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Harvard dominates BU, wins first Beanpot title in 24 years 02.13.17 at 10:09 pm ET
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Harvard celebrates its first Beanpot since 1993. (WEEI.com)

Harvard celebrates its first Beanpot since 1993. (WEEI.com)

Finally. For the first time in 24 years, someone other than Boston University or Boston College has won the Beanpot. Harvard beat BU 6-3 Monday night to capture its first Beanpot title since 1993 and end a drought that was older than all but one player on its current roster.

It was supposed to be a heavyweight bout between two top-five teams, but instead the Crimson dominated all night, minus a brief hiccup early in the second period. The Crimson outshot BU 18-2 in the first period and went on to finish with a 46-17 advantage, as they continuously generated possession, pressure and chances, drawing five power plays, including two extended 5-on-3s, along the way.

The one point in the game when the Terriers showed some life was early in the second period, when they turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals three minutes apart. But the Crimson weren’t deterred. They went right back to work and found themselves in control once again by the second intermission.

Harvard began to reset itself with some good shifts after BU’s second goal, then tied the game with 9:14 left in the second on a beautiful through-the-legs tip by Luke Esposito on a slap pass from Clay Anderson.

The Crimson once again assumed the driver’s seat and regained the lead with 1:06 left in the frame after some sloppy play by BU. Following a bad Terrier turnover in the neutral zone, defenseman John Marino led a rush into the BU zone and dropped a pass for Nathan Krusko. That shot was blocked, but the puck went right to Marino, who then centered a pass that deflected to Krusko for the easy finish and his second goal of the game.

BU’s Dante Fabbro took a penalty on the same play Krusko scored, then Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy took a bad penalty late in the period when he stuck his foot out and tripped Alexander Kerfoot as Kerfoot cut inside him. The Crimson made BU pay, scoring their second 5-on-3 goal of the game 31 seconds into the third. Tyler Moy hit Kerfoot with a cross-crease pass and while Jake Oettinger made a great save on Kerfoot’s first try, Kerfoot was able to jam in the loose puck.

Bruins prospect Ryan Donato made it 5-2 Harvard with 7:13 to go when he made a great play cutting past two BU defenders before beating Oettinger for his 16th goal of the season. Clayton Keller scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds later to cut the lead to 5-3, but that was as close as BU would get. Adam Fox added an empty-netter with 1:50 to go.

The first period set the tone for the game, as it was all Crimson. Harvard outshot the Terriers 18-2 in the frame and out-attempted them 33-4. A big part of that was the fact that the Crimson got three power plays in the period, but they were dominating even before that. Their early pressure forced BU to burn its timeout just 9:05 into the game after back-to-back icings.

Harvard’s power plays all came in a six-minute stretch beginning at the 10:53 mark, including an extended 5-on-3 on which it scored. The Crimson moved the puck well on their first two power plays, but couldn’t score.

Then they caught a break when McAvoy got called for boarding on a clean hit on Donato that only looked bad because Donato was already off balance before the hit. Harvard took advantage when a Sean Malone shot squeaked behind Oettinger just enough for Krusko to scrape the puck off Oettinger and knock it in.

The second period got off to a much more promising start for BU, as Jordan Greenway drew a penalty 52 seconds into the period on a hard drive to the net. The Terriers took advantage of their first power play of the game, as Brandon Hickey found Bobo Carpenter for a redirect in the slot that led to a juicy rebound for Kieffer Bellows to bury.

The Terriers, while still getting nearly quadrupled in shots on goal, then took the lead three minutes later when Keller scored on a pretty deflection of John MacLeod’s shot from the point. But the Crimson weren’t going to let BU hold onto the momentum. What could’ve been a turning point in the Terriers’ favor wound up being just a blip on the radar as Harvard cruised to its 11th Beanpot title and denied BU its 31st.

Hockey East 2016-17 Season Preview: Excellent freshman class could lift BU to title 10.03.16 at 12:17 pm ET
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Clayton Keller was one of four BU players selected in the first round of this year's NHL draft. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

Clayton Keller was one of four BU players selected in the first round of this year’s NHL draft. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox are back in the playoffs and Tom Brady is back on the field, but I think I speak for all Boston sports fans when I say that the return we’re most excited about is that of college hockey. No? Whatever. Here’s a Hockey East season preview, power rankings style.

