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BU women beat BC to win third straight Hockey East title

03.09.14 at 4:20 pm ET
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Boston University scored twice in the third and Kerrin Sperry made 18 saves in the period as the Terriers beat Boston College, 3-2, to win their third straight Hockey East title Sunday afternoon in Hyannis.

BU entered the third trailing 2-1, but team captain Louise Warren tied the game 2:50 into the period when she buried Kaleigh Fratkin‘s slap pass from the point.

A little more than five minutes later, the Terriers took the lead. Rebecca Russo, who scored BU’s first goal, threw the puck to the net off a faceoff, and Maddie Elia grabbed the rebound, wrapped around to the other side of the goal and slid the puck inside the post before Corinne Boyles (31 saves) could get across the crease.

The Eagles pressured BU throughout the final 11 minutes of the game, but Sperry — who finished the game with 40 saves and earned tournament MVP honors — stood tall. Her best save came with 2:34 to go when BC’s leading scorer, Haley Skarupa, got behind the defense and tried to slide a backhander five-hole.

The Eagles outshot BU 19-7 in the first period and took a 2-1 lead into the break thanks to goals from Dana Trivigno and Taylor Wasylk. The Terriers turned the tables in the second, outshooting BC 14-5 in the period, but it took them until the third to tie the game.

With the win, the Terriers earned their fifth straight NCAA tournament berth. They would not have qualified had they lost, as they entered the day outside the top eight in the Pairwise Rankings used to determine the eight-team NCAA field. BU also became the third team to three-peat in Hockey East, joining Providence (2003-05) and New Hampshire (2006-09).

The Eagles will still make NCAAs despite the loss, as they finished sixth in the Pairwise. Had they won, though, they likely would’ve hosted their first-round game.

BU and BC will find out their first-round opponents Sunday night. Those games will take place next weekend at the home of the higher seed. The semifinals and national championship will be March 21 and 23, respectively, at Quinnipiac’s TD Bank Sports Center. All rounds are single elimination.

The Terriers and Eagles both reached the Frozen Four last year, but both were bested by Minnesota — BC in the semifinals and BU in the championship.

BU, Merrimack, Harvard, Brown all suffer season-ending losses; Dartmouth forces Game 3

03.08.14 at 10:10 pm ET
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Boston University saw its disappointing season come to an end Saturday night with a 3-2 loss at Notre Dame in the opening round of the Hockey East tournament. This marks the first time the Terriers have failed to qualify for the Hockey East quarterfinals.

Notre Dame went up 3-1 early in the third, but the Terriers fought back and controlled play for most of the period. They finally broke through on Robbie Baillargeon‘s power-play goal with 5:38 to go, but that was as close as they would get. T.J. Tynan registered two assists for the Fighting Irish in the win.

In Saturday’s other Hockey East game, Maine knocked off Merrimack with a 2-0 victory. Martin Ouellette, who struggled during the stretch run of the regular season, stopped all 29 shots he faced. Mark Anthoine provided all the offense the Black Bears would need with his goal 2:01 into the game, and Devin Shore sealed the win with an empty-netter late.

That sets up the following best-of-3 quarterfinal series next weekend:

8. Notre Dame at 1. Boston College
7. Vermont at 2. UMass-Lowell
6. Maine at 3. Providence
5. Northeastern at 4. New Hampshire

– In the ECAC, Harvard saw its season come to an end with a 2-1 loss to Yale in Game 2 of the rivals’ opening-round series. Brian Hart opened the scoring at the 16:42 mark of the first, and the Crimson clung to that 1-0 lead into the third period before Stu Wilson and Kenny Agostino scored 38 seconds apart to swing the lead in Yale’s favor. Raphael Girard made 37 saves as Harvard was outshot, 39-19, on the night.

Brown was also eliminated, as St. Lawrence capped off a two-game sweep with a 3-2 win. After Garnet Hathaway tied the game at 1-1 early in the third, St. Lawrence answered with two goals in the next 1:42 to go up 3-1. Ryan Jacobson cut the lead to 3-2 with 9:50 to go, but that was as close as Brown would get.

