Live Blog: Hockey East Semifinals


Mar 20, 2009

11:19 p.m.: That will do it from the Garden. BC outshoots BU 9-4 in the third but it's not enough as the Terriers win it 3-2.

BU will take on the River Hawks Saturday night at 6 p.m. ET. Tune in to NESN for all your pregame coverage. Speaking of which, tune into NESN now for SportsDesk with Cole Wright.

11:18 p.m.: Heads up play by Muse, who read the play and darted back for the net as he saw BU's Wilson coming down the ice with the puck. Now he's back to the bench.
BC has an empty net with seven seconds to go.

11:17 p.m.: Muse heads for the bench with 1:01 left…

11:15 p.m.: BU has just three shots on goal this period but all three are for goals.
The Eagles come down hard on Millan and get a good 2-on-2 shot off. Millan even looked over his shoulder to see if the puck snuck by to tie things up, but the biscuit was buried in his pads somewhere.

11:07 p.m.: The Eagles get one back! BC makes it a one goal game thanks to Joe Whitney's tip in. Orpik and Aiello are awarded helpers on the tally. 3-2 Terriers with five to go.

11:04 p.m.: I'd hate to be the BC fan who just went up to grab a couple of beers only to come back to see BU put up a field goal on your Eagles.

11:02 p.m.: Three goals in 44 seconds for the Terriers. WOW. Colin Wilson comes out of the opposite corner Cohen did and beats Muse for the 3-1 lead.
What just happened?!?!

11:01: p.m.: And there's another for BU! The Terriers take the 2-1 lead. Brian Strait gets one past Muse with a shot from the point.

11:00 p.m.: What an individual effort by Zach Cohen who snuck out of the corner, fended off an Eagles defenseman, and beat Muse far side to tie things up.

10:56 p.m.: BC killed off yet another penalty kill to hold onto their 1-0 lead. The Terriers are now 0-for-5 on the PP. The Eagles have blocked from 10-12 shots tonight, making Muse's job a lot easier.

10:50 p.m.: BU has played great third period hockey all season long, outscoring opponents 52-24. They probably won't have a good chance to pop one for the next two minutes, however, after Eric Gryba gets whistled for a high stick.

10:47 p.m.: Should BC hang on to shutout the Terriers, they will be the first team to do so in over 90 games.

10:40 p.m.: BC is on the power play early in the third period but isn't making good shooting decisions. The Eagles are letting wild shots let go rather than making one or two extra passes to get the better shot off.

10:27 p.m.: Losing Yip early in the game has really killed the BU power play. Then again, Muse is 6-0 in the Hockey East playoffs so far in his young college career, so that also has something to do with the Terriers' offensive struggles.

10:25 p.m.: There's the horn to end the second period. Both teams enter the locker rooms as BC holds the 1-0 lead despite 12 scoring chances by the Terriers. BU also leads in the shots department, 17-14.
There was no assist awarded on Smith's goal but give Brian Gibbons credit for ripping a screamer from the left side that caused the rebound.

10:24 p.m.: Fans following along can check out the GameTracker. Although it's a good 10 minutes slow, there are some hysterical video ads — my favorite is the Axe one.

10:22 p.m.: Smith's goal will stand. 1-0 Eagles.

10:14 p.m.: This battle of Comm Ave. supremacy finally sees its first goal. BC gets on the board when Ben Smith pops his sixth goal of the season. Smith batted a rebound out of the air.
The refs are going to use their lifeline again and go upstairs to see if Smith's stick was too high when he swatted it past Millan.

10:10 p.m.: The Terriers are clearly dominating the No. 6 BC Eagles here in the second. BU has six scoring chances this frame while BC has zero.

10:07 p.m.: BU just had their best and closest scoring chance as Kevin Shattenkirk's rip from the point was deflected by Jason Lawrence nearly beating Muse. Lawrence than almost got a piece of the rebound but whiffed on it before BC defenders closed in to clear it.

10:02 p.m.: Matt Price of Boston College heads to the bin thanks to a holding call.

9:59 p.m.: BC has blocked three shots in this kill alone. BU can't even sneak a shot through to Muse.
The Terriers don't do anything with the man-up and are now 0-for-3 on the night and 1-for-19 in the tourny on the power play.

9:56: p.m.: BU will be on their third power play of the evening after BC's Andrew Orpik was called for interference.

9:54 p.m.: Muse just stoned a Joe Periera tip in attempt. Periera was streaking in front as a teammate threw a wild pass towards the net; the sophomore winger got a piece of it but Muse was zoned in on the rubber the whole way.

9:50 p.m.: BC is controlling the flow early in the second period but BU has had some great chances. Muse and Millan are both on their games tonight.

9:30 p.m.: After a back and forth period, neither team was able to get anything going. BC had a couple of good rushes but shots either sailed wide or into the big pads of Millan. The story of this frame was Yip getting the boot in the opening minutes.
The Terriers outshot the Eagles 9-7.

9:15 p.m.: Colby Cohen just got tossed into the boards on a great hit by BC's Brian Gibbons. Gibbons rode him perfectly into the boards as he gained the blue line and absolutely crushed him.