1. Boston University
Before we get into the reasons to be excited about this BU team, it’s worth pointing out that the Terriers actually do lose a lot from last season, including three of their top four forwards and top defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. They lost 53.1 percent of their points, which is the second-highest mark in the league behind only Providence. Now, onto the excitement. The biggest reason so many people, including myself, are picking them to win Hockey East is that they have what is easily the best freshman class in the country. Forwards Clayton Keller (7th overall, Coyotes) and Kieffer Bellows (19th overall, Islanders) and defenseman Dante Fabbro (17th overall, Predators) were all first-round picks this past summer, defenseman Chad Krys (2nd round, Blackhawks) and forward Patrick Harper (5th round, Predators) were also drafted, and goaltender Jake Oettinger is projected to be a first- or second-round pick next summer. (By the way, those freshmen scored nine of BU’s 10 goals in a blowout exhibition win over the University of Prince Edward Island on Saturday.) Fabbro and Krys join four other drafted defensemen on a loaded blue line, with sophomore Charlie McAvoy (1st round, Bruins) and junior Brandon Hickey (3rd round, Flames) leading the way. Up front, look for sophomores Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (2nd round, Bruins) and Jordan Greenway (2nd round, Wild) to set the pace along with Keller and Bellows. The Terriers are clearly the most talented team on paper and they are rightly being considered the favorite to win the league and one of the favorites to win the national championship.

2. UMass Lowell
The River Hawks certainly don’t have the star power of BU, but Norm Bazin’s teams are never loaded with stars and yet they’ve finished in the top four in each of his four seasons behind the bench. With a strong core of returning players, there’s little reason to think anything will change this year. They bring back all six starting defensemen from a unit that was already very good last year, with seniors Dylan Zink and Michael Kapla leading the way and chipping in on offense as well. Up front, the losses of Adam Chapie and A.J. White could hurt, but their top two scorers — junior C.J. Smith and senior Joe Gambardella — are both back. The biggest question will be in goal, where the River Hawks lose Kevin Boyle and his excellent .934 save percentage. But assistant coach Cam Ellsworth is part-wizard when it comes to working with goalies, and this year he’ll have two NHL draft picks at his disposal in freshmen Garrett Metcalf (6th round, Ducks) and Tyler Wall (6th round, Rangers). Sure, this could be the year Lowell doesn’t figure out its goaltending and the team takes a step back, but that seems unlikely.

3. Notre Dame
I’m still not entirely sure why so many Hockey East fans are so eager to get rid of a high-caliber program that brings the league more TV coverage, but they’ll get their wish when the Fighting Irish depart for the Big Ten after this season. Don’t expect them to go quietly, though, because this year’s team looks like an NCAA tournament team that could potentially compete for a league title. Their strength will be on the back end, where they return Sabres draft pick Cal Petersen — whose .927 save percentage is the highest mark among returning goalies — and four starting defensemen, including offensive contributors Jordan Gross and Bobby Nardella. The Irish do lose four double-digit goal-scorers up front, but top point-getters Anders Bjork (5th round, Bruins) and Jake Evans (7th round, Canadiens) are both back, and freshmen Andrew Peeke (2nd round, Blue Jackets) and Cam Morrison (2nd round, Blackhawks) should play key roles right away.

4. Northeastern
Remember that time Northeastern overcame a 1-11-2 start to go 20-1-2 down the stretch and win its first Hockey East title since 1988? That was awesome. Now the Huskies enter the season as the defending league champs and one of the favorites. If there’s one thing we know they’ll do, it’s score. After finishing second in the league in offense last year, they bring back five of their top six scorers in seniors Zach Aston-Reese and John Stevens, juniors Nolan Stevens (5th round, Blues) and Dylan Sikura (6th round, Blackhawks), and sophomore Adam Gaudette (5th round, Canucks), while also adding freshman Matt Filipe (3rd round, Hurricanes) to the mix. There is some uncertainty behind the forwards, though. The Huskies lose four starting defensemen, and while freshmen Ryan Shea (4th round, Blackhawks) and Jeremy Davies (7th round, Devils) will help, the blue line still has to be considered a question mark. In net, sophomore Ryan Ruck was very good for part of Northeastern’s turnaround, but it needs to be noted that he did fall off a bit in the final month and finished the season with a save percentage of just .909. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: BC hockey, bu hockey, College Hockey, Hockey East
Frozen Fenway to return in January with 4 Hockey East games 06.29.16 at 1:25 pm ET
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Frozen Fenway is returning to Fenway Park with a pair of Hockey East doubleheaders on Jan. 7 and Jan. 14. The first Saturday will feature Boston University vs. UMass and Boston College vs. Providence, while the second weekend pits Maine vs. UConn and Northeastern vs. New Hampshire.

