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BU overcomes slow start (again) to beat Yale in overtime in NCAA tournament opener 03.27.15 at 7:28 pm ET
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MANCHESTER, N.H. — On the surface, it may seem surprising that Boston University looked so jumpy early on in its NCAA first-round game against Yale on Friday. The Terriers have won every trophy they’€™ve played for this season. They’€™re the No. 1 seed in the Northeast Regional. In theory, they’€™d be playing with all the confidence in the world.

But these Terriers have made a habit of getting off to slow starts. It happened numerous times in the first half of the season. It happened in both the first round of the Beanpot against Harvard and in the Beanpot championship game against Northeastern. It happened again last Friday in the Hockey East semifinals against New Hampshire.

BU coach David Quinn and his players pointed to the team’€™s youth and some nerves when asked about the slow starts. The Terriers are the youngest team in college hockey, after all. They play eight freshmen most nights, and six of them are still just 18.

A handful of their early mistakes against Yale were committed by freshmen, so maybe youthful nerves really were the biggest culprit. That seems odd considering that the Terriers have already played four games at TD Garden in front of much bigger crowds than the one at Manchester’€™s Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday, but as Quinn pointed out after the game, this was the team’€™s first true elimination game — the first one where if they had lost, there was no next game.

Regardless of the reason for yet another slow start, the important thing is that the Terriers once again overcame it, took control of the game and went on to win, this time beating Yale 3-2 in overtime.

It was evident throughout Friday’€™s game that BU was the better team. Even with all the sloppy play in the first, the Terriers still outshot Yale 11-6 in the period. The Bulldogs didn’€™t really get anything going in the way of sustained offense until BU gave them a pair of power plays in the second. Yale scored on the second and carried a 1-0 lead into the third period.

It seemed to take Yale finally scoring for the Terriers to really relax and start to play the way they’€™re capable of playing. As it turns out, they were capable of dominating play once they got going, even against Yale’€™s stingy defense (ranked No. 1 in the country coming in).

“It was funny, once they went up 1-0, I thought we just started playing better,” Quinn said. “€œIt was almost like the pressure was off. We’€™re a lot more comfortable being down than we are ahead for some strange reason, and I just thought after that we started playing.”

The Terriers, who have been an excellent third-period team all season, outshot Yale 14-2 in the third period and got a pair of goals from Ahti Oksanen (on a rebound off an A.J. Greer shot) and Evan Rodrigues (on a bad-angle shot that Alex Lyon should have stopped) to take a 2-1 lead with 8:40 left in the game.

But BU wasn’€™t done overcoming adversity just yet. Yale tied the game back up with 6:48 to go when Cody Learned fed Frankie DiChiara for a shot from the slot. That didn’€™t deflate the Terriers, though. They kept the pressure on and that relentlessness paid off when they drew two penalties in the final three minutes of regulation.

They didn’€™t score on either power play, but that didn’€™t deflate them either. They ended up outshooting Yale 6-2 in overtime and found the winner 7:27 into the extra session when Danny O’€™Regan buried a rebound off Jack Eichel’€™s shot from the right point.

“You’€™re playing good hockey teams and you’€™re going to have to weather a storm,” Quinn said. “€œYou’€™re going to have to fight through a difficult shift. I thought we did a good job of that.

“No matter what the hump is, we’€™ve seemed to overcome it so far this year. We’€™re probably going to have a few bumps in the road in tomorrow night’€™s game no matter who our opponent is. That’€™s the way it’€™s going to be from here on in.”

Friday’€™s game probably should have never gotten to overtime given the talent disparity between the teams that became apparent as the game went on, but at this time of the year, no one’€™s going to complain about any win, regardless of how they came by it.

Now the Terriers prepare for Saturday’€™s Northeast Regional final against either Minnesota-Duluth or Minnesota (most likely Minnesota-Duluth given that they lead 4-0 as of this posting). Those teams are better than Yale, especially offensively, and should be able to do more to make BU pay should it start slow again, so the Terriers better hope all those NCAA nerves are out of their system for good.

NCAA hockey bracket announced: BU to Manchester, BC to Providence, Harvard to South Bend 03.22.15 at 12:57 pm ET
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After capturing the Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles, Boston University will be the No. 1 seed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester, New Hampshire, and face fourth-seeded Yale in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday at 2 p.m. The winner of that game will face the winner of Minnesota-Duluth vs. Minnesota in the regional final Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Boston College and Providence, both of whom earned an at-large bid, will be in the East Regional in Providence, the Eagles as the three-seed and the Friars as the four-seed. BC will face second-seeded Denver Saturday at 3 p.m. and Providence will take on top-seeded Miami (Ohio) at 6:30 p.m. The two winners will meet in the regional final Sunday at 5 p.m.

