Thanks to BU's 4-2 win over UMass-Lowell and Vermont's 4-1 win over Northeastern, the Eagles will take on UNH in the Hockey East Semifinals at the TD Banknorth Garden. The game will be at 5:00 PM on Friday night.
There are a lot of downsides to this match-up - UNH is the best team in the east, by far.
But I will try to focus on the good things:
-Playing against UNH, even if we lose, will improve our RPI for tournament seeding purposes.
-We're going to have to beat them anyway, so we might as well do it now. It's cliche, but it's true. The road to the Hockey East title goes through UNH.
-UNH has a propensity for choking in big games at big moments.
-A solid performance against UNH - even if it results in a loss - will hopefully help convince the committee to pair us up with UNH in the Worcester regional. (They set up the re-match last year in Manchester, but UNH lost to Miami in typical UNH fashion)
It's not going to be easy - I think UNH will probably win the game - but you can't count out the Eagles. Going into the Hockey East tournament, all I wanted was to get to UNH, whether it be in the semis or the finals. There's no shame in losing to them. And if we beat them -- sweet.
Hopefully, we'll see a repeat of last year's BC romp over UNH at the Garden:
Around College Hockey
On a side note, I am very sad to see Northeastern's season end. As those of you who know me personally know (so, basically, everyone who reads this blog), I have a real soft spot for the Huskies - they are my 2nd favorite team.
This season was so promising for them at around December. Thiessen was looking like the best goalie in Hockey East and NU was up to #7 in the country.
I still think Thiessen is one of HE's best, but NU's offense failed to show up this weekend, scoring 4 goals in 3 games. Very sad.
They should be good next year as they are only losing one graduating senior, Jimmy Russo. Unfortunately, we've been hearing for years that next year is the big breakout year for NU, and it just hasn't happened. It looked like it was happening this year, but much like BC football, the Huskies took their stunned fans on a thrilling ride up the national polls only to come crashing back down to their usual level.
Hopefully, next year, they will add some offensive punch - and shake the roof of the great Matthews Arena with some real excitement. Northeastern's season was all down hill after New Year's Day. The only bright side is that they won't be returning to their house of horrors, the Garden.
- Another team that I have an affinity for, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, outlasted Minnesota State in an epic 3 game series that went to a combined total of 5 overtimes. The Mavericks topped Minnesota 1-0 in 2OT on Friday, but the Gophers showed heart to bounce back with a pair of OT wins over the weekend.
Goldy and I are BFFs. My team and his (her?) team are both turning it on at the right time.
It's tough to describe a Minnesota team as "workmanlike," as they get to basically pick recruits at will, but with all the team has been through this year, you have to give them a lot of credit. They lost a ton of talent before - and during - this tumultuous season, and for a while, they looked down and out. When I was in Minneapolis, their fans seemed defeated and dejected.
The ridiculous strength of the WCHA allowed Minnesota to creep back up into at-large contention in the PWR despite having a record hovering around .500 - but now, the Gophers have a chance to make a splash in the Final Five and prove that they belong in NCAAs . Grant and I left our mark on the Mariucci Arena parking lot when we were in Minneapolis. - Speaking of the Final Five, the matchups are set:
5/4 game on Thursday: Minnesota vs. St. Cloud State - both teams need wins to solidify NCAA bids
Min/SCSU winner vs. Colorado College - whoever emerges from the play-in will probably lose to CC, but don't count out the Gophers with their home crowd behind them.
Denver vs. North Dakota - this will be one of the games of the year. NDak is loaded and I've got them as my WCHA champ. - The Final Five is always great hockey. Last year's OT game winner by Blake Wheeler of Minnesota over North Dakota was absolutely epic -
... of course, North Dakota turned the tables on Minnesota in the NCAA West Regionals, which just goes to prove that whatever you think going into the tournament is probably wrong. Who had BC in the finals in '06, or Mich. State as the champ last year? - Congratulations to Air Force and Niagara for punching their tickets to the NCAA tournament by winning the AHA and CHA championship games today.
Northern Michigan pulled the upset of the night, knocking Michigan State out of the CCHA tournament. Michigan Tech almost topped them, taking North Dakota to a game 3 in the WCHA playoffs, but the Sioux held on to win 2-1 tonight to advance to the Final Five.