College hockey has previously visited Fenway in 2010, 2012 and 2014. This will be the fourth Frozen Fenway game for BC; third for BU, Northeastern and Maine; second for UMass, Providence and UNH; and first for UConn.

“Hockey East and our schools could not be more excited to take the ice once again at Fenway Park,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna in a statement. “Once Frozen Fenway 2017 is complete all 12 Hockey East schools will have played an outdoor game at Fenway Park, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for the players, students, alumni and fans.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also announced a free public skate for Boston residents on the Fenway rink on Monday, Jan. 16. Game times, ticket information and additional Frozen Fenway games and events will be announced in the coming months.

BU ties record with 4 first-round picks in NHL draft 06.24.16 at 10:11 pm ET
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Charlie McAvoy went 14th overall to the Bruins. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Charlie McAvoy went 14th overall to the Bruins. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Boston University had a pretty good Friday night. The Terriers had a rising sophomore and three incoming freshmen selected in the first round of the NHL draft, tying a record for the most first-round picks from a college or Canadian junior team in a single draft.

Incoming freshman center Clayton Keller was the first Terrier off the board, as he went seventh overall to the Arizona Coyotes. Then the Boston Bruins took defenseman Charlie McAvoy, a rising sophomore, with the 14th pick.

Incoming freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro went three picks later to the Nashville Predators and incoming freshman winger Kieffer Bellows (son of former NHLer Brian Bellows) went two picks after that to the New York Islanders at 19.

Keller and Bellows played on the same line for the U.S. Under-18 Team last season, with Keller putting up 37 goals and 70 assists in 62 games and Bellows notching 50 goals and 31 assists in the same number of games.

McAvoy had three goals and 22 assists in 37 games for BU as a freshman, but 19 of those points came over his final 22 contests as both his offense and defense improved as the season went on. Fabbro tallied 14 goals and 53 assists in 45 games with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Four other college or major junior teams had previously had four players selected in the first round. The 2006 University of Minnesota team was the only other college team to do it, but those four never actually played together — Phil Kessel had already played his freshman year and turned pro after the draft, while Erik Johnson, Kyle Okposo and David Fischer all came in after the draft.

This of course all comes with the caveat that the three incoming freshmen actually play for BU and don’t go pro or jump to major juniors. However, none of them appear to be much of a risk to do either of those, although there will certainly be rumors generated from major juniors because that’s what people in those circles do.

College/major junior teams who have had four first-round picks in one draft:

1969 Montreal Jr. Canadiens
Rejean Houle, Marc Tardif, Andre Dupont, J.P. Bordeleau

1972 Toronto Marlboros
Billy Harris, Steve Shutt, Dave Gardner, George Ferguson

1979 Brandon Wheat Kings
Laurie Boschman, Brian Propp, Brad McCrimmon, Ray Allison

2006 University of Minnesota
Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel, Kyle Okposo, David Fischer

2016 Boston University
Clayton Keller, Charlie McAvoy, Dante Fabbro, Kieffer Bellows

Read More: 2016 nhl draft, bu hockey,
Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey wins Hobey Baker Award 04.08.16 at 7:00 pm ET
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Harvard's Jimmy Vesey won the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey won the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Harvard senior forward Jimmy Vesey won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey Friday night in Tampa.

Vesey was a Hobey Hat Trick finalist last year as well, but lost out to Boston University freshman forward Jack Eichel. This year he beat out Boston College junior goalie Thatcher Demko and Michigan freshman forward Kyle Connor.

Vesey, a North Reading native, finished seventh in the country in points per game this season with 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games. He helped lead Harvard to a second straight NCAA tournament appearance, although the Crimson lost to BC in the opening round.

Vesey’s win is sure to stir some debate in college hockey circles, as Connor ran away from the country in terms of goals and points, finishing with 35 goals and 36 assists in 38 games. Vesey certainly had a great season, but it is somewhat surprising that he beat out a player who had nearly half a point more per game.

