Saturday, March 10, 2012

Terriers double up UNH, force third QF game--UPDATED

Sahir Gill scored a goal and added two assists, while Matt Nieto scored the game-winner in BU's 4-2 win over New Hampshire, knotting the quarterfinal series at one game apiece.

Terriers drew first blood when captain Chris Connolly tapped in a loose puck after Alex Chiasson had whacked at the rebound of an Alexx Privitera slapper. UNH tied the score midway through the second period, but Gill's great individual effort (watch the video) on a partial breakaway put BU back on top, 2-1, after two.

New Hampshire evened the score on a power play goal, but less than a minute later, Nieto ripped a shot from the high slot that went off the post, into the net. Ryan Santana closed out the scoring, banging in a pass from Gill after an Adam Clendening pass sent the pair in on a two-on-none.

Coach Jack Parker revamped his top two lines with Nieto moving to the second line with Gill at center and Evan Rodrigues at right wing and it paid dividends, producing a pair of goals and three assists.

After the game, he explained, “I thought we played really well most of the game – just much more thorough – and it looked like we were actually skating tonight. Last night, it looked like we were skating in sand. There was a big change in our overall performance tonight and it showed up on the scoreboard.”

Kieran Millan followed up his 50 saves on Friday night, make another 35 last night.

After a -1 performance Friday night, Gill earned first-star honors with his eighth career multi-point game. Chiasson's assist gives him a team-leading 40 points, one more than Nieto's 39.

Today’s deciding quarterfinal game is a 5 p.m. start. BU will be seeking to keep its hopes for a Hockey East title alive while the Wildcats will be fighting to keep their season going.

● recap, comprehensive box score
● Video highlights
● Boston Hockey Blog recap, analysis
● USCHO recap
● College Hockey News’ The Takeaway
● Boston Globe recap
● feature on the Connolly brothers

Note: Yesterday's game aired on NESN, but outside of New England, it was available on NHL Network, a fact we managed to miss. Our apologies and we hope many of you did find that broadcast. Today's only broadcast is pay-per-view for $8.95 on HockeyEastOnlineTV.

Looking ahead
2013 recruit Danny O’Regan, who led St. Sebastian’s to the championship game of the NEPSAC Martin/Earl division, is skating with the NTDP U18s this weekend and registered an assist in last night’s 4-3 OT win over Youngstown. 2012 recruits Matthew Lane and Matt Grzelcyk are members of the U18s who play the Chicago Steel this afternoon.

2012 recruit Robert Polesello’s second goal in two night, assisted by 2013 recruit Robbie Baillargeon, gave Indiana a second-period lead over Green Bay, but the Gamblers stormed back for a 5-3 win.

Women's team
Terriers' season and winning streak came to an end in heart-breaking fashion as BU lost to Cornell, 8-7, in the waning moments of the third overtime period. In a game eerily similar to the men's team's triple overtime, 8-7 loss in the 1991 NCAA title game, BU has a 3-0 lead, fell behind 7-4, but scored three times in the final 11 minutes of regulation to force overtime that went on seemingly forever.

Sophomore Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice for BU, as did freshman Kayla Tutino, whose second tied the game at 7-7 with two minutes remaining in regulation. Captain Jenn Wakefield added her 29th of season, while Isabel Menard and Kasey Boucher also scored for BU. Goalie Kerrin Sperry made 58 saves during the six periods of action, inc
luding numerous game-saving saves in overtime, before the game-winner eluded her.

Coach Brian Durocher told The Daily Free Press, "After they get up 7-4, its one of those mini-miracle comebacks. We get lucky, pull the goalie at 7-4, and the kid just gets out there, just gets up the ice, and maybe the sixth person had a little bit of luck going in there. But from there the kids took over, and made one heck of a game out if it."

He also paid tribute to the seniors and their contribution to the program: “They have a regular season title, two Hockey East titles, a trip to the final game in the NCAA and today did nothing but superlative for them as people, for them as hockey players and for them as contributors to Boston University. I thank the young ladies of Boston University. They certainly carried the tradition in proud fashion and played for the name on the front of the jersey.”

● recap and comprehensive box score
Boston Hockey Blog recap
● Ithaca Journal recap

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