March 11, 2011

Playoff roundup: BU evens series with Northeastern

Staff Report

Matt Nieto (photo: Dave Arnold Photography)

BOSTON -- Boston University extended its season on Friday night at Agganis Arena, posting a 5-2 win over Northeastern to force a third and decisive game in the teams' Hockey East quarterfinal series.

After giving up an early goal to the sixth-seeded Huskies, the third-seeded Terriers responded with their first three-goal first period of the season to take a lead they would not relinquish.

BU (19-11-8) got a goal from each class, as senior Joe Pereira (West Haven, Conn.) scored two third-period goals after sophomore Ryan Ruikka, freshman Matt Nieto and junior Kevin Gilroy all found the back of the net in the first. In all, 11 different Terriers recorded a point.

Freshmen Brodie Reid and Jamie Oleskiak each recorded a marker for the Huskies, who move to 13-15-8 on the year.

Junior Kieran Millan made 30 saves, including 15 in the first period alone, and broke BU’s single-season saves record of 1,035 set by Sean Fields during the 2002-03 season. Millan now has 1,058 saves on the year.

The Terriers forced Northeastern netminder Chris Rawlings out after he stopped only three of the first six shots he faced in just 12:47of action. Clay Witt replaced Rawlings and recorded 29 saves.

HOCKEY EAST

Boston College 4, Massachusetts 1

In Chestnut Hill, Mass., -- Ten Eagles registered one point each to lead top-seeded BC in the first of a best-of-three game Hockey East quarterfinal-round series in front of 2,868 fans in Kelley Rink.

Boston College led 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 after the second period.

Junior Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) opened the scoring with an even-strength goal at 10:31of the first period. Classmate Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, Conn.) and senior Brian Gibbons (Braintree, Mass.) scored back-to-back special teams goals in the second period.

Atkinson netted his 28th goal of the season on the power play just 14 seconds into the period and Gibbons lifted the Eagles to a 3-0 lead at 11:18while skating shorthanded.

Massachusetts answered with a power-play tally from Danny Hobbs at the 11:5 2to cut the deficit to 3-1.

BC junior Barry Almeida (Springfield, Mass.) closed the scoring at 2:30 of the final frame.

Merrimack 5, Maine 4

In North Andover, Mass., Elliott Sheen notched his first career two-goal game, netting the game-winner shorthanded, as fourth-seeded Merrimack notched its first home playoff victory since joining Hockey East with  a 5-4 win over No. 5 Maine in Game 1 of the Hockey East quarterfinals before a sellout crowd at Lawler Arena.

Merrimack (23-8-4) and Maine (17-11-7) will square off again Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.in Game 2. The game is sold out but will be televised live across New Englandon NESN beginning at 7 p.m.

With the game tied 3-3 with nine minutes to play, Ryan Flanigan gave Merrimackthe 4-3 lead with an unassisted tally, beating Dan Sullivan short-side at 12:28of the third.

Then with Merrimack shorthanded, Sheen broke through two Mainedefenders at center ice and beat Sullivan glove side on the breakaway at 14:34, extending the lead to 5-3 with what proved to be the game-winner.

New Hampshire 3, Vermont 1

In Durham, N.H., Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) and Phil DeSimone both recorded two points and Matt Di Girolamo stopped 31 of 32 shots to lead second-seeded UNH to a 3-1 victory against No. 7 Vermont in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinals at the Whittemore Center.

UNH, which was ousted on home ice by the Catamounts in last year’s quarterfinals improved to 20-9-6overall. UVM is 8-19-8.

ECAC HOCKEY

Harvard 3, Dartmouth 2

At Hanover, N.H., senior netminder Ryan Carroll made 27 saves in helping Harvard earn a victory over rival Dartmouth in the first game of their ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series Friday night at Thompson Arena.

The victory was Carroll’s eighth straight win and Harvard’s sixth straight. Alex Killorn, Alex Fallstrom and Michael Del Mauro scored for Harvard, while Michael Biega had two assists.

The Crimson held a 31-29 edge in shots, went 1-for-2 on the power-play and killed all three of Dartmouth's advantages. Adam Estoclet and Scott Fleming found the back of the net on the evening for the Big Green. Junior netminder James Mello (Rehoboth, Mass.) finished with 28 saves in taking the loss.

St. Lawrence 4, Yale 3

At New Haven, Conn., St. Lawrence upset nationally third-ranked Yale at Ingalls Rink in Game 1 of a best-of-three playoff series. Freshman forward Greg Carey scored the game-winner at 16:28 of overtime, his second goal of the goal.

Winning their third straight playoff game, the Saints became the first team to down the Bulldogs at Ingalls Rink this season. Yale came into the game with a 16-0-1 record on its home ice. Defender Pat Raley and Aaron Bogosian also netted goals for the winners. Jimmy Martin scored twice and Denny Kearney (Hanover, N.H.) also hit the net as Yale came from behind with three straight tallies and enjoyed a two-goal lead for most of the second period.

Cornell 2, Quinnipiac 1

At Ithaca, N.Y., senior forward Joe Devin (Scituate, Mass.) scored a pair of goals and junior Mike Garman made 36 saves as the Big Red opened post-season play with a victory over Quinnipiac in Game 1 of their quarterfinal series Friday night at Lynah Rink.