Vesey becomes the fourth Harvard player to win the Hobey and the first since Lane MacDonald in 1989. He also becomes the third straight player from a Boston school to win, joining BU’s Eichel (2015) and BC’s Johnny Gaudreau (2014).

Vesey turned down the chance to sign with the Nashville Predators (the team that drafted him in the third round in 2012) after the season, electing instead to become a free agent in August. The hometown Bruins are considered one of the leading candidates to sign him, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where his father works as a scout.

BC falls to Quinnipiac in Frozen Four as comeback comes up short 04.07.16 at 7:52 pm ET
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Quinnipiac is heading to the national championship game for the second time in four years after beating BC. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Quinnipiac is heading to the national championship game for the second time in four years after beating BC. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Quinnipiac was something of an outsider at the Frozen Four given its lack of history compared to longtime powerhouses Boston College, North Dakota and Denver, but the Bobcats were the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s NCAA tournament for a reason.

They were the best overall team in college hockey this season, and they showed that again on Thursday when they beat Boston College 3-2 in the national semifinals at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Their two early goals and dominant start to the game may have come as a surprise to anyone who hasn’t seen them much, but it really shouldn’t have.

The Bobcats ranked top five in the country in scoring offense, scoring defense, shots for, shots against and Corsi this season. They don’t have a weakness, and they definitely don’t need any help from their opponent. Unfortunately for BC, the Eagles gave Quinnipiac some help Thursday.

It started two and a half minutes into the game when Casey Fitzgerald turned the puck over behind BC’s net, allowing Scott Davidson to poke it out to Kevin McKernan in the slot for a 1-0 lead.

Things got worse for BC five minutes later with more sloppy defense. A turnover on a Michael Kim breakout pass allowed Quinnipiac to maintain possession in the offensive zone. Then Travis St. Denis won a battle against Scott Savage down low and found Andrew Taverner all alone in the slot to make it 2-0 Bobcats.

Given how good Quinnipiac is defensively, a two-goal deficit seemed borderline insurmountable. The Eagles, to their credit, came out much stronger in the second and cut the lead to 2-1 just 23 seconds into the period. Ian McCoshen made a nice keep-in at the left point, then Casey Fitzgerald sent a shot toward the net that Colin White deflected. Michael Garteig made that save, but Alex Tuch was right there to bury the rebound.

BC continued to create chances for the next couple minutes, but it couldn’t get the tying goal. Then BC gave Quinnipiac some more help when McCoshen took an unnecessary crosschecking penalty at the 4:23 mark of the second. Landon Smith made the Eagles pay just nine seconds into the power play on a scramble in front after the puck bounced behind Thatcher Demko, making it a two-goal game once again.

The Eagles did put 15 shots on goal in the second period, but they still entered the third trailing 3-1. They struggled to generate offense through the first half of the third period and couldn’t take advantage of power play midway through the frame, but then they got another man advantage with 6:07 to go.

Garteig made several big saves and Quinnipiac nearly killed it off, but the Eagles finally broke through with 4:16 left in the game to cut the Bobcats’ lead to one. Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald won a faceoff to Garteig’s right, some nice puck movement led to a one-timer for McCoshen, and then Fitzgerald pounced on a rebound for his team-leading 24th goal of the season.

The Eagles pressed for a late tying goal and pulled Demko for an extra attacker with 1:37 to go, but Quinnipiac held on for the win. McCoshen had two late looks on one-timers, including one with just three seconds remaining, but Garteig made a pair of great glove saves.

BC was aiming for its fifth national championship in the last 16 years. The Eagles last won it all in 2012, which was also in Tampa. Instead, they’ll have to settle for a season that ends with a 12th Frozen Four appearance in the last 19 years.

This is Quinnipiac’s second Frozen Four appearance and second time reaching the national championship game. The Bobcats lost to rival Yale in the 2013 final in Pittsburgh. They’ll take on the winner of North Dakota vs. Denver in Saturday night’s title game.

Reports: UMass hires St. Lawrence’s Greg Carvel as new hockey coach 03.29.16 at 1:04 pm ET
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UMass has hired St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel as its new head hockey coach, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s John Buccigross was the first to report the news.

