Despite Loss in Hockey East Playoffs, BU Men’s Hockey Primed for NCAA Tourney

The BU men's hockey team was handed a No. 2 seed in next weekend's NCAA West Regional despite falling in the Hockey East semifinal round Friday. The Terriers will take on North Dakota at 3 p.m. Friday in Fargo, North Dakota. Photo by Alexandra Wimley/BU News Service

By Eric Getzoff
BU News Service

If the third time is the charm, then what is the fourth?  After Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Boston College Eagles in the Hockey East semifinals, the Terriers will tell you it’s no charm.

Boston College netted the game’s first three goals and outshot the Terriers 44-35 in an exciting, fast-paced game in which BU staged a comeback that fell just short.  

While the loss ended BU’s chances at a Hockey East crown, the Terriers were already firmly entrenched in the NCAA field. They learned their fate Sunday, as they were handed a No. 2 seed in the West Regional in Fargo, North Dakota.

BU will play unofficial host and defending national champion North Dakota Friday at 3 p.m. at Scheels Arena.

In Friday’s semifinal, Eagle forward Julius Mattila netted the game’s first goal, wristing a shot past Terrier netminder Jake Oettinger just 1:58 into the second period for his eighth goal of the season. Forward Ryan Fitzgerald then followed with a short-handed goal later in the period.  

Boston College dominated the middle frame, outshooting the Terriers 17-10 and performing an onslaught on Oettinger that seemingly left him no time to even grab the water bottle behind him.

It didn’t take long for the Eagles to strike again after the puck dropped to begin the third period. Fitzgerald scored his second goal of the game 58 seconds into the period to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead, which felt like a comfortable one.

But the Terriers didn’t back down, scoring two goals in the game’s final three minutes with an extra attacker on the ice. Jordan Greenway pushed the puck past Eagle netminder Joe Woll with 2:24 remaining, and Clayton Keller wristed his own shot past Woll with 1:22 left on the clock. But the Terriers couldn’t get that last goal to take down Boston College for the fourth time this season.

“I’m proud of the way we battled,” BU head coach David Quinn said. “We didn’t quit, that’s for sure. We haven’t quit all year.”

BU will await word on possible discipline for Brandon Hickey, who got into an NHL-esque fight with Eagles defenseman Casey Fitzgerald after the buzzer sounded.

 

 

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