Dartmouth, meanwhile, forced a decisive Game 3 with a 3-2 win over Rensselaer. Eric Neiley netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 6:14 left in regulation. Jesse Beamish scored the Big Green’s other goal — his second in as many nights. Game 3 will be Sunday night at 7 p.m.

BU advances to Patriot title game vs. American; Northeastern advances in CAA tourney

03.08.14 at 9:28 pm ET
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Maurice Watson Jr. had 10 points and a school-record 17 assists as Boston University pulled away for a 91-70 victory over Army on Saturday in the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament at Agganis Arena.

The top-seeded Terriers (24-9) will host Wednesday’s league championship game (7:30) against second-seeded American.

D.J. Irving scored 20 points for BU, which led 39-35 at the half. The Terriers took control with a 13-2 run — including a pair of 3-pointers from John Papale — that made it 68-52 with just under eight minutes remaining.

Kyle Wilson scored 22 points for Army (15-16).

— In Washington, Jesse Reed scored 18 points and American closed the game on a 28-7 run for a 57-46 victory over Holy Cross.

Dave Dudzinski scored 22 points for the third-seeded Crusaders (19-13), who led 28-22 at the break and by 10 points early in the second half. However, Holy Cross shot just 28 percent in the second 20 minutes, missing 17 of its final 20 shots. The Crusaders also turned over the ball nine times in the period.

Darius Gardner added 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals for American (19-12).

— In Baltimore, Scott Eatherton amassed 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead Northeastern to a 90-81 victory over Drexel in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

Zach Stahl had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Huskies (11-20), who advance to play top-seeded Delaware in Sunday’s semifinals.

Chris Fouch scored 30 points for fourth-seeded Drexel, which trailed 35-21 at halftime and was unable to mount a serious threat in the second period.

— In Providence, Steve Moundou-Missi had 21 points and 11 rebounds as Harvard closed out the regular season with a 98-93 overtime victory over Brown.

Kyle Casey had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Crimson (26-4, 13-1 Ivy), who clinched the league title with Friday’s victory over Yale. Wesley Saunders scored 19 points and Laurent Rivard netted 18.

Leland King had 27 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots for Brown (15-13, 7-7). Sean McGonagill scored 26 points, and Cedric Kuakumensah had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Siyani Chambers hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left in regulation to give Harvard a two-point lead, but King answered with a game-tying jumper with 32 seconds remaining. Chambers missed a jumper with a second left.

The game was tied at 89 with 1:31 left in OT when Saunders hit two free throws and, after a Brown turnover, Rivard hit a 3-pointer with 37 seconds remaining for a five-point cushion. After the teams traded single free throws, McGonagill hit a trey with 16 seconds left to make it a two-point game. But Chambers hit a layup at the other end, and Saunders capped the scoring with a late free throw.

Harvard punches NCAA tourney ticket with win over Yale

03.07.14 at 10:01 pm ET
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Siyani Chambers had 17 points and six assists as Harvard avenged its only Ivy League loss with a 70-58 victory over Yale on Friday night in New Haven, Conn., clinching the league title and a third straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Steve Moundou-Missi added 16 points and six rebounds for the Crimson (25-4, 12-1), while Brandyn Curry came off the bench to contribute 14 points. Harvard shot 56 percent from the field.

Justin Sears hit 11-of-16 shots and finished with 28 points for the Bulldogs (15-12, 9-4). However, the rest of the team made just 7-of-44 shots as Yale finished at 36 percent.

Harvard never trailed, scoring the game’s first nine points (five from Moundou-Missi) and jumping out to a 16-2 lead. The margin was 13 at the break, 36-23, and it peaked at 18 in the second half. Yale made a run to cut the deficit to eight with just under five minutes remaining, but that was as close as the hosts would get.

Connor Brickley, Vermont end UMass’ season; Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown drop series openers

03.07.14 at 9:53 pm ET
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Connor Brickley scored with 1:07 left in regulation to lift Vermont to a 2-1 win over UMass in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs. The Catamounts advance to next weekend’s quarterfinals with the win, while the Minutemen’s season is over.

