during the second 4-on-4, but BU netted 2 quick ones during the next stretch of 5-on-5 play to even the scoring. Each goal, one by Ty Amonte and the other by David Farrance, came from a cross-ice pass in the attacking zone. In both instances, the receiving Terrier was able to rocket the puck into the back of the net before Joe Woll could reposition himself across the crease.
A frenetic third period saw BU take a momentary 3-2 lead, when Greenway sent one through traffic into the net. But, after a lengthy review, the referees determined that Tkachuk had interfered with Woll. Thus, the game went back to 2-2.
Later in the third, a hectic scramble in front of Oettinger gave BC a 3-2 lead when Christopher Brown jammed home the bouncing puck. This play also went to review, but it was clearly a good goal.
Before the goal could even be announced, Drew Melanson evened the scoring up once again, tucking a perfect Greenway pass through Woll’s pads.
A game this entertaining couldn’t end with anything other than an overtime walk-off goal. BC played its best period of the game in the bonus frame, outshooting BU 14-7. They were also able to kill off a Hutsko minor midway through OT. But Patrick Curry was the hero on this night. Shane Bowers had the puck down low and, in trying to spin to the front of the net, lost control of the puck. It slid to the far post, where Curry was waiting to send the Terriers to the finals.
According to College Hockey Ranked and BC Hockey, there is still a chance the Eagles can get an at-large bid. If BU and Princeton both lose their championship games, there will be three at-large bids. Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth will get the first 2, and BC and North Dakota will battle for the last spot. Through a convoluted series of tie-breakers, BC will overtake UND if UND loses the NCHC consolation game and Michigan Tech loses the WCHA championship game.
Number to know: 4 – root for these 4 teams on Saturday: Providence, Clarkson, Minnesota-Duluth, and Northern Michigan