Live Blog: Hockey East Championship

10:00 p.m.: That will do it for the 2009 Hockey East Tournament.
BU wins the championship game 1-0 over UMass Lowell. Thanks to everyone following along, and be sure to visit for coverage of the national tournament.

9:57 p.m.: The tournament MVP: Kieran Millan. He looked like the favorite for the award heading into the tournament, and he backed it up with his play.

9:55 p.m.: At the time it happened, it seemed like a big deal, and after the game it's even bigger. The review that ruled UMass Lowell did not score made the difference, though the River Hawks still would have had to score another one to win the game.

9:51 p.m.: It's over. BU wins a close one, 1-0, for the seventh Hockey East Championship in school history.
Kieran Millan capped off a great tournament, fittingly, with a shutout.
The River Hawks have nothing to be ashamed of (well, except Holmstrom's cross check), as they gave the Terriers all they had.

9:49 p.m.: The refs put 1.5 seconds on the clock, so the championship will come down to a faceoff in the BU zone. In the semifinal game, BU faced a similar situation and had Nick Bonino jump on the puck to wind the clock down. He paid the price, taking whacks from a number of BC players, but he got the job done. We'll see what BU does tonight.

9:46 p.m.: How's that for drama?!
The River Hawks fire one last blast at Kieran Millan as the clock nearly hit zeros. Millan made the save with about 1.5 seconds left, but the clock ran out.
UMass' Ben Holmstrom then made one of the dirtier plays you can make in hockey, going after Millan with a cross check.

9:44 p.m.: That one would have made highlight reels for the next 20 years if it had been one inch to the left. Kevin Shattenkirk nearly scores from behind his own net, banking it off the boards. The puck made it all the way down the ice but hit the right post.
UMass Lowell is still alive with 42.5 seconds left.

9:41 p.m.: Yet another penalty on BU as Colin Wilson trips Mike Potacco.
That's a crucial call with 1:52 left in the game.
The situation is eerily similar to the semifinal matchup with Northeastern on Friday night. The River Hawks pulled the goalie after Northeastern got called for too many men on the ice and scored the tying goal in the final minute.

9:37 p.m.: So much for the potential UMass Lowell power play. Eric Gryba pushes the puck toward the net but gets tripped by Ryan Blair.
The NESN replay shows that Blair actually hit the puck first with his stick, but the officials don't have that benefit.
The teams will play 4-on-3 for a bit, then 4-on-4, then 5-on-4. Follow?

9:35 p.m.: The River Hawks' penalty kill again provides an offensive opportunity that forces BU to commit a penalty. Lowell will have a 1:18 power play after 42 seconds of 4-on-4.
That's twice in this game that Lowell has negated a BU power play.

9:33 p.m.: This may be the wrong place and wrong time for the argument, but the no-touch icing rule in college hockey is, at times, absurd. In this case, Vinny Saponari flicks the puck past a defender and races to the corner, only to have the icing called.
The Terriers ended up getting a power play off the ensuing faceoff, so maybe it's not the worst thing for them.
BU goes on the power play with 5:27 remaining in the game. The Terriers could put this game away with a goal.

9:26 p.m.: With 6:42 remaining in the third period, it's officially desperation time for UMass Lowell. Tom Caron noted earlier in the broadcast that the River Hawks have scored 15 goals in the final minute of periods this season, but against a team like BU, they're going to have to take care of business before then.

9:26 p.m.: Another good chance for Lowell, but good chances don't show up on the scoreboard. Mike Potacco misses a backhand shot, and the Terriers kill yet another penalty.

9:24 p.m.: At this point, you just have to wonder if the River Hawks are cursed. Jonathan Maniff and Scott Campbell each whiff on golden opportunites.
Luke Popko gets called for a cross check though, so Lowell goes on the 5-on-3.

9:20 p.m.: Will this be the one? Lowell gets another power play opportunity as Kevin Shattenkirk drags Ben Holmstrom to the ice.
I'm not mathematician, but if the River Hawks convert 20 percent of their opportunites, I believe this fifth opportunity could be the one that gives them the tying goal.

