March 2, 2014

College Wraparound: Terriers spoil Huskies' weekend

By Joshua Kummins

Coach David Quinn (Cranston, R.I.) was proud of his Terriers after their weekend sweep of Northeastern. (Photo by Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)

BOSTON -- Heading into the final night of the Hockey East regular season, the Northeastern Huskies' task was simple.

Win and lock up home ice.

NU (18-12-4, 10-8-2 Hockey East), ranked ninth in the nation, picked the worst time to falter, losing to the Boston University Terriers (10-20-4, 5-12-3) for the second consecutive night, 4-2, at Matthews Arena.

Northeastern needed one point out of the weekend series to earn home ice in the Hockey East quarterfinals in two weeks, but will have to settle for the fifth seed and a date at New Hampshire after a bye next weekend.

On the flip side, the Terriers struggled to find success away from home ice all year long, and the victory marked its first of the season on enemy turf.

"I've been coaching for almost 20 years and I don't know if I've been more proud (of a team)," Terrier head coach David Quinn said. "To respond the way we did over the past two nights shows our resiliency, our character and our leadership."

For the second straight night, the Terriers jumped on the scoreboard first against their crosstown rivals. Sophomore Matt Lane was on the spot in front, putting home freshman Doyle Somerby's (Marblehead, Mass.) initial shot at 5:13 on the power play.

Braden Pimm leveled the score at 12:21 as his shot deflected off the shoulder of BU sophomore netminder Matt O'Connor and into the net for his 20th goal this year.

After the break, the teams traded some excellent offensive chances in the second period. Crease minders O'Connor and Northeastern junior Clay Witt were equal to the task and kept the game tied.

NU was able to find the back of the net and take a 2-1 lead at 11:29 of the second period. Sophomore Kevin Roy dropped a pass, giving rookie Zach Aston-Reese an open lane for a clean wrist shot in the slot.    

Before the second period closed, the Terriers scored twice and took the lead back. Lane scored his second goal of the night on a backhand shot on the breakaway ay 14:17, before Somerby scored the first goal of his career on a juicy rebound in front of Witt at 16:10.

"We didn't play smart tonight," NU head coach Jim Madigan said. "We turned three pucks over inside their offensive blue line and gave them three goals. ... We gave them their offense. They took advantage and capitalized."

At 7:39 of the third, BU put the game out of reach for the home team as sophomore Mike Moran (Marshfield, Mass.) beat Witt on a hard shot that clanked the left post and bounced home for his second point of the night.

"I thought we did a good job of spending time in their end, making simple plays," Quinn said of the win which clinched his BU team a trip to Notre Dame for a one-game playoff next Saturday night. "It was just a gutty, gutty effort by every guy in that locker room."

Notre Dame 2, Boston College 1 (OT)

Freshman Vince Hinostroza scored with 3:04 remaining in overtime as the No. 14 Fighting Irish (20-12-2, 9-9-2 Hockey East) ended the top-ranked Eagles' 19-game unbeaten streak with a matinee victory at Conte Forum. Junior Johnny Gaudreau scored the lone goal at 1:31 of the third period for the Eagles (25-5-4, 16-2-2), extending his scoring streak to 29 games, while freshman Thatcher Demko made 19 saves.

Vermont 3, UMass Lowell 2

Mario Puskarich scored the 18th goal of his freshman season at 8:13 of the second period, leading the No. 17 Catamounts (18-12-3, 10-10-0 Hockey East) to a regular season-ending victory over the River Hawks (21-9-4, 11-6-3) at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Sophomore Brody Hoffman (27 saves) surrendered goals to UML senior Derek Arnold (Foxboro, Mass.) and sophomore A.J. White in the second period, but UVM held for the victory.

Providence 3, Maine 2

The No. 12 Friars (19-9-6, 11-7-2 Hockey East) used 35 saves from sophomore Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) and a trio of goal scorers to clinch a weekend sweep of the Black Bears (15-13-4, 9-8-3) and their fourth consecutive victory. Rookie Anthony Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) scored the winner for PC at 11:10 of the second period.

New Hampshire 5, Merrimack 2

Kevin Goumas posted a goal and three assists, leading the Wildcats (19-16-1, 11-9-0 Hockey East) offensively as they coasted late to salvage a victory from their weekend series with Merrimack (8-21-3, 3-15-2) at Lawler Arena. The Warriors challenged all night, testing UNH junior Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) but his 49 saves were too much to handle.

Union 3, Brown 0

The third-ranked Dutchmen (24-6-4, 18-3-1 ECAC Hockey) finished off a weekend sweep, handing the host Bears (11-15-3, 8-13-1) their second consecutive home loss by a 3-0 score at Meehan Auditorium. Marco De Filippo made 30 saves in a losing cause in his final home start at Brown.

Quinnipiac 1, Clarkson 1 (OT)

Senior Connor Jones scored with 1:40 remaining in the second period to bring the Bobcats (22-8-6, 12-6-4 ECAC Hockey) even and salvage a point from the season finale at Cheel Arena.

Colgate 2, Dartmouth 1

Junior Eric Neiley cut Dartmouth's deficit in half in the second period, but his effort was not enough as the Big Green (8-17-4, 7-13-2 ECAC Hockey) saw a five-game unbeaten streak snapped at Starr Rink.

Cornell 3, Harvard 2 (OT)

Freshmen Sean Malone and Alexander Kerfoot kept Harvard's hopes of hosting ECAC playoff games alive with the first two goals of the night, but the Crimson (10-15-4, 6-12-4) surrendered three unanswered goals at Lynah Rink, including Joel Lowry's winner at 4:24 of overtime.

Yale 5, Rensselaer 0

An 18-save effort from Alex Lyon and four goals in the third period propelled the No. 15 Elis (15-9-5, 10-8-4 ECAC Hockey) to a dominant shutout win, taking a the back half of weekend home games to close the campaign at Ingalls Rink. Freshman Mike Doherty (Reading, Mass.) was one of two Yale skaters with a goal and an assist in the game.

Bentley 4, American International 1

Four different skaters found the back of the net and senior Branden Komm made 25 saves as the Falcons (18-12-4, 16-7-4) clinched the second playoff seed in Atlantic Hockey by a completing a weekend sweep of the Yellow Jackets (10-23-1, 9-17-1) at Olympia Ice Center. Alex Kubiak scored the winner for the Falcons and first-year Dexter School product Charlie Donners (Norwood, Mass.) earned his first point of the new year with an assist. David Norris scored AIC's goal.

Holy Cross 2, Army 0

Junior Matt Ginn made 12 of his 27 saves in the third period, leading the Crusaders (12-19-3, 11-13-3 Atlantic Hockey) to a 2-0 shutout at West Point's Tate Rink. The blanking was Ginn's first of the season and locked up the AHA's eighth seed for Holy Cross. Sophomore Tim Driscoll (Hingham, Mass.) and senior Shayne Stockton scored the Holy Cross goals.

Sacred Heart 2, Connecticut 1

Sophomore Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) made 25 saves and the Pioneers (12-22-0, 11-16-0 Atlantic Hockey) received goals from Evan Jasper and Drew George, ending their season on a high with a one-goal win over the in-state rival Huskies (18-12-4, 15-9-3) at Milford Ice Pavilion.

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins