Hockey East Championship Live Blog: Boston College Claims Victory in 7-6 OT Thriller


March 20, 2010

Hockey East Championship Live Blog: Boston College Claims Victory in 7-6 OT Thriller Final, BC 7-6: Boston College wins the Hockey East title as Matt Lombardi gets the hat trick 5:25 into OT.

It’s Lombardi’s first hat trick, with the Eagle lighting the lamp right in front of Wilson.

Wilson is sitting dejectedly on the ice, and it must be tough for him to stomach what just happened.

Unfortunately for Maine, it’s sudden-death overtime, so it can’t do what it has done all game: answer with a goal.

Overtime, 15:44, 6-6: Nyquist gets a shot off that’s rejected by Muse. The puck goes out of play, giving both teams a breather.

Maine holds a 6-1 shots advantage so far.

Overtime, 17:00, 6-6: Maine has two shots on goal so far, those have gone wide. BC has yet to challenge Wilson.

Overtime, 18:00, 6-6: Nothing notable so far, both teams are aware what’s at stake and how fragile the situation is. Both teams seem more focused on preventing a goal than taking risks on offense.

Beginning of overtime, 6-6: Maine’s Joey Diamond and BC’s Matt Lombardi both have two goals apiece to pace scoring in the game.

While the winner of this game gets an automatic berth in the Frozen Four tournament, BC has a good chance to get in regardless of the game’s outcome.

For Maine, however, it’s likely the team has to win to get into the tourney.

End of third period, 6-6: After all but one goal (BC’s fourth), Maine answered minutes (and sometimes seconds) later with one of their own.

They still had one more response to go if the Black Bears wanted to keep their hopes alive for a championship.

Fortunately, Maine had just enough time to equal the score. As a result, sudden-death overtime is on the way.

Third period, 0:27.3, 6-6: A time-out was called, with a face-off in BC territory set

That’s all Maine needed to score, as Joey Diamond comes away with the puck after the face-off fracas. He fires the puck in the top right of Muse’s net and we’re all knotted up.

Looks like overtime is en route.

Third period, 1:00, BC 6-5: Both teams are playing all-out, as the Eagles want to get another goal for a breather while Maine, of course, is staring at a loss if they don’t score.

There is a faceoff after the whistle with three minutes to play halts play. BC wins the puck, but Maine grabs control, but House gets spun off the puck.

After the Eagles get crashed into the Maine boards, the Black Bears bring the puck back down the ice. A couple more seesaw battles ensue, and the final minute is upon us with BC bringing the puck down the ice.

Third period, 3:39, BC 6-5: Maine has been outshot 10-4 so far this period, but the Black Bears have converted two.

Third period, 5:01, BC 6-5: A fresh window pane is installed and action has resumed.

Almost like clockwork, Maine answers BC’s latest goal with one of their own.

Spencer Abbott takes a quick shot right after the face-off that finds it’s way into the goal.

Third period, 5:37, BC 6-4: There’s a bit of a delay as one of the windows protecting fans from the ice has cracked. Workers are preparing to remove the pane and replace it.

Third period, 5:37, BC 6-4: Almeida and Lombardi trading passes down the ice and the final pass from the right boards takes a tumble into the crease. Almeida then guides it home for a Eagles two-goal lead.

Third period, 6:33, BC 5-4: An offsides whistle halts play and Maine was hoping for a penalty to be called on Boston College, but there’s no such penalty.

One of the announcers noted that with all the penalties tonight, that uncalled penalty could have easily been called.

One has to wonder if the referees are letting both teams battle it out without interference now that the game is in its waning minutes.

Third period, 8:30, BC 5-4: Nyquist exits the box (hooking) and will join the Black Bears in a push to net a goal with less than nine minutes remaining.

Third period, 11:43, BC 5-4: Maine should patent the idea of answering an opponent’s scoring as they have now immediately responded in kind three times on the game.

David de Kastrozza has scored his ninth goal off a power play as Sneep was called for tripping.

De Kastrozza entered his senior year on the hunt for his first career goal, which makes his nine on the season all the more impressive. He also has 12 assists and has easily outpaced his previous high in points: three as a freshman.

Third period, 14:44, BC 5-3: Jimmy Hayes gives the Eagles some much-needed breathing room, flicking off a sensational spin move that dumbfounded Wilson.

