Saturday, March 28, 2015

"Cardiac" Terriers advance to the Frozen Four with a 3-2 win; Rodrigues with the game-winner--UPDATED

#2 ranked Terriers are headed back to the Garden for the 2015 Frozen Four after yet another high-intensity thriller in the Northeast Regional.  Assistant captain Evan Rodrigues authored the game-winner--and his second goal of the game--on a brilliant toe drag and shot with 2:24 left in regulation to give the Terriers a 3-2 win over Minnesota Duluth. 

Terriers took a first period lead when freshman Brandon Fortunato hustled along the blueline to keep the puck in the UMD zone, chipping it toward Rodrigues who whirled and golfed a shot past Bulldog goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo. Duluth dominated the second period in terms of shots and puck possession. After Willie Raskob tied the score, freshman J.J. Piccinich centered a pass from behind the net to Matt Lane who backhanded the puck just inside the left post, giving BU a 2-1 lead. Four minutes later Kyle Osterberg’s wrist shot glanced off Matt O’Connor’s glove and trickled across the goal to knot the score.

Terriers came out for the third on a mission, firing a dozen shots to UMD’s five. With the game headed toward overtime, Rodrigues took a pass from captain Matt Grzelcyk in the right circle, toe-dragged past a diving defender and whipped a shot past Kaskisuo, who was partially screened by a leaping Ahti Oksanen, for the game-winner. Coach David Quinn:

‘‘We played a great third period. We were relentless. We were smart and we just did the things we needed to do to win an incredibly important hockey game to extend our season.’’

With the victory, BU will play in the Frozen Four for the 22nd time and the first time since winning the 2009 National Championship in Washington, D.C. The opponent in the April 9 semifinal will be North Dakota, which won the West Regional with a 4-1 win against St. Cloud State.

Rodrigues now has 61 points, joining linemate Jack Eichel as the only skaters in Division 1 to exceed 60 points this season. The two scores give him 21 on the season making E-Rod the fourth Terrier to reach the 20-goal mark this year. After scoring 16 points first semester, Rodrigues has scored 45 points (16G, 29A) since January 1, more than any other Division 1 player.

With three goals in the two regional games, the senior wing from Etobicoke, Ontario, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. He was joined on the All-Regional Tournament Team by Grzelcyk and junior wing Danny O'Regan.

Terriers dominated in the face-off circle, a problem area earlier in the season, winning 39 of 61 draws. Senior Cason Hohmann won 15 of 19 and Eichel controlled 15 of 23. 

● recap, comprehensive box score and photo gallery  
● NCAA video highlights
Post game comments: Coach David Quinn (transcript); Rodrigues & Grzelcyk (transcript)
Press conference (video)
● Daily Free Press recap  and Rodrigues shines in final season
Boston Hockey Blog  Pluses & Minuses
NCAA Media Packet 
● USCHO recap and BU's late knockout; photo gallery 
● SB Nation recap 
● College Hockey News recap and Northeast Regional notebook 
● Boston Herald recap and Rodrigues delivers again
Boston Globe recap
● Duluth Tribune recap 
WEEI College Blog: Rodrigues' special senior season

Check back for more coverage, interviews and photos.


Game Day: Another Dogfight—BU vs. Minnesota-Duluth

The #2-ranked Terriers take on #7 Minnesota-Duluth in the Northeast Regional final in Manchester with puck drop set for 5:30 ET. UMD defeated in-state rival Minnesota for the fourth time in five tries yesterday, 4-1, on the strength of three first-period goals; while BU edged Yale in overtime, 3-2, on Danny O’Regan’s  22nd goal and fourth game-winner.  (Recaps below in last night's post)

ESPN2 will broadcast today’s game as will TSN2 in Canada. (Try for a live stream)

BU is offering $5 bus rides to Manchester for today's game (details)

Despite a late season slump, the Bulldogs were the second seed in the Northeast Regional and #6 in the PairWise rankings. Junior Tony Cameranesi leads UMD in points with 30, while sophomore Dominic Toninato has a team-best 16 goals. Freshman netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo has a 2.28 GAA and a .917 save percentage  (UMD stats)

BU and UMD last met in December 1999, with the Bulldogs winning, 8-5. Overall BU has a 10-7-3 record again the Bulldogs. Today’s game is the first ever meeting of the teams in NCAA tournament play.