UMass opened the scoring 2:40 into the second when Troy Power buried a rebound in front, but Vermont answered later in the period when Jake Fallon set up Michael Paliotta for a one-timer from the point.

The Catamounts controlled play for much of the third and finally broke the deadlock when Anthony DeCenzo made a nice pass from behind the net to set up Brickley, whose shot squeaked through Steve Mastalerz‘s legs and trickled over the line.

UMass had a great chance to tie the game in the final minute when Conor Sheary set up Frank Vatrano for a one-time chance, but Brendan Bradley made a great sliding block to save a goal.

Hockey East’s opening round continues Saturday night with Boston University traveling to Notre Dame and Maine hosting Merrimack.

– In the ECAC tournament, Harvard lost to Yale, 4-0, in Game 1 of their best-of-3 first-round series. Crimson goalie Steven Michalek was pulled from the game after allowing three goals on 14 shots. His replacement, Raphael Girard, stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced. Harvard’s Alexander Kerfoot left the game with a shoulder injury and is reportedly unlikely to return this weekend.

Dartmouth also lost its series opener, dropping a 4-1 decision to Rensselaer. Jesse Beamish scored the lone goal for the Big Green, while Ryan Haggerty scored twice for the Engineers.

In its series opener, Brown tied up St. Lawrence with less than a minute to go in regulation on a goal by Nick Lappin, but wound up falling in double overtime when Eric Sweetman beat Tyler Steel to give St. Lawrence the win.

Harvard, Dartmouth and Brown all face elimination when their series continue Saturday night.

BU, Holy Cross win conference tournament openers

03.05.14 at 9:48 pm ET
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Maurice Watson Jr. had 21 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals to lead Boston University to a 91-54 rout of Lafayette in a Patriot League quarterfinal Wednesday night at Case Gym.

D.J. Irving added 17 points for the top-seeded Terriers (23-9), who advance to play fifth-seeded Army in Saturday’s semifinals. Travis Robinson chipped in with 14 for BU, which shot 66 percent from the field and 47 percent from behind the arc (10-of-21).

Seth Hinrichs had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Leopards (11-20).

BU broke open a four-point game midway through the first half with a 15-6 run capped by an Irving 3-pointer and led by 15 at the break, 42-27. Lafayette was unable to close the gap at all in the second half.

— In Worcester, Malcolm Miller had 19 points and eight rebounds as Holy Cross ousted Lehigh in a Patriot League quarterfinal, 54-48.

Dave Dudzinski added 12 points for the third-seeded Crusaders (19-12), who next play second-seeded American on Saturday in Washington.

Mackey McKnight had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Mountain Hawks (14-18).

Holy Cross led by four at halftime, 28-24, and opened the second period on an 8-0 run, with two of the baskets coming from Dudzinski, for a game-high 12-point lead.

McKnight scored consecutive layups to cap a 6-0 run as Lehigh closed to within two with just under a minute remaining, but that would be the visitors’ final points. Dudzinski hit a jumper 20 seconds later and Miller hit two free throws with 22 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.

— In Pittsburgh, Trey Davis had 20 points and eight assists off the bench for UMass, scoring his team’s final 10 points to key a 78-74 victory over Duquesne.

Chaz Williams had 17 points, six assists and four steals for the Minutemen (23-6, 10-5 Atlantic-10), who closed the game on a 7-2 run.

Micah Mason had 20 points and five assists for the Dukes (12-6, 4-11), who led 70-68 with four minutes remaining. Davis hit a 3-pointer with 3:13 left to put UMass ahead, but Ovie Soko answered with a jumper 30 seconds later to give the hosts a one-point advantage.

Davis then hit another trey with 1:43 remaining to put UMass ahead to stay, 74-72. There was no more scoring until Davis hit two free throws with seven seconds left for a four-point UMass lead. Mason hit a layup with a second left and then fouled Davis, who hit two free throws to end it.

