Sunday, March 01, 2015

4 Special Team Goals Power Title-Clinching Win for BU--UPDATED

Rebounding from a weak performance on Friday night, the #4 Terriers used a fast start to dominate Northeastern, 6-1, in the regular-season finale. Freshman Jack Eichel scored twice—a shorthander and a power play goal—as did Ahti Oksanen, who has a team-best 22 goals.

After the 6-5 loss to the Huskies on Senior Night, Coach David Quinn laid it on the line: "We're gonna find out a lot about ourselves tomorrow night."  And he liked what he found out, noting,  “First of all, I’m proud of our kids, To finish first in this league is never an easy thing to do. The way we responded after last night says a lot about the resiliency and leadership of our team.” 

With the win, BU clinches its first Hockey East regular-season title since 2009. The Terriers have a bye in the first round of the new-format Hockey East playoff and will host a quarterfinal best-of-three series beginning March 13 against the lowest remaining seed following the first round.

With BU a man down, Eichel opened the scoring with an unassisted goal. Then Oksanen (photo), who had moved back to defense to replace the injured John MacLeod, scored with assists to JJ Piccinich and Matt Grzelcyk. The junior from Finland then set up Danny O’Regan’s 19th goal with a slick between-the-legs backhand pass on a power play. Evan Rodrigues also assisted on what was also O’Regan’s 100th career point. NU’s Kevin Roy cut the lead to 3-1, but Grzelcyk continued his hot streak, one-timing a bullet from the blue line for his eighth goal, off a pass from Rodrigues with Brandon Fortunato also earning a helper.

BU would add two more power play goals for a total of three in seven chances. Late in the second period, Oksanen scored on a five-on-three, assisted by Eichel and Grzelcyk. And in the game’s waning minutes, Eichel (photo) tallied his 18th from O’Regan and Oksanen.

With 3:19 remaining, graduate student Anthony Moccia replaced Matt O’Connor in goal for his first game action of the season. O’Connor stopped 24 of 26 Husky shots.

First star honors went to Oksanen who had a career-best four points. Grzelcyk (3 points) was the second star and Eichel (also 3) was third star.

With a nation’s-best 55 points (18G, 37A), Eichel is one point behind John Cullen for most points by a BU freshman. Ahead are Tony Amonte (58 points) and both Dave Silk and Mark Fidler with 65.

In conference games, Eichel has 44 points (14G, 30A) and becomes the first Hockey East player to average 2 points per game in league play since UNH’s Jason Krog in 1998-99. Rodrigues and O’Regan finish conference play second (36) and third (31) respectively.

● recap and comprehensive box score
● Post-game comments: Quinn, Moccia
● Daily Free Press recap, Moccia in net caps finale
Boston Hockey Blog Pluses & Minuses
● College Hockey News recap
● USCHO recap
● WEEI College Hockey Blog recap
● HockeyEastOnline recap 
Boston Herald recap

Looking back
Former Terrier captain Carl Corazzini, a first-year head coach at St. Mark’s School, has led the Lions to their first Eberhart Division title in 12 seasons. With its overtime win over Groton on Saturday, the Lions have won 20 games for the first time since 1981. Corazzini succeeded Scott Young behind the bench after Young was named BU’s Director of Hockey Operations.

Looking ahead
2015 recruit Maxim Letunov scored a goal and added an assist in Youngstown’s 7-1 romp over Fargo. 2016 recruit Vas Kolias assisted on a short-handed goal for the Phantoms.

2016 recruit Kieffer Bellows scored his 26th goal—one behind the league leader—and added two assists in Sioux Falls’ 5-2 win against Lincoln. The power forward from Edina, Minnesota has 36 points this season.

2016 recruit Hank Crone assisted on a pair of goals for Omaha in their 4-3 win against Des Moines.

Women’s Team
#7 Terriers completed a two-game sweep of their Hockey East quarterfinal series, overwhelming Vermont again, 7-2. Sophomore Samantha Sutherland (photo) scored a pair of goals and five other Terriers also found the net. Kayla Tutino, who scored four times on Friday, notched her 14th, while captain Marie-Philip Poulin tallied her 22nd, Victoria Bach her 19th, Rebecca Leslie her 14th and Shannon Stoneburgh her second.

Sophomore Victoria Hanson stopped 18 of 20 Catamount shots.

BU joins BC and Connecticut in next weekend’s semifinals in Hyannis. New Hampshire and Northeastern will play a third game Sunday to determine the fourth semifinalist. recap and comprehensive box score

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