►The BU Alumni Association and the Friends of BU Hockey have organized another pregame gathering today at Margaritas at 1037 Elm Street in Manchester. (details).
Watch parties will be held in both New York City (details) and Washington D.C. (details)

Game Notes, GameTracker, Terrier Sports Radio Network webcast
● BU NCAA Tournament Central
● Boston Hockey Blog live in-game blog
● CHN Northeast Regional preview
ESPN TV schedule for March 28

Episode 3 of BU—The Season traces the Terriers’ run to their 30th Beanpot title.

More from the opening round of the Northeast Regional
● Boston Hockey Blog: Plusses and Minuses
● Minneapolis Star Tribune: Gophers thumped by Minnesota Duluth

BU's win was the 40th NCAA tournament victory in program history. BU has reached the national tournament 33 times, fourth best among all Division 1 schools.

Danny O’Regan was named first star of the night by NCAA. Minnesota-Duluth goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo, who stopped 31 Minnesota shots, gets the 3rd star.

With a nation’s best 67 points, freshman Jack Eichel is now tied with three former Terrier All-Americans—Jay Pandolfo, Mike Hyndman and Herb Wakabayashi—for ninth most points in a season at BU. Evan Rodrigues’ 59 points are eighth best for a BU senior, tied with Dick Lamby and Bob Marquis.

Looking ahead
2015 recruit Jordan Greenway and 2016 recruit Clayton Keller each scored a goal in the NTDP U18s' 8-2 win over Chicago. Greenway, who also added an assist, has 11 points (3G, 8A) in his last six games.

2017 recruit David Farrance scored twice and added an assist for Syracuse, which dropped a 5-4 decision, in a shootout, to Chicago Mission, in the Tier 1, 16U National Championships.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Terriers nip Bulldogs in overtime on O’Regan goal, 3-2

Photo credit Josh Gibney

#2 BU, down a goal to Yale after two periods, scored twice in the third, but needed an overtime goal from junior Danny  O’Regan to escape the tight-checking Bulldogs, 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H.  The junior right wing, who nearly won the game for BU in the final seconds of regulation, rapped home the rebound of freshman Jack Eichel's slapper from the right point.

The Bulldogs took the game's first lead in the middle period when Nate Rapensky's power play slapshot deflected past junior Matt O'Connor. The 1-0 margin held until 8:21 of the third period when Ahti Oksanen snapped a rebound past Alex Lyon from about 12 feet out for his 24th goal. Cason Hohmann and AJ Greer assisted. Three minutes later, senior Evan Rodrigues took a pass from O'Regan and snapped a shot home from the left face-off circle for his 19th goal, giving BU a 2-1 lead. That lasted less than two minutes as a turnover gave Frankie DiChiara an open shot from the high slot, which he whipped past O'Connor. In the final seconds of the period, O'Regan's close-in shot hit Lyon's shoulder and then hit the crossbar before being covered by Lyon, who turned aside 39 BU shots.

Matt O'Connor stopped 19 of 21 shots to improve his record to 23-3-4.

The Terriers, top seed in the Northeast Regional, will play in the regional final tomorrow against second-seed Minnesota-Duluth, which defeated in-state rival Minnesota, 4-1.  

Check back for more coverage later tonight and tomorrow.

● recap , comprehenisive box score and photo gallery
● Post-game comments (transcripts) Coach David Quinn, O’Regan & Rodrigues
● Video highlights 
Post-game comments (video-BU & Yale)
● Boston Hockey Blog photos
● USCHO recap and analysis
SB Nation recap
College Hockey News: BU Gets Mentally Tough
● WEEI College Blog recap

The win was BU's frist NCAA tournament victory since winning the 2009 National Championship game in Washington, D.C.

►Each of the three skaters on BU's top line has recorded four game-winning goals this season.

►Terriers set a new program record for most overtime wins (6) and most overtime games (12) in a season. The 1976-77 squad had five OT wins.

► While O’Connor was focused on the Yale shooters, Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray was in Manchester to watch the free agent goalie…and Eichel, too.

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