In Hayes’ last 10 games, he has four goals and seven assists.

Third period, 16:00, BC 4-3: Some hard hits so far in the third period, but no penalties.

Maine is doing a good job of pushing the puck up the ice, but the Eagles are equally as good as disrupting any burgeoning attack.

Beginning of third period, BC 4-3: The third period is about to begin and it’s 20 minutes until the Hockey East champion is crowned.

After a rash of penalties in the first and second period, it will be interesting to see if either the players ease up or the referees let the game be played… or of course, neither.

End of second period, BC 4-3: A mess of a period as both teams had constant penalties. The slate is wiped clean to end the period, however, so the third will start with a 5-on-5.

BC has lost 20 minutes of the game to penalties, while Maine is more controlled at 12 minutes.

Maine has also surpassed the Eagles for shots on goal, 24 to 21. After a first period where the Eagles had the 16-8 mark of shots on goal, the Black Bears answer with 16 of their own in the second.

Second period, 1:20, BC 4-3: Dee exits the box and will walk right back in due to offensive interference along with Brian Gibbons (unsportsmanlike) for matching penalties.

Second period, 2:40, BC 4-3: A 4-on-4 results as Tommy Cross and Robby Dee both get reprimanded for hitting after the whistle.

Speaking of whistles, there’s yet another one as a Black Bear was trying to carry the puck and got involved in a collision, his head making acquaintances with the board. Ben Smith heads to the penalty box for boarding, and it’s a 4-on-3 for Maine.

Second period, 4:54, BC 4-3: Maine comes close to a goal as the two-man advantage wanes, but the puck takes a lucky — for the Eagles — bounce and BC clears the puck.

Boston College has killed off the  5-on-4 advantage, bringing both to full strength.

Maine is scoreless in five shots on goal during the power play, and gets a second chance as Atkinson heads to the box for hooking. The Eagles need to scale back on their aggressiveness: it seems as if a BC player is taking up permanent residence down there.

Nyquist is behind the net, plays it out to the front and Tanner House flicks it in for a goal to edge closer to tying the game up again.

Second period, 6:36, BC 4-2: Gibbons hits the ice after Atkinson is called for tripping.

Given that BC already had Philip Samuelsson in the box for cross-checking, there’s a big chance for the Black Bears to punch a goal through before the power play ends.

The Eagles are all bunching up in front of Muse, hoping to deny any goal.

There’s a shot on goal that Muse is able to pounce on, and there’s about 45 seconds left on the 2-man advantage.

Second period, 8:40, BC 4-2: The Eagles had a prime opportunity to jump three goals ahead when Nemec was sent to cool off for hooking.

Maine is hanging tough, however, and was able to kill off the threat.

Second period, 14:25, BC 4-2: The Eagles are flying high now.

Matt Price drew the puck down the ice and flicked it off the boards, drawing Wilson out of position.

It was easy-peasy for Lombardi to shoot the goal in as a result.

It’s a tall task to go post-to-post in seconds to reject a goal, and Wilson couldn’t pull it off.

It’s 4-2 BC now.

Second period. 16:06, BC 3-2: Big save by BC’s Muse on Spencer Abbot as the Eagles have so far avoided the dreaded Maine counter-attack.

There’s a big shot into the gut of Wilson who hangs onto the puck and stop play.

Second period, 18:21, BC 3-2: A minute left to go on Maine’s power play, but Boston College is handling the tempo and puck — and nets a goal as a result of their dominance despite being short-handed.

Joe Whitney flicked off a shot with traffic in front of him from the right side near the blue line. The puck fired into the top right corner, with a gaping hole Wilson couldn’t close up in time.

Beginning of second period, 2-2: Maine and Boston College are set to get back underway.

For those wondering, BC holds an all-time edge of 54-39-9 against Maine.

The three times both played each other this season resulted in two BC victories and the final game ending in a 3-3 draw.

End of first period, 2-2: The first period ends relatively quiet, but the Black Bears will have over half a minute in the second period on a power play.

Matt Price was whistled for tripping, meaning that the Eagles had about seven minutes in the first period short-handed.

It didn’t affect their scoring prowess, as they grabbed 16 shots on goal while Maine had half that total, with eight.

What the Black Bears have done so well, obviously, is answering back — after both Boston College goals, the Black Bears lit the lamp mere seconds later.

