Saturday, March 10, 2012
Hockey notebook: BC tops UMass in quarterfinals
By Brion O'Connor
In other local college hockey playoff action Friday night:
No. 1 Boston College 2, No. 8 Massachusetts 1 Not even a temporary power outage at Conte Forum could prevent No. 1 Boston College (26-10-1) from taking a lead in this quarterfinal series, as the Eagles struck twice in the second period and then outlasted Massachusetts (13-17-5) for a 2-1 win. BC's Pat Mullane and Tommy Cross scored even-strength markers less than 40 seconds apart, starting with Mullane's seventh tally of the year at 17:46, to send the Eagles into the final period with a 2-0 lead. But the Minutemen made it a game when Steve Guzzo deflected a Michael Marcou shot to score at 6:55 of the third, halving the BC lead. However, Eagle goaltender Parker Milner (25 saves) shut that door from that point on to secure the Eagles' 11th straight win over Massachusetts in their home building. The two teams meet again Saturday night.
No. 2 Lowell 3, No. 7 Providence 2 (OT) After the Friars put the 2nd-seeded River Hawks on their heels Thursday with a 5-3 win at the Tsongas Center, PC's first win in Lowell in five years, Norm Bazin's Lowell squad needed to conjure up something special to stay alive in the best-of-three quarterfinal series. And they got it from freshman defender Zach Kamrass, who struck for his first-ever collegiate goal with 11:29 gone in overtime to give the River Hawks (23-10-1) new life with a 3-2 win. Lowell jumped out to a 2-0 lead on strikes by Chad Ruhwedel and Matt Ferreira, but the Friars (12-19-4) stormed back on goals by Myles Harvey and Stefan Demopoulos less than two minutes apart late in the second period. In overtime, the Friars, playing shorthanded, twice hit the pipes behind Lowell netminder Doug Carr (34 saves). But Providence couldn't do what Kamrass did, which was putting the puck in the back of the net. The two teams meet for the deciding game on Sunday.
No. 4 Maine 2, No. 5 Merrimack 1 The visiting Warriors took the early lead on Mike Collins' 10th of the year at 15:33 of the first, but Maine answered with second-period tallies by Joey Diamond and Kyle Beattie. Black Bear goaltender Dan Sullivan (20 saves) made the lead stand, as No. 10 Maine (21-11-3) took Game 1 of the best-of-three quarterfinals, 2-1. Merrimack's Joe Cannata had a tremendous game, stopping 40 Black Bear shots, but the Warriors could not get the equalizer. With the loss, Merrimack's post-season hopes boil down to a very simple proposition: To have any chance of making the NCAA tournament field, the No. 14 Warriors (17-11-7) must now win the next two games at Maine's Alfond Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
No. 6 Yale 2 , No. 3 Harvard 1 In a season full of nailbiters, the Harvard Crimson seemed to have the Yale Bulldogs just where they wanted them, going into overtime tied 1-1. But it was Yale's Kenny Agostino who got the game-winner, lighting the lamp at 3:49 of the extra session to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 win, and a 1-0 lead in the best of three quarterfinals at Harvard's Bright Center. Yale (16-14-3) took the lead on Trent Ruffolo's goal at 15:50 of the first, but like they've done all season, the Crimson (10-9-11) clawed back to tie the game on Luke Greiner's strike with only 27 seconds remaining in the second period. After a scoreless third, the teams headed to extra time, where Agostino came up big for the Bulldogs.