9:10 p.m.: The Screamin' Eagles are probably screaming curse words, as BC was unable to bang home a goal during the five minute man advantage.

9:08 p.m.: BC and BU have faced each other two times before tonight in the Hockey East semifinals, with each team winning one game apiece.

9:05 p.m.: The Eagles just threatened with a few shots on Millan but the freshman hung on to the final rip from the point to get the whistle. BC really needs to take advantage of this power play; so far, they aren't doing much with it.

9:00 p.m.: Brandon Yip just received a five minute major and a game misconduct for a dirty and dangerous hit from behind on BC's Tim Filangieri. Yip hit the BC defenseman square between the shoulder blades and into the boards for the hit from behind call.
Not the way the Terriers want to start out. Yip, a senior, had 18 goals and 20 assists in 39 games this year for BU.

8:56 p.m.: Between the pipes, as expected, will be sophomore John Muse for BC and freshman Kieran Millan for BU.

8:50 p.m.: BC and BU are ready to square off. BC, the defending Hockey East and National Champs are 5-1 in their last six games but are 0-2-1 against BU this year.
"We have a formidable challenge in front of us," BC coach Jerry York told "But we feel like we're peaking, we're playing our best hockey of the year these last three weeks. We'll be a really focused team and it should be a terrific weekend for Hockey East. We want to continue playing and the only way they'll let us do that is to earn the automatic bid from our conference."
No. 1 ranked BU enters this contest after topping Maine in three games in the opening round. The Terriers had the best offense (3.95 goals per game) and toughest defense (2.00 goals per game) during the regular season and also captured the Beanpot tournament on the Garden ice just over one month ago.

8:09 p.m.: Chris Auger is tonight's hero. Auger tipped in a shot on net from Holmstrom at the top of the left faceoff circle. Paul Worthington also tallied an assist on the winner.
UML outshot NU 44-27.
The River Hawks will take on the winner of BC-BU Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the Garden for the Hockey East crown.

8:08 p.m.: UMass Lowell scores again! The Hawks are advancing… Thiessen can't believe it.

7:59 p.m.: Both teams have a good record in OT this season. UML is 2-1 while NU is 3-0. Should be an exciting frame of free hockey.
Shots after regulation: UML-42, NU-26.

7:50 p.m.: Give Holmstrom credit for the screen on Thiessen in front for the game-tying goal. Also, the blast from the point off the stick of Edwards was an absolute ripper and was kept nice and low to create the big rebound to Campbell.

7:47 p.m.: Campbell bangs home a rebound into a wide open net to tie things up at two on the power play. The teams will head into extra time to decide this one.

7:46 p.m.: The Hawks tie it up with 19 seconds to go!

7:44 p.m.: The River Hawks are 0-for-21 on the power play against NU this year.
UML pulls Hutton so it's a six on four.

7:39 p.m.: A too many men penalty on Northeastern is called with just over a minute to go in regulation. Greg Cronin might lose it on the NU bench.

7:32 p.m.: The Huskies will go on the man-advantage as a trailing Huskies forward was hauled down from behind during a 3-on-2.

7:25 p.m.: Hutton just got woken up with three quick shots in a row. The UML keeper hasn't seen much action this period as the River Hawks offense continues to dominate the frame.

7:15 p.m.: The River Hawks are outshooting NU 8-2 so far in the third. You can smell a tie coming. Hope the Terriers and the Eagles are willing to sit around and wait for this one to end, because they just might have to.

7:11 p.m.: Because of post-whistle exchanges, the teams will go four-on-four. Remember, UML scored their only goal when it was four-on-four last period. Let's see if history will repeat itself.

7:08 p.m.: A little scuffle after the whistle after a River Hawk skater came in hard on Thiessen. Things may get chippy here, as UML will be desperate to tie things up.

7:06 p.m.: And we're underway in the final frame of the opening semifinal match. We're back and forth just like in the first period.

6:57 p.m.: At the break, Hockey East honored some of the best players in its 25 years. Some players included Brian Leetch of BC, Bob Beers of Maine, Jon Morris of UML, Shawn McEachern of BU and Tim Army of Providence.

6:46 p.m.: UMass Lowell is leading in the shots department 26-19.

6:40 p.m.: The teams head to the locker room for the second intermission, as NU holds a 2-1 lead.

6:39 p.m.: Thanks to some beautiful passing, the Hawks were able to finally beat Thiessen. A give and go from the point by Ryan Blair beats Thiessen top shelf at the backdoor. It's Blair's first of the year to make it 2-1. Credit Scott Campbell, who fed it back to Blair, with a great assist.

6:38 p.m.: The River Hawks just coughed up the power play as Maury Edwards goes off on a tripping call. There will be a four-on-four for 58 seconds before the Huskies get the PP.

6:32 p.m.: The River Hawks, down 2-0, will be on the power play as Northeastern's Denis Chisholm heads to the box. A goal here would be huge for the Hawks who haven't been able to figure out Thiessen yet tonight.

6:26 p.m.: In case you missed it, Clay Buchholz had a strong outing in the Red Sox 11-4 win over the Pirates earlier today. Cue the duckboats?