The 45-year-old Carvel took over as the head coach at his alma mater in 2012 and led St. Lawrence to a 72-63-15 record over four seasons. He previously served as an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators and went to the Stanley Cup final with both. Carvel was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2015 World Championships.

The Saints had a winning record in three of Carvel’s four seasons and reached the ECAC semifinals each of the last two, but did not get to the NCAA tournament during his tenure. At the risk of getting too analytical, his teams were generally average to below-average possession teams that had high shooting percentages for his first three years and great goaltending from Kyle Hayton the last two.

UMass fired John Micheletto on March 6 after going 8-24-4 and finishing last in Hockey East for the second year in a row.

NCAA hockey tourney: Bad 2nd period dooms UMass Lowell in loss to Quinnipiac; Frozen Four field set 03.27.16 at 10:11 pm ET
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A disastrous second period doomed UMass Lowell, as it lost 4-1 to Quinnipiac in Sunday’s East Regional final in Albany. The River Hawks led 1-0 after one thanks to a Dylan Zink power-play goal, but then Quinnipiac scored three straight in the second and outshot Lowell 13-4 in the frame.

Quinnipiac turned the 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals 1:38 apart midway through the second. Landon Smith took advantage of a Michael Kapla misplay on a bouncing puck and fired a shot blocker-side from the high slot. Then Sam Anas finished off a two-on-one with a nifty backhand flip over Kevin Boyle’s right arm.

Zink had a great chance to tie the game with 4:35 left in the second when he took off on a breakaway after leaving the penalty box, but Garteig made a big blocker save. A little over two minutes later, the Bobcats made it 3-1 when Scott Davidson beat Boyle over the glove from a seemingly impossible angle. Travis St. Denis added the fourth goal with 3:54 left in the game when he picked off a breakout pass and beat Boyle from in close.

Defensive miscues and suspect goaltending were the culprits on Quinnipiac’s goals, but the River Hawks also struggled mightily to generate offense all game. They had very little sustained offensive zone time and got outshot 35-15 in the game.

Quinnipiac will now face Boston College in the first Frozen Four game at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, in Tampa.

The River Hawks were looking to make the Frozen Four for the second time in four years. Their exit leaves BC as the only one of Hockey East’s six NCAA tournament teams to make it to Tampa.

************

– Bruins prospect Danton Heinen had a goal and two assists as Denver beat Ferris State 6-3 in the West Regional final to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time since the Pioneers won back-to-back national titles in 2004 and 2005. Heinen opened the scoring with a power-play goal 5:34 into the game, assisted on Denver’s second goal, and then set up Blake Hillman with 4:32 left in the game to break a 3-3 tie. Heinen now has an 18-game point streak with 14 goals and 20 assists during that span. Denver will face North Dakota in the second national semifinal at 8:30 p.m. on April 7.

NCAA hockey tourney: BC holds off late Minnesota-Duluth comeback, advances to Frozen Four 03.26.16 at 11:45 pm ET
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WORCESTER — Saturday night’s Northeast Regional final wound up being a lot less comfortable than it probably should have been, but Boston College held on for a 3-2 win over Minnesota-Duluth to advance to its 12th Frozen Four in the last 19 years.

The Eagles led 3-0 with under eight minutes to go and had been controlling play for long stretches of the game, but then the Bulldogs scored two goals in three minutes to cut BC’s lead to 3-2 with 4:26 to go. Things continued to get hairy when a Miles Wood penalty sent UMD to the power play with 39 seconds to go.

The Bulldogs came within inches of tying the game in the closing seconds, but Austin Cangelosi whacked the puck off the goal line to send the Eagles to Tampa, where they’ll face the winner of Sunday’s East Regional final between Quinnipiac and UMass Lowell in the national semifinals on April 7.

Senior captain Teddy Doherty scored twice for the Eagles and Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald scored what proved to be the game-winner 6:35 into the third period.

The Eagles entered the NCAA tournament having lost three of five, raising at least a little bit of concern over whether they’d be able to get back to playing the way they’re capable of playing in time to make a Frozen Four run. They beat Harvard 4-1 on Friday and then appeared to be well on their way to another dominant win Saturday before UMD mounted its late comeback bid.