9:18 p.m.: BU kills the penalty, and the River Hawks are now 0-4 with the man advantage. During the regular season, the River Hawks were successful 20 percent of the time.

9:13 p.m.: Eric Gryba tries to match Schaus' hit but lets his elbow fly a little too high.
Lowell will go on a crucial power play with just about 15 minutes left in the game.

9:10 p.m.: Oh my. There's the hit of the night, as Nick Schaus turns his body into a torpedo to level Corey Trivino at the blue line.

9:07 p.m.: The third period is underway. We'll see if the River Hawks have any late-game heroics left after last night.

8:58 p.m.: UMass Lowell has taken the lead in shots, 26-25, but still trails in the goal category.

8:50 p.m.: Somehow, BU doesn't score. The Terriers got a number of opportunities, but couldn't get a shot on net as the period ends.
The score is still 1-0.

8:48 p.m.: A hooking call on Jonathan Maniff won't help UMass Lowell's cause. BU goes on the power play with 1:25 left in the second period.

8:48 p.m.: The rapid pace of the game might be catching up to both teams, with some slower play happening. The River Hawks have 1:30 to tie this game up before second intermission.

8:46 p.m.: Matt Gilroy again breaks up a Lowell rush. Gilroy is the kind of player who consistently looks like the best player on the ice every single time he is out there. He's got my vote for the Hobey Baker Award.

8:38 p.m.: I need to change my wording: The officials did not rule that there was ever a goal, so the replay did not take anything away. The replay just confirmed the original call on the ice. I'm still not sure how it confirmed anything but a goal, but I'm not wearing the stripes.

8:37 p.m.: The growing subplot of the second period is an increased chippiness from both sides. Lowell does not plan on going quietly in this game.

8:36 p.m.: On second thought, maybe the officials are just making up for the goal they stole from BU in the semifinal game against BC. If that's the case, I suppose justice has been served.

8:33 p.m.: Mysteriously, the goal is taken away. Play-by-play man Tom Caron says he believes the referees told Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald that the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the line.
From all I can gather, MacDonald seems like a very well-tempered, polite guy. If that was me behind that bench, you can bet I'd be pulling a Bobby Knight. MacDonald is taking it a little better than I would.

8:30 p.m.: There is a MESS in the BU net. Millan left a rebound in the crease, and everybody on UMass Lowell jumped into the crease. After five or six hacks from four different players, the River Hawks stuffed the puck in the net.
The goal is under review, though the replay has shown thus far that the whistle was not blown until after the puck went in the net.

8:28 p.m.: Lowell gets as close to a goal as possible without getting one. Mike Potacco had the puck in front of the net with no goalie in front of him but fanned on the shot. BU dodged a bullet with that one, but Colby Cohen committed a penalty in the immediate aftermath.
If BU has had a theme in this tournament, it's been a lack of discpline. If the Terriers want to win the national championship, they're going to have to stay out of the box.

8:27 p.m.: Some day, the BU band's rendition of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" won't be funny. That day is not today.

8:22 p.m.: Kory Falite is likely not a huge fan of Kieran Millan. The junior was again robbed by Millan, this time on the power play. Falite jumped on a rebound in front and fired toward the inside post, but Millan stretched his right leg to make the impressive save.
Millan's withstood heavy pressure in the opening seven minutes of the period, keeping his team ahead.

8:18 p.m.: That didn't last long. The disciplined penalty kill of UMass Lowell forces a shorthanded opportunity. The rush drew a penalty on BU, so the teams will play 4-on-4 for about a minute.

8:16 p.m.: BU will get its first shot on the power play. BU was 0-5 on the power play against BC in the semifinals.

8:15 p.m.: The overhead camera shows a replay of Joe Pereira getting his stick stuck in the back of the net, putting the pressure from the stick onto his chest. The stick snapped and Pereira has not returned since.

8:13 p.m.: Sonny Watrous reports from the BU bench that Joe Pereira, a sophomore for BU, left the game midway through the first period and is on his way to the hospital after sustaining an "upper-body injury."