Also, a shout out to Colgate for knocking Clarkson out of the first round of the ECAC tournament, meaning that there will be two ECAC teams in the NCAAs (bad news for BU and other bubble teams). - The Women's Frozen Four is set. The only upset in the quarterfinals was #5 Wisconsin edging #4 Minnesota, 3-2, in overtime. That wasn't really a surprise, as Wisco, the two-time defending national champions, had just beaten Minnesota in the WCHA playoffs.
The Wisco-Minnesota game was one of two quarterfinal matchups to go to OT, as UNH edged SLU 3-2 at Lake Whitt - a game I had the pleasure of attending (pics/videos coming later this week). UNH's Jenn Wakefield is probably the best freshman in the country. UNH's Courtney Birchard takes SLU goalie Meaghan Guckian to school for UNH's first goal.
#1 Harvard predictably smoked Dartmouth to punch their ticket, while #2 Minnesota-Duluth squeaked past Patty Kaz frontrunner Meghan Agosta and the Mercyhurst Lakers, 5-4.
It was a rather tame quarterfinal round compared to last year. Last season, three lower seeds won, with #6 BC winning at #3 Dartmouth, #5 SLU beating #4 UNH, and #7 Duluth upsetting #2 Mercyhurst. Three of four quarterfinal matchups went to overtime, including 2 OTs between BC and Dartmouth and an incredible 4 OTs between #8 Harvard and #1 Wisconsin.
The matchups on Friday Night: 6 PM ET > #1 Harvard/#5 Wisconsin 9 PM ET> #2 Minnesota-Duluth/ #3 UNH
Those games will be streamed live on the internet at uscho.com. The final will be on Sunday afternoon, televised live on CSTV.
As much as I'd love to see an all-East Coast final, it ain't gonna happen. I think Harvard and Minnesota-Duluth will match up for all the marbles and Duluth will get the win in front of their home crowd. - Because everyone else is doing it: Basketball final four [Disclaimer: I know nothing about basketball] UNC, Georgetown, Texas, sUeConn UNC over sUeConn in the final.
The Trophy Case: BC's honors during my years at school
2006 - Commonwealth Classic Winner
2008 - Commonwealth Classic Winner
2008 - Caribbean Challenge Winners
2008 - Blue Sky Classic Winners
2008 - ICSA Women's National Champions
2008 - ICSA Co-Ed National Champions
2006 - Meineke Car Care Bowl Winner
2007 - Ireland Trophy
2007 - ACC Atlantic Division Champions
2007 - Champs Sports Bowl Winner
2008 - Ireland Trophy
2008 - ACC Atlantic Division Champions
2007 - ACC Regular Season Champions
2007 - ACC Tournament Champions
2006 - Sweet Sixteen
2008 - Sweet Sixteen
2007 - Beanpot Champions
2007 - Frozen Four
2009 - Beanpot Champions
2007 - Hockey East Tournament Champions
2007 - Frozen Four
2007 - Mariucci Classic Champions
2008 - Beanpot Champions
2008 - Hockey East Tournament Champions
2008 - Frozen Four
2008 - National Champions
Games I Attended in '07-'08
Overall: 51-30-11 + 12 non BC + spring football = 105 games
Home: 40-25-6 + spring game
Non-BC NCAA Games: 12
Men's Hockey: 13-6-5
Women's BBall: 8-2
Football: 6-1 + spring game
Men's BBall: 6-4
Women's Hockey: 8-11-5
Men's Soccer: 1-2-1
Field Hockey: 0-1
Women's Soccer: 0-1
Stadiums/Fields Seen 07-08
Conte Forum [BC] - (49)
Alumni Stadium [BC] - (8)
TD Banknorth Garden - (7)
Shea Field, Baseball [BC] - (6)
Newton Soccer Field [BC] - (6)
Walter Brown Arena [BU] - (4)
Shea Field, Softball [BC] - (4)
Matthews Arena [NU] - (3)
DCU Center [Worcester] - (3)
Schneider Arena [PC] - (2)
Ridder Arena [Minnesota] - (2)
UConn Hockey Arena [Conn] - (2)
Agganis Arena [BU] - (2)
Tsongas Arena [UML] - (1)
Whittemore Center [UNH] - (1)
Mariucci Arena [Minnesota] - (1)
Bright Arena [Harvard] - (1)
Harvard Stadium [Harvard] - (1)
Newton Field Hockey [BC] - (1)
Houston Field House [RPI] - (1)
Games I attended in 06-07
OVERALL 67-27-3 = 97 games
M Hockey 17-6-1
M Basketball 14-4
W Hockey 13-6-2
W Basketball 6-3
W Soccer 3-1
M Soccer 3-1
W Lax 0-1
Men's Hockey, 4/12/08 - National Champs.
