Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Next Stop Grand Rapids

For the first time since the NCAA hockey tournament began holding neutral ice regionals, BU is headed West for the first round of the national tournament. The Terriers travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the #2 seed in the Midwest Regional, and will take on #3 seed Michigan State on Friday, March 23, at 8:30 p.m. The victor plays the Notre Dame-Alabama Huntsville winner for the regional championship and a trip to St. Louis for the Frozen Four.

All NCAA Regional games will air on ESPNU. In addition, CN8 in New England will air the BU-MSU game at 8:30 P.M. on Friday, with a Webcast available at CN8 Live.

BU’s last game against Michigan State was 6-1 win in the first round of the 2002 Great Lakes Invitational. The last Terrier-Spartan match-up in NCAA tournament play was a 4-2 MSU win in 1992. Two years previously in 1989-90, the teams played a best of three quarterfinal at Munn Arena in East Lansing, with the Spartans winning the first night and BU registering 5-3 wins each of the next two nights. Overall BU is 7 up and 6 down in 13 games against MSU. Michigan State is coached by former Northern Michigan coach Rick Comley, a good friend of Jack Parker. The two last squared off in an NCAA tournament game in 1993 when BU beat NMU in the regional final. Two years previously, The Wildcats had outlasted the Terriers in 8-7 in 3 OT to win the 1991 National Championship. BU has never played Alabama Huntsville, but has played Notre Dame twice, winning 7-3 in both games. Coincidentally, BU went to the Frozen Four in both years it played Notre Dame: 1971, after beating the Irish at Boston Arena, and 1996, after defeating them in the Badger Showdown.

And, there is a strong BU-NCAA hockey connection in Grand Rapids. Former All-American goalie Dan Brady, who was named Most Outstanding Player during BU’s first NCAA championship win in 1971 and who is now second to John Curry on the BU career GAA list, lives in Grand Rapids. Dan had attended the Terrier’s home opener against Northeastern; he’ll have a shorter trip to see BU play on Friday.

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