It's time for another BC baseball game, this time against Northeastern. And just like on Saturday, we're pretty blessed to have some decent weather for this one after a day of cold and rain yesterday. The start time has been moved to 3:30 to give the field some extra time to dry out.
The Eagles came back for a 6-5, 12-inning win over the Huskies at NU on March 17.
Pat Dean (2-1, 4.88 ERA) will get the start for the Eagles, who come into the game with a 15-9 record (5-5 ACC).
It's generally my policy to never write anything negative about an individual on this blog, only good or bad comments about teams in general... but AGH, Jerry Pollastrone, you are so on my crap list right now, even if you are from Reveahh.
How do you throw the puck into your own net with the Frozen Four on the line? Absolutely unbelievable.
UNH comes up with new and creative ways to fail miserably. It really is remarkable.
The worst part is that the miserable Wildcats somehow managed to outplay BU during the 3rd period. They had much better chances than BU did, including one JVR bid that Millan stopped with a stunning high glove save. And to make matters worse for the future Flyer, it was JVR's moronic penalty with under two minutes to play, along with Pollastrone's WTF?! moment, that put an end to BU's 12 year Frozen Four drought.
Also to blame: UNH's "power play," which went something like 1-for-60 during the last month of the season. They generated absolutely nothing during their one power play chance in the 3rd.
So, it's on to the least sexy Frozen Four ever:
(1) Boston University (HEA)
(3) University of Vermont (HEA)
(4) Bemidji State (CHA)
(4) Miami University (CCHA)
I'm thinking BU rolls through DC like British solders during the War of 1812, but Vermont did beat them 2-of-3 this year.
Tonight's good news comes from the women's basketball team, which dropped Georgetown 65-56 to advance to the WNIT Final Four. (I had no idea they called it the "Final Four," which sounds preposterous to me; I'm just going to call it the WNIT semifinal.)
BC will host South Florida on Wednesday night at 7 PM to battle for a spot in the title game.
I've been meaning to post since Thursday night, but I haven't really had the time... so this is going to be a bit of a mega-post.
On Thursday, three of us trekked down to St. John's University in New York City to watch the Eagles take home the win in the 3rd round of the WNIT.
It was one of those stupid, random trips that turned out to be one of the best trips of the year. While St. Johns' campus is pretty much a dump, Carnesecca Arena is gorgeous. Every time I go to a hockey- or basketball-specific arena, I am reminded of how woeful 'multi-purpose' facilities are.
And the game itself was fantastic, with the Eagles surviving a brilliant second-half surge by the Red Storm to win, 68-64. Stefanie Murphy went off, scoring 23 points to lock down the victory and boost BC into the quarterfinals, to be held this evening at 5 PM against Georgetown in Conte Forum.
While I'm sure everyone wishes the Eagles made the NCAA tournament, this winning experience could be great for the freshmen and sophomores. And raising a banner to the rafters is always nice, even if it is the NIT. So GO EAGLES - three more wins!
But the event that gripped me all weekend was the men's college hockey tournament. Despite the absence of Boston College, this has arguably been the greatest tournament I've ever seen.
Just unbelievable drama from all 4 regionals: Last-second goals (literally) by UNH over North Dakota and Minn.-Duluth over Princeton forced overtime and allowed each to advance. Northeastern caved in to allow two goals in the final 3 minutes to lose 3-2 against Cornell. Vermont and Air Force battled into double overtime, with the Catamounts advancing to the Frozen Four. #4 seed Bemidji State stunned Notre Dame, 4-1, and fellow #4 seed Miami has punched its ticket to DC with romps over Denver and Duluth.
Just way too much action to jam into two days.
There really are no words, just enjoy these videos.
The only bad news about all of these upsets is that it looks like BU has a clear path to the national championship. Who's going to stop them? Miami?
But the way this tournament is going, you never know. I'm pulling hard for UNH today - not just because they're playing BU, but because Revere's Jerry Pollastrone powered their miracle against North Dakota, and because I really do feel bad for their fans' suffering.