Football, 10/26/07 - BC rallies with two touchdowns in the last 2:11 to win at Virginia Tech and maintain their #2 ranking. Students spill out of the dorms and have an impromptu celebration all over campus. What a night. WOW.
Men's Hockey, 3/30/08 - BC scores 3 goals in 1:58 to come from an 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 lead late in the 2nd against Miami in the NCAA regional final.
Men's Hockey, 3/30/08 - Joe Whitney's ridiculous diving goal sends BC to the Frozen Four, beating Miami 4-3 in OT.
Men's Hockey, 3/21/08 - Benn Ferriero's 3OT goal caps a comeback against UNH in the Hockey East semifinals at the Garden.
Men's Hockey, 2/11/08 - Nick Petrecki's OT goal wins the Beanpot for BC!
Football, 9/1/07 - BC scores a touchdown to tie the game at 21 right before half time against Wake. BC wins 38-28
Men's Hockey, 11/30/07 - BU goalie Karson Gillespie gets sent to the box by Benedetto for a swan dive... piss-your-pants laughter follows
Men's Hockey, 3/15/08 - Nate Gerbe's amazing penalty shot goal makes it 4-0 BC over PC in Game 2 of the HE QFs
Men's Hockey, 2/4/08 - Gerbe slays BU in overtime
Men's Hockey, 3/22/08 - BC cruises to another Hockey East title, beating UVM 4-0
Men's Hockey, 3/29/08 - BC gets past the Gophers 5-2 in the NCAA tournament.
Men's Hockey, 3/15/08 - BC sweeps the Friars with a pair of 5-1 wins in the HE QFs to advance to the TD Banknorth Garden.
Women's Hockey, 2/29/08 - Eagles top PC 4-2 in the season's penultimate game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Stack with the ENG to ice it with 4 seconds left.
Women's Hockey, 1/4/07 - BC kills off a 5-on-3, Lindsay Wright aka CANADA scores a sick goal, and BC upsets #4 SLU 5-2
Women's Basketball, 1/6/07 - BC stuns NC State with a thrilling 1 point come-from-behind victory
Men's Soccer, 11/9/07 - BC clinches ACC reg. season title with a win at home against VT.
Women's Hockey, 01/12/08 - MN native Allie Thunstrom's goal with 1:30 to go gives BC a tie @ #4 Minnesota
Men's Hockey, 3/14/08 - BC blitzes Providence early and often en route to 5-1 win in Game 1 of HE QFs at BC
Men's Basketball, 12/23/07 - Tyrese Rice knocks down a floater with less than 5 seconds to play to give BC the 57-55 win over Northeastern.
Men's Hockey, 1/19/08 - Carl Sneep's goal in the 3rd ties BU 2-2; pandemonium in the student section
Football, 11/24/07 - BC finally snaps the long losing streak against the U.
Women's Hockey, 2/10/08 - BC's Stack scores in the 2nd to tie UNH 1-1. We lost, but that was a great moment.
Women's Basketball, 12/31/07 - Picco nails back to back three pointers as BC wins a thriller against NU
Baseball, 5/13/08 - BC rallies from big early deficit to beat UConn.
Softball, 3/26/08 - Fence Girl crashes into the fence, Thunstrom scores winning run, BC downs HC 4-3
Women's Hockey, 11/29/07 - A clutch goal with under a minute remaining by Stack gives BC a much needed point @ UConn
Women's Hockey, 3/15/08 - UNH tops St. Lawrence 3-2 in OT to give Hockey East a representative in the Frozen Four.
Men's Hockey, 11/30/07 - BC explodes for a 3-0 1st period lead en route to a 6-2 win over BU
Football, 10/7/07 - BC scores 31 points in the 2nd quarter against Bowling Green and rolls to 55-24 win - up to #4 in the country!