6:20 p.m.: And here's when the Huskies pour it on. Rob Rassey buries a rebound out front to give NU a 2-0 lead in the blink of an eye. Two goals in 25 seconds is a major blow to UML, but with almost 30 minutes of hockey left and the way the River Hawks have been fighting so far, you can't count them out just yet.

6:19 p.m.: And the Huskies break the tough River Hawks penalty kill and score the game's first goal. Kyle Kraemer beats Hutton over his left shoulder with just three seconds remaining on the power play.

6:18 p.m.: Potacco nearly tips in a short-handed goal. The deflection from the right side beat Thiessen but missed wide left.

6:15 p.m.: The ref is going to use a lifeline and phone a friend. One of the shots on Hutton is being reviewed upstairs as the UML keeper's pad had it covered but his momentum backwards may have brought the puck over the goal line.

6:12 p.m.: Hutton's risky puck work behind the net almost makes him pay. He attempted to clear it up off the boards but a Huskies fore checker got a body on it and kept it in the zone. NU had three chances in front with bodies flying everywhere but the final shot sailed over the net. After the dust settled, UML was penalized with a cross-check.

6:10 p.m.: Thiessen robs Ben Holmstrom of an open net power play goal. The Huskies' keeper managed to get a right pad on the point-blank wrister from the left side of the net.

6:06 p.m.: UML will go on another power play. The Riverhawks had three chances in a row but Thiessen shut the door. An initial shot on net was deflected just wide of the net before a pair of put-back attempts were stuffed. Joe Vitale will hit up the box for hooking.

6:04 p.m.: The River Hawks are really putting Thiessen to work. UML isn't backing down from these No. 2 ranked Huskies.

6:00 p.m.: And we're underway in period two. I'll be nice and simply say that there's still plenty of good seating available at the Garden.

5:43 p.m.: No score after the first frame despite 27 combined shots. UML took control of the period after NU looked to be dominating. The River Hawks are really giving Thiessen and the Huskies a scare. Let's see if they can keep it up coming out of the locker room.

5:40 p.m.: Hutton is very active around the net. He just beat two NU players to a puck behind his cage and dished it away. He's looking like a third defenseman out there so far.

5:38 p.m.: The Huskies are unable to get anything done on the power play. I warned you about that River Hawks penalty kill unit, didn't I? FYI: The Huskies were 33-for-220 (15 percent) on the power play this season.

5:34 p.m.: Yard sale! Mike Potacco of UML drags down Jim Driscoll behind the Huskies net and sends his glove flying. Potacco heads to the sin-bin for a couple minutes.

5:30 p.m.: Free Bruins playoff tickets to anyone who can explain to me what a River Hawk is…
OK, I don't have free Bruins tickets, but what the heck is a River Hawk? If I were a Hawk, I wouldn't be hanging out by a river, I'd be flying around. That's just me…

5:29 p.m.: Thiessen snags one out of the air to stop the play. The save was "glovely" if I may steal a term from NESN SportsDesk's John Chandler.

5:26 p.m.: Hutton is holding his ground between the pipes for the Hawks but for how long? The speedy Huskies appear to be controlling the flow.

5:24 p.m.: The River Hawks have the slight disadvantage here as this UMass Lowell bunch has yet to play on the Garden surface together. NU was here just over a month ago for the Beanpot — just as they do every year.

5:20 p.m.: NU killed off the UML power play and nearly answered with a tally of their own as the kill ticked off. Thiessen left a rebound sitting out in front but three Huskies swooped in and led a 3-on-2 the other way but Carter Hutton got a shoulder on it.

5:18 p.m.: Thiessen just had a great right pad save on a mini-break away by Kory Falite.

5:16 p.m.: NU is going to test out that awesome River Hawks power play early as Tyler McNeely got caught cheating.

5:12: p.m.: On Thursday, Northeastern goalie Brad Thiessen was named the Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East first team All-Star and a Hobey finalist. Also, Boston University forward Colin Wilson, defenseman Matt Gilroy and Vermont forward Viktor Stalberg were all named Hobey Baker finalists and Hockey East first team All-Stars. Congrats, gentlemen.

5:10 p.m.: Bored? You certainly shouldn't be. But if you are, here's a good piece by NESN P.A. Mark Mirlocca.

5:00 p.m.: For recaps of No. 2 Northeastern's season and how the Huskies got to this point, click here. For No. 5 UMass Lowell's magical run, click here.

4:47 p.m.: The Northeastern Huskies are in the semifinals for the first time since the 1994 season and they will have their hands full. UMass Lowell is coming off of an opening round sweep of Vermont and holds the second-best power play in Hockey East with a 19.9 percent and the best penalty killing unit at 87.9 percent. Needless to say, the River Hawks are also red-hot, as Blaise MacDonald's crew is 10-3-2 in their last 15 games.
But don't think NU head coach Greg Cronin is intimidated.
"I think we do have a mentally tough group," Cronin told the Boston Globe. "These are the same seniors who went through a three-win campaign back in their freshman year. I think the stinger of that is still there, how fleeting success can be."

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