Two good things, no matter what happens:
-Hockey East will have two Frozen Four teams... and the WCHA will have a big fat zero
-I will definitely have someone to root hard for in the national championship game in DC: either UNH or UVM, or whoever plays against BU. ;)
Unfortunately, it's all kind of downhill from here. After 4 games on Friday and 6 crazy games yesterday, we just get 2 tonight (BU vs. UNH at 5, Cornell vs. Bemidji State at 8), 2 on Frozen Four Thursday, and the national title game. Sad. I could watch this stuff for weeks on end - the drama, action, and passion is simply unmatched. Every day, I feel like kissing the ground and thanking the Lord that I was one of the fortunate few college students who enrolled in a school that has Division I hockey. While I often wish BC fans were more passionate and involved, I'm lucky enough to be at a school that's allowed me to deepen my attachment to this great sport, and that's given me some awesome memories in conference and national tournaments.
After getting past BU in round 2 of the WNIT, the Eagles head to New York City tonight to take on the St. John's Red Storm in what has become a problematic matchup for the Eagles. SJU bounced BC from the NIT in this round last year, and topped the Eagles at home back in December in the St. John's holiday tournament.
Two friends and I will be driving down for the game, seeing as this is probably our last chance for a random road trip this semester.
If the Eagles win, they will be at home over the weekend for the NIT quarterfinals.
In hockey news, according to San Jose Sharks sources, the Nick Petrecki era at BC is over. Best wishes Nick, and bring the pain to the NHL.
We really need another defenseman or two to commit for next season.
The task of keeping alive the BC revenue sports season is heaped upon the women's basketball team tonight, as they take on BU at Conte Forum in the 2nd round of the women's NIT.
In a way, this makes it almost good that the Eagles got snubbed from the NCAA tournament. Conte Forum is not dormant for the summer just yet, and the Eagles are more than capable of keeping their season going for another two weeks, straight through the NIT final.
They have a pretty decent chance of winning the whole thing and bringing home some hardware. Another trophy in the case could take off some of the sting off of what's been a very disappointing year in BC athletics. We've been trophy-deprived this season, so I'll take anything - even the WNIT.
The Terriers are coming off an outstanding season in which they went undefeated in conference play before pulling a Patriots, losing the America East final to Vermont (please, dear God, let that happen to UConn women's basketball in the NCAAs). They easily brushed aside Central Connecticut last week to punch their ticket to round 2.
Gametime is 7:05 PM.
Two other events at Conte this week: on Tuesday, the women's hockey team hosts a charity sled hockey event to raise money for the Massachusetts Hospital School. And on Wednesday, the event you've all been waiting for - my intramural hockey team, Cool Runnings, takes on Mug for the league title. Ohhhh, yeah.
In a span of a few hours, the men's hockey and basketball seasons both came tumbling down to abrupt and disappointing conclusions, with the b-ball team slammed by USC and the hockey team upended by BU 3-2 at the Garden.
The Eagles were 9 minutes away from pulling off the upset in Boston, leading BU 1-0 on a brilliant goal by Ben Smith, when the Terriers put up 3 goals in a dizzying 44-second span. Joe Whitney got one back with 5 minutes to play, but BC couldn't get it done and BU now moves on to face UMass-Lowell in the league championship game. BU will probably beat them like a mule; the talent differential from game 1 to game 2 was striking.
BU really came out and shelled BC in the first period and the Eagles were lucky to survive. But from the second period on, BC began to control the tempo a little more, ultimately resulting in Smith's goal, which he batted out of the air and into the net on a breakaway [reminiscent of a few of BC's goals against UNH last year].
The Eagles killed two penalties early in the 3rd period and spirits were high as we approached the final minutes of the game looking to hang on. But it all caved in so quickly... and that was that.
I'll probably be going to the Manchester regional next week but it certainly won't be the same without BC.
This senior class has nothing to be ashamed of despite this season. 3 national championship games, 1 national title, 2 Hockey East championships... this class leaves the Heights with a lot of good memories. Thanks to all of them and best of luck in the future.
All we've got left to carry the winter sports flame is the WNIT. The Eagles host BU on Monday night in their NIT opener after the Terriers defeated Central Connecticut.
It was a surprise, and yet it wasn't a surprise, all at the same time.
When Middlemarch tickets went on sale, the date - March 21 - gave me pause, as I knew it was the night of Hockey East finals. I thought, however, that there was no way BC would be at the Garden (but I was still going to skip the dance to go see the final, regardless of who was in it).
How silly of me.
BC is back at the Garden again after a fantastic 60 minute all-around performance tonight at UNH, topping the Wildcats 1-0 on an early Matt Price goal.