BC bows to Florida State in home finale

03.05.14 at 6:36 am ET
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Aaron Thomas scored 26 points to lead Florida State past Boston College, 74-70, on Tuesday night at Conte Forum.

Olivier Hanlan scored 20 points for the Eagles (8-22, 4-13 ACC), who shot 52 percent from the field, including 44 percent from behind the arc (11-for-25), but could not make the big plays down the stretch.

Okaro White added 24 points for the Seminoles (18-11, 9-8), who shot 56 percent, and he put his team ahead to stay with 1:31 remaining on a turnaround in the lane. It was the 24th lead change of the game.

After a turnover by BC’s Patrick Heckmann (13 points), Devon Bookert hit 1-of-2 free throws for a two-point FSU lead with 24 seconds left. Hanlan then lost the ball on the ensuing inbounds play. Ian Miller hit 1-of-2 from the line, pushing the FSU lead to three.

Hanlan hit a layup to close the gap to one with 15 seconds left, but Thomas made two free throws to restore the lead to three two seconds later. On BC’s final offensive possession, Joe Rahon and Hanlan missed 3-point attempts. Boris Bojanovsky hit a free throw with two seconds remaining to ice the game.

Hockey East playoff seedings set; Notre Dame ends BC’s 19-game unbeaten streak

03.01.14 at 10:19 pm ET
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The Hockey East regular season is over. Here is what happened on the final day:

-Notre Dame ended Boston College‘s 19-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 overtime victory. Johnny Gaudreau scored BC’s lone goal to extend his point streak to 29 games. He is two games away from tying Paul Kariya‘s league-record 31-game streak, set during the 1992-93 season.

-Providence beat Maine, 3-2, to complete the weekend sweep and clinch the No. 3 seed. The Friars have now won four straight after going winless in their previous five.

-New Hampshire beat Merrimack, 5-2, to earn a weekend split. Combined with Boston University’s win over Northeastern, the victory clinched the fourth and final home ice spot for UNH.

-BU finished off a sweep of Northeastern with a 4-2 win. It was BU’s first road win of the season, and its first two-win weekend since the first weekend of the season, when it beat UMass and Holy Cross. Northeastern had already clinched a first-round bye, but now has to go on the road in the quarterfinals. It could have clinched home ice with a single point against BU.

-Vermont beat UMass-Lowell, 3-2, to earn a split. The win moved Vermont back ahead of Notre Dame for the No. 7 seed. Lowell had already clinched the No. 2 seed.

So here are the final Hockey East standings:

1. Boston College (34 points)
2. UMass-Lowell (25 points)
3. Providence (24 points)
t-4. New Hampshire (22 points)
t-4. Northeastern (22 points)
6. Maine (21 points)
t-7. Vermont (20 points)
t-7. Notre Dame (20 points)
9. Boston University (13 points)
10. UMass (11 points)
11. Merrimack (8 points)

UNH wins the tiebreaker against Northeastern, and Vermont wins the tiebreaker against Notre Dame.

Here is the full playoff schedule courtesy of Hockey East:

First Round – Single Elimination (Campus sites; March 7-8)
(10) Massachusetts at (7) Vermont –€“ Friday, 7:05 p.m. (TV-NESN)
(9) Boston University at (8) Notre Dame –€“ Saturday, 7 p.m.
(11) Merrimack at (6) Maine –€“ Saturday, 7:07 p.m.

Quarterfinal Round – Best-of-Three (Campus sites; March 14-16)
Lowest Remaining Seed from 6-11 at (1) Boston College
Second-Lowest Remaining Seed from 6-11 at (2) UMass Lowell
Highest Remaining Seed from 6-11 at (3) Providence
(5) Northeastern at (4) New Hampshire

Championship Round – Single Elimination (TD Garden; March 21-22)
Semifinals on Friday, March 21 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Final on Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m.

BU clinches Patriot title; Harvard secures share of Ivy; BC tops Wake Forest

03.01.14 at 9:07 pm ET
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D.J. Irving scored 15 points and Boston University clinched the Patriot League title with a 68-64 victory over Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon in Worcester.