8:12 p.m.: The second period is underway.

8:10 p.m.: The Terriers outshot the River Hawks 14-12 in the first period.

7:55 p.m.: Brian Boyle, formerly of Boston College, is honored during the intermission ceremony and welcomed kindly by the Boston University fans with a round of boos.

7:48 p.m.: At the end of the first period, BU leads 1-0.

7:45 p.m.: And there's the first goal of the night, scored by Brandon Yip. After John McCarthy's shot went off the post, Yip stuffed in the rebound to put the Terriers ahead 1-0.
The goal was a result of great puck movement in the offensive zone.
The River Hawks are no strangers to coming back, though, so I wouldn't think they're too worried yet.

7:44 p.m.: There's no score yet, but if this was a boxing match, the River Hawks would definitely lead 10-9 after the first round.

7:40 p.m.: Kieran Millan robs Kory Falite with a toe save to keep the game scoreless. The freshman goaltender has proven over the course of the year that he can handle the pressure-filled games.

7:39 p.m.: UMass Lowell will be the first to go on the power play, and that's not good for BU. The River Hawks have one of the most effective power plays in Hockey East, trailing only BU.

7:38 p.m.: Zach Cohen, who got opened the scoring barrage in the semifinals, gets a golden opportunity, but is turned away by Hamilton. The goaltender has handled all the Terriers have offered thus far and looked sharp in doing so.

7:30 p.m.: BU's defense again makes a difference. This time, Matt Gilroy breaks up a pass and knocks it out of play. Though the Terriers' defense looks strong, the River Hawks are playing aggressively and getting their opportunities.

7:26 p.m.: Lowell tries to repeat history by attempting a tip-in goal, but Millan is up to the task.
The opening 10 minutes has had a quick pace to it. It will be interesting to see who will get winded first and who can take advantage.

7:23 p.m.: Chris Auger just carried the puck into Kieran Millan's crease, but BU defenseman Brian Strait lifted his stick to prevent the shot. Defensive plays like that often don't get remembered, but they are the ones that can make the biggest impact in big games.

7:20 p.m.: A quick shot from Nick Bonino is handled by Nevin Hamilton. Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald stuck with his formula of splitting time between goaltenders. Carter Hutton got the win against Northeastern in the semifinals, but he'll watch the championship game from the bench.

7:18 p.m.: The two teams are feeling each other out to start the game, with neither generating much in terms of opportunities in the opening four minutes.

7:11 p.m.: One player to watch out for if you're UMass Lowell is Brandon Yip. The senior forward was given a game misconduct in the opening minutes of the semifinal game against Boston College, so chances are the fiery Yip will come out blazing.

7:08 p.m.: A pre-game interview with Colin Wilson, an interview with Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald, a press conference with Jack Parker and a feature on Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk, check out the video center.

7:06 p.m.: Your top lines and starting goaltenders for both teams:

Starting Lineups:

UMass Lowell

LW    Mark Roebothan, Sr.

C       Scott Campbell, So.

RW    Mike Potacco, Sr.

D       Jeremy Dehner, Jr.

D       Nick Schaus, Jr.

G       Nevin Hamilton, Jr.


LW    Chris Higgins, Sr.

C       Colin Wilson, So.

RW    Jason Lawrence, Sr.

D       Brian Strait, Jr.

D       Matt Gilroy, Sr.

G       Kieran Millan, Fr.

6:21 p.m.: Hello and welcome to the live blog. The Boston University Terriers will take on the UMass Lowell River Hawks for the Hockey East Championship.
BU is looking for its seventh title, while UMass Lowell is going for its first ever Hockey East title.
Both teams advanced with dramatic wins in the semfinals, with Lowell downing Northeastern in overtime and BU scoring three goals in a 44-second span to top BC.
For background information, check out the preview on UMass Lowell and the preview on BU.
I'll be updating before the game with video from Hockey East Faceoff Live before the puck drops at 7 p.m.

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