Hockey East Championship Countdown, Nos. 24-19


Mar 17, 2009

Editor's note: This season marks the 25th anniversary of the Hockey East Tournament, and in celebration of the quarter-century mark, we have ranked the 24 championship games from 1985-2008. From now until this year's championship game, we will count down the most memorable championships in Hockey East history.

24. 1992: Maine 4, UNH 1

The University of Maine was an impressive team in '92, but their domination of Hockey East wound up making for a lopsided tournament.  Cal Ingraham’s ineligibility, due to a lack of credits, wound up costing Maine 14 victories that season, but Black Bears were still the class of the conference.
As the No. 1 seed in the tourney, the Black Bears embarrassed No. 8 Merrimack with a 7-0 shutout in the quarterfinals before crushing No. 5 Boston College in the semis 7-3.
The only team with a chance to knock off Maine in the tournament was UNH, but even the Wildcats were no match for the juggernaut that was the Black Bears. Maine cruised to a 4-1 win in the finals over UNH, and Maine senior Scott Pellerin was awarded tournament MVP before going on to play in 536 NHL games.

23. 1993: Maine 5, BU 2

There will probably never be a college hockey team as dominant as the 1992-93 Maine Black Bears. That season Maine finished with a 42-1-2 record and won the national championship, thanks to a 100-point season from Paul Kariya (25-75-100), Jim Montgomery’s 95 points (32-63) and Cal Ingraham’s 85 (46-39). Montgomery was 23 that season and Ingraham was 22. Kariya? He was 17.
But when it came to the Hockey East Tournament, Maine was just too superior for an entertaining tournament. Sure hockey fans wanted to see the Black Bears humiliate their opponents, but it didn’t make for exciting contests.
Maine scored 27 goals in their four games, and capped off the tournament by smoking Boston University 5-2. Montogomery, a senior, took home the MVP, but only managed nine goals in his NHL career.

2008: BC 4, Vermont 0

The freshest game in everyone’s mind was also one of the most uneventful. Boston College was No. 4 in Hockey East and needed to upset No. 1 UNH in three overtimes to get to the finals, but all the fireworks were used in the semis.
No. 3 Vermont, playing in their first Hockey East finals since coming over from the ECAC, stunned No. 2 Boston University the same way BC shocked UNH. But when the Catamounts and Eagles met in the championship, it resulted in a lackluster title game.
BC blanked UVM 4-0 in the finals, and Nathan Gerbe led BC, like he did throughout the entire 2007-08 season, with two points in the championship game en route to being named MVP.

21. 1986: Boston University, 9, Boston College 4

In ’86, Boston College went into the tournament as the No. 1 seed, but couldn’t finish that way.
The Eagles received a bye in the opening round before dismantinling UMass Lowell 5-2 in the semifinals. But while BC was looking to coast through the tournament, Boston University had other plans.
The Terriers dropped UNH in the quarterfinals, and then topped Providence at the Providence Civic Center 3-2, setting up a Commonwealth Ave. showdown in the championship.
As the No. 2 seed, Boston University posted the upset with a 9-4 win over Boston College at the Providence Civic Center, led by tournament MVP Peter Marshall. But even though it was a No. 2 team topping a No. 1 and a matchup of rivals, the championship lacked dramatics as BU easily had their way with BC.

20. 1987: Boston College 4, Maine 2

Boston College bounced back in the ’87 tournament after its devastating loss the year before.
BC earned a bye in the quarterfinals and was well rested for the semifinals against Northeastern at the Boston Garden. The Eagles demolished the Huskies 9-3, creating a championship game against No. 3 Maine.
It wouldn’t be until seven years later that Brian Leetch would provide heroics for the New York Rangers in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, but Leetch put his name on the map for Hockey East postseason legends as the freshman earned MVP of tournament that season. The defenseman from Connecticut led the way for the Eagles as they defeated the Black Bears 4-2, winning their first conference championship.

19. 2002: UNH 3, Maine 1

There wasn’t much to the 2002 finals as the tournament played out, for the most part, the way it appeared on paper.
No. 1 UNH scored 11 goals in two games against bottom seed Merrimack in the quarterfinals and then edged UMass Lowell 4-3 at the Fleetcenter in the semis.
Maine, the No. 3 team, scored 11 goals of their own in the quarters against Boston College, and then knocked off No. 2 Boston University in the semifinals 4-3.
A battle of the two northern Hockey East schools was the scenario as UNH would face Maine in the championship for the first time since 1992, and this time the result was reversed as UNH beat Maine 3-1. UNH senior Darren Haydar was named MVP in the same season he scored 76 points for the Wildcats.

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Hockey East Championship Countdown, Nos. 18-13

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