First period, 1:50, 2-2: The face-off after the pile up sees the puck whirled towards Wilson, but he kicks it away.

Maine takes the puck down the ice and fires on Muse, who covers up to stop play.

First period, 2:00, 2-2: A pile up at the Black Bears goal, and the referees are having a tough time breaking up the six people in a heap.

This is college hockey at its finest — a fast-paced game with pride on the line.

First period, 4:05, 2-2: …and the Black Bears answer right back.

Joey Diamond tips the puck in on a Jeff Dimmen shot from the left face-off circle.

First period, 4:57, BC 2-1: All these shots are catching up to Dave Wilson. The Eagles’ 13th shot on goal results in another goal as Maine’s Mark Nemec slides into the goal along with the puck after Matt Lombardi did all the hard work.

Nemec was trying to get the lonely puck out of the crease but unfortunately sent it into his own home.

First period, 4:57, 1-1: The Eagles are playing very aggressive, and it’s costing them.

Tommy Cross was whistled for a penalty for tripping, giving the Eagles six minutes so far in the first period that have been short-handed.

Maine drives hard down the ice after BC is able to send the puck down the ice.

As the power play expires, the Black Bears try to make something happen but the Eagles gain control twice to clear the puck and end the opportunity.

First period, 7:28, 1-1: Just like that, the Black Bears tie it up. It involved a great finish by Gustav Nyquist, who fired a shot off that Eagles goalie John Muse battled away, but Nyquist forced the puck in.

Big assist from Tanner House there.

First period, 8:00, BC 1-0: The Eagles couldn’t convert the power play, then for a few seconds it went back to 4-on-4 play.

The Eagles got another power play chance once the 4-on-4 expired, and BC takes advantage to take a 1-0 lead.

The Eagles came behind the Maine net and sent the puck up near the blue line to Carl Sneep. He fired the puck in the top left (goalie’s view) to start the scoring.

First period, 9:46, 0-0: The penalties keep on flying. Maine’s Robbie Dee is the latest penalized.

There will be a BC 4-on-3 power play for 29 seconds.

First period, 10:43, 0-0: Its the Black Bears’ turn to head to the box on a delayed penalty.

The aggressor was Jeff Dimmen, called for hooking. Dimmen has been one of Maine’s better players on the year.

Wilson has seven saves so far, and he’ll be needed to assist Maine’s 81 percent kill rate on power plays.

BC approaches the net hard, but Wilson is able to shove the player and puck out of the way. There’s another whistle, and it looks like a penalty against BC.

Ben Smith was called for hooking.

First period, 15:00, 0-0: The Eagles’ Cam Atkinson is whistled for slashing after dinging a rebound off the crossbar.

Maine leads the nation in power play percentage (27.8 percent scoring rate) so they have to be happy to see Atkinson exit for two minutes.

The penalty came on the heels of some great BC puck action, and Wilson had his hands full rejecting every attempt.

First period, 16:26, 0-0: Ben Smith grabbed a rebound off of Black Bears goalie Dave Wilson and seemed to have a goal for the taking.

His frantic poking at the puck sent it rattling off the right post, however, and play is halted due to jostling in the crease by numerous players.

First period, 18:30, 0-0: The puck has dropped and the action begins.

Keep an eye on Gustav Nyquist, Maine’s a sophomore who has 59 points on the season.

7:10 p.m.: Live from the TD Garden is the Hockey East championship game, pitting Boston College against Maine.

Boston College enters this game undefeated in the postseason so far, while Maine coach Tim Whitehead is seeking his 200th victory with the Black Bears — he currently has 275 in his career.

8:00 a.m.: Boston College will attempt to down Maine at 7 p.m. Saturday to lay claim to the Hockey East hockey title. The Eagles have the most tournament titles (eight) of any Hockey East participant, and they’ll be looking to add to that. BC will be led by Brian Gibbons, a forward from Braintree, Mass. that made first-team All-Stars.

The only unanimous selection of the first-team All-Stars, however, belongs to Maine’s Gustav Nyquist, a forward from Malmo, Sweden. Maine has five titles, the last in 2004 when the Black Bears beat UMass 2-1 in triple overtime.

It should be a taut affair, so come back here at 7 p.m. and we’ll bring you a live blog that should be just as good as being in attendance at the TD Garden.

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