John Muse was simply brilliant in net, bailing BC out on a few scrums during UNH power plays, making two big stops in the final minute, and making some high glove saves, too. If Muse gets back going the way he did in the tournament last year, then we could be on the verge of a serious run.
I liked BC's toughness, responding quickly and swiftly to UNH players running Muse, throwing some good hits, and being defensively stout when they had to be.
With the results of tonight's games (Lowell sweeps UVM, NU and BU are both sent to Game 3s with UMass and Maine, respectively), BC just needs one upset tomorrow night to avoid the Red Menace on the semifinals.
BU and Northeastern advance:
BU vs BC - 5 PM UML vs Northeastern - 8 PM
BU wins, NU loses
BU vs UMass - 5 PM UML vs BC - 8 PM
BU loses, NU wins
NU vs Maine - 5 PM UML vs BC - 8 PM
BU loses, NU loses
UML vs Maine - 5 PM BC vs UMass - 8 PM
The traveling fan support for BC was incredible tonight. There weren't many of us but we were all loud and into the game - and having the BC pep band in the house made a huge difference. Kudos to every BC fan who came out - I'm very proud to be an Eagle tonight.
The women's hockey team's season came to an end this afternoon in Minnesota but the lady Eagles can hold their heads up high after a 4-3 loss to the Gophers. BC fell behind 3-0 and 4-1 early but battled back to make it close, and BC fans in attendance have described it as BC's best effort ever. I buy it, from the parts I saw on video. Sadly, without Stack or Schaus it could be a rough transition next year, but the pieces are in place for BC to become a powerful program in women's hockey.
Mine says "crunch time" and around this time of year, UNH's says "choke time." It's not over yet - UNH will surely come out firing tomorrow night - but tonight's reappearance of playoff-intensity BC was fun to watch.
The Eagles came out and absolutely blitzed the Wildcats off of their home ice and silenced the crowd with early leads of 4-o and 5-1.
UNH scored two shorthanded goals to claw back to 5-3, but that was all they'd get.
Really fantastic effort, and a great night all around, as BC fans were pretty loud from start to finish.
Last year, in the regular season's final weekend, BC lost to Northeastern in overtime on Friday night. Then, on Saturday, they stampeded the Huskies en route to a victory in the finale.
This season, BC did the exact same - following up an OT loss to Northeastern in the season's penultimate game with a complete, outstanding performance on Senior Night to cap off the regular season, beating NU 4-1.
The Eagles head to Durham, NH this weekend to take on UNH in the Hockey East quarterfinals. It's going to be an amazing series.
The women's hockey team plays for a championship today, playing UNH in the Hockey East championship, also in Durham; the game is at 12:30 and will be on NESN at 4:00 PM.
And hey, how about Rakim Sanders? The man has no fear.
My closest hockey-watching friends, aside from my small group at BC, all go to Northeastern, and the DogHouse gang has adopted a motto for this year - "Now is the time!"
All year long, I've been saying "BC's motto is: Later is the time!"
But I've been waiting and waiting, and it was beginning to look like Later wouldn't come this year. While it's going to take a miracle to go on the kind of run that we've seen the last 3 years in a row, there's now a glimmer of hope, as the Eagles fought hard to come back from an 0-3 deficit to beat Providence 4-3 at Schneider Arena, picking up their first weekend sweep since the Maine series which seems like forever ago.
There are always times when, as a fan, you wonder if all the worry and the stress and the expense for something you can't control is worth anything, but nights like these make it rewarding: a fun, exciting road win, on the road with good friends... adversity, hope, belief - all of the intangible stuff that makes this all worthwhile. I left Schneider with the buzz that you can't possibly feel leaving a movie or a concert or a show, no matter how good it is. That's what keeps me coming back.
Really, they should have never been behind 3-0. BC came out strong and outshot and outplayed Providence in the first two frames, but they had bad bounces or missed open nets at least 5 or 6 times. Meanwhile it seemed like every time Providence ambled into the attacking zone, they scored. They even scored a 4th goal in the 2nd period, which was correctly waved off due to goaltender interference; I hoped that would be a turning point, and it was.
In retrospect I'm glad they didn't jump out to an early lead. I'm glad they had to do something tonight that they hadn't done in a while - really show fire and determination. They had to Want It. And there can be no doubt that they Wanted It tonight, as they played with the kind of confidence and fire we saw in the tournament last season.
It's only Providence, but with the way things have been going this season, I'll take it. They've given us reason to hope, and that's all we can really ask for.
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!