Dom Morris added 14 points and six rebounds for the Terriers (22-9, 15-3), who are in their first year in the Patriot after leaving America East.

Dave Dudzinski had 20 points for the Crusaders (18-12, 12-6).

BU, which shot 52 percent (including 8-of-19 3-pointers), led 30-28 at the half, but HC opened the second period on a 13-5 run, started by a Dudzinski trey, to take a 41-35 lead.

Trailing 43-38, BU went on a 10-0 run, including 3-pointers from Irving and Travis Robinson, and took a 48-43 lead with 12:36 left. Although the score remained tight the rest of the way, the Terriers never trailed again.

With BU nursing a two-point lead, John Papale hit a 3-pointer with 2:10 left. HC’s Malachi Alexander answered with a trey 24 seconds later, but that would be the Crusaders’ final points. Irving hit two free throws with seven seconds left to cap the scoring.

Both teams open play in the Patriot League tournament on Wednesday. Top-seeded BU will host the winner of Loyola (Md.) and Lafayette, while third-seeded Holy Cross hosts sixth-seeded Lehigh. The semifinals are next Saturday and the championship game March 12.

Laurent Rivard hit 6-of-8 3-pointers en route to 21 points as Harvard clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title for the fourth straight season with an 80-47 rout of Columbia.

Steve Moundou-Missi added 16 points for the Crimson (24-4, 11-1 Ivy), who maintained their two-game lead over Yale (a 70-63 winner at Pennsylvania). Harvard closes out the season next weekend with games at Yale and Brown, needing one win (or one Yale loss) to advance to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season.

Harvard, which led 39-26 at the half, shot 60 percent from the field and 61 percent from 3-point range (8-for-13). Columbia, meanwhile, shot 34 percent. Jeff Coby led the Lions (18-11, 7-5) — who took Harvard to two overtimes last month in New York — with 11 points and six rebounds.

— In Winston-Salem, N.C., Ryan Anderson scored 24 points as Boston College posted an 80-72 victory over Wake Forest.

Olivier Hanlan netted 17 for the Eagles (8-21, 4-12 ACC), who posted just their third road win of the season.

Devin Thomas and Travis McKie each scored 18 points for Wake Forest (15-14, 5-11), which was outrebounded 36-21.

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Hockey East playoff picture entering final night of regular season

02.28.14 at 11:29 pm ET
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Here is what happened Friday night:

-UMass-Lowell clinched second place with its 1-0 overtime win at Vermont.

-Despite losing to Boston University, 4-1, Northeastern clinched a first-round bye by virtue of Vermont losing.

-Vermont was eliminated from bye contention after losing to Lowell.

-Thanks to BU’s win over Northeastern, the order of the bottom three teams is set. BU is ninth, UMass is 10th, and Merrimack is 11th.

-Providence beat Maine, 4-2, but both can still finish anywhere from third to sixth.

-New Hampshire suffered a surprise 4-2 loss to Merrimack and now sits alone in sixth, meaning it needs to help to get home ice and/or a bye.

So here is where things stand entering the final night of the regular season:

-Northeastern, Providence, Maine and New Hampshire are battling for the final two home ice spots. One of the latter three will miss a bye and host a first-round single elimination game.

-Northeastern can clinch home ice with a win or tie against BU, or with a UNH loss or tie.

-Providence can clinch home ice with a win or tie against Maine. Even if it loses, it can still get a bye if UNH loses or ties.

-Maine needs to win to get home ice. Without a win, it can clinch a bye with a tie and a UNH tie or loss, or with a UNH loss.

-UNH can clinch home ice with a win and a Northeastern loss. It can clinch a bye with a win, or with a tie and a Maine loss.

-Vermont finishes sixth a win and a UNH loss, eighth with a loss and a Notre Dame win or tie, seventh with anything else.

-Notre Dame finishes seventh with a win and a Vermont tie or loss, or with a tie and a Vermont loss. It finishes eighth with anything else.

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