Regardless of how close the game turned out, the Eagles will gladly celebrate the win and move on to Tampa. BC will be looking to win its fifth national championship in the last 16 years. It last won it all in 2012 — in Tampa, interestingly enough.

“The Frozen Four is an objective for us. Every year when I have been at BC I have always thought, let’s get to that Frozen Four,” said BC coach Jerry York. “And the more you get there, the more opportunities you have to collect some hardware. It’s hard to go once and win it once. It is hard to go twice and win it twice, but when you start going a number of times, you are going to win a lot of trophies. We have always had excellent teams and excellent players to bring with us to the regionals to get us to the Frozen Four, and this year is just the same. I think we have a whole locker room full of guys that have played hockey the right way, and they are very talented, they are very skilled and a hard-working club.”

BC struggled to create offense and spent a lot of time in its own zone through the first 12-13 minutes, but Thatcher Demko made a couple big saves to keep the game 0-0. Then the Eagles broke through with 5:54 left in the first when Doherty took a pass from Adam Gilmour and took a shot from the left circle that went off Kasimir Kaskisuo’s glove and trickled over the line.

Doherty scored again 2:52 into the second to double the Eagles’ lead. Chris Calnan made a nice pass out of the corner to find Zach Sanford in the slot, and although Sanford had his stick tied up, he was able to direct the puck to Doherty on the doorstep for the finish.

“It’s great, but I really wanted to go to Tampa,” Doherty said when asked about scoring twice. “Just to extend the season by two weeks, being able to practice in Conte Forum again is something that I value way more than the two goals. Maybe in a few years, I’ll look back at it, but right now, in the moment, getting to Tampa was the team’s main objective since day one and we’re lucky we get to practice in Conte for another week and a half here.”

The Eagles controlled the game for long periods of time after that, as they continued to play hard and gave UMD only a few good looks at the net over the next 25 or so minutes before the Bulldogs finally broke through.

Fitzgerald added BC’s third goal on a power play 6:35 into the third when he made a nice toe drag around a defenseman and fired a shot into the top corner. It was Fitzgerald’s team-leading 23rd goal of the season.

UMD’s Austin Farley scored a power-play goal with 7:11 left in the game to start the comeback bid, and Karson Kuhlman cut it to 3-2 with 4:26 to go.

This is how close the Bulldogs came to tying it in the final seconds:

NCAA hockey tourney: Lowell beats Yale in overtime; BU gets crushed by Denver 03.26.16 at 10:45 pm ET
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UMass Lowell will play for a chance to reach its second Frozen Four in four years. The River Hawks beat Yale 3-2 in overtime in Saturday’s NCAA tournament opener in the East Regional in Albany and will now take on Quinnipiac in the regional final Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Joe Gambardella was the hero for Lowell, as the junior forward scored both the tying and winning goals. He tied the game at 2-2 with 13:48 left in regulation when a nice rush by him and C.J. Smith ended with him knocking home a loose puck in the crease. Then he ended it 1:37 into overtime when he took advantage of a Yale turnover and fired a shot past Alex Lyon.

The River Hawks’ Michael Fallon opened the scoring 4:27 into the game, but then Yale got goals from Frankie DiChiara late in the first and Ryan Hitchcock midway through the second to build up the 2-1 lead. Lowell goalie Kevin Boyle made 35 saves in the win.

– The hope for Boston University was that it would be able to regroup during its week off after getting swept by UMass Lowell in the Hockey East quarterfinals and come back strong to start the NCAA tournament. That 100 percent did not happen, as the Terriers suffered a 7-2 demolition at the hands of Denver in the opening round of the West Regional in St. Paul.

The Terriers failed to convert on two early power plays and things quickly went downhill from there. Blake Hillman and Dylan Gambrell scored late in the first to make it 2-0 Denver, then Will Butcher and Matt Marcinew scored early in the second to put the game well out of reach. The Pioneers eventually pushed it to 6-0 before BU finally got on the board. Bruins prospect Danton Heinen had three assists for Denver and now has 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) during a 17-game point streak.

Heinen and the Pioneers will face Ferris State in the regional final Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

– North Dakota became the first team to punch its ticket to the Frozen Four, as the Fighting Hawks beat Michigan 5-2 in the Midwest Regional final in Cincinnati. This will be North Dakota’s 11th Frozen Four appearance in the last 20 years. It last reached the national championship game in 2005 and last won it all in 2000.

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