Harvard, fresh off its first ECAC tournament title since 2006, is a three-seed in the Midwest Regional in South Bend, Indiana, and will take on second-seeded Nebraska-Omaha Saturday at 7:30 p.m. If the Crimson can win that game, they would face the winner of Minnesota State vs. RIT Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in the regional final.

The fourth regional is in Fargo, North Dakota, where North Dakota will face Quinnipiac and Michigan Tech will take on St. Cloud State in the first round.

The winner from Manchester will face the winner from Fargo in one national semifinal, with the winners from Providence and South Bend facing off in the other.

Here is the full bracket:

Midwest Regional (South Bend, Indiana)
1. Minnesota State vs. 4. RIT
2. Nebraska-Omaha vs. 3. Harvard

West Regional (Fargo, North Dakota)
1. North Dakota vs. 4. Quinnipiac
2. Michigan Tech vs. 3. St. Cloud State

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
1. Boston University vs. 4. Yale
2. Minnesota-Duluth vs. 3. Minnesota

East Regional (Providence, Rhode Island)
1. Miami (Ohio) vs. 4. Providence
2. Denver vs. 3. Boston College

Harvard beats Colgate to win first ECAC championship since 2006 03.21.15 at 10:58 pm ET
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While Jack Eichel was busy wowing everyone in Hockey East, Jimmy Vesey was doing the same in the ECAC. The North Reading native and Nashville Predators draft pick scored twice to lead Harvard to its first ECAC tournament title since 2006, as the Crimson beat Colgate 4-2 in Lake Placid in Saturday night’s conference championship game.

With the win, the Crimson qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. They will find out where they’re going and who they’re facing Sunday at noon when the bracket is announced.

Vesey opened the scoring 12:22 into the game, but Colgate’s Darcy Murphy tied it three minutes later. Vesey struck again early in the second period with a power-play goal, and Patrick McNally added another power-play tally later in the period to make it 3-1.

John Lidgett cut the lead to 3-2 with 7:43 left in the game, but that was as close as Colgate would get. Colin Blackwell sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute.

Vesey now has 31 goals on the season, four more than anyone else in the country. His 1.58 points per game are second only to Eichel. He was at his best in the ECAC tournament, finishing with nine goals and four assists in seven games.

Jack Eichel scores 2 more goals, BU beats UMass-Lowell to win Hockey East championship 03.21.15 at 9:38 pm ET
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UMass-Lowell’€™s reign as Hockey East tournament champions is over. Jack Eichel registered two goals and an assist as top-seeded Boston University ended the River Hawks’€™ hopes for a three-peat with a 5-3 win at TD Garden in Saturday night’€™s conference championship game. It is the Terriers’ first Hockey East tournament title since 2009 and eighth overall.

The Terriers, who also won the Hockey East regular-season title, outscored their opponents 20-6 in four Hockey East tournament games and locked up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with Saturday’€™s win. They will head to either Manchester or Providence for next weekend’€™s regionals. The bracket will be announced Sunday at noon.

The River Hawks’€™ season is over with the loss, as they did not do enough during the regular season to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. It is the first time they have missed NCAAs during Norm Bazin’€™s four years behind the bench.

Eichel now has 66 points (24 goals, 42 assists) on the season. That is the most by any freshman since Maine’€™s Paul Kariya in 1992-93 and the most ever by a BU freshman, as he passed Dave Silk and Mark Fiddler on Saturday. The Hobey Baker favorite has nine goals and 17 assists during a 12-game point streak, including six goals and five assists in four Hockey East tournament games.

The Terriers took a 1-0 lead 13:08 into the game with a power-play goal. Eichel entered the zone and made a pass over to Matt Grzelcyk that was partially deflected, but it still reached Grzelcyk, who buried it blocker-side for his 10th goal of the season. Three of those goals have come at TD Garden — where his father is a longtime bull gang worker — as he also scored twice in the Beanpot championship game.

BU appeared to score again just 41 seconds later when Nikolas Olsson collected a loose puck and beat Kevin Boyle glove-side. The goal was overturned after a video review, though, because Matt Lane, who was the first Terrier to the puck, had entered the zone offsides by half a step.

The no-goal could have been a momentum swing in Lowell’€™s favor, but Eichel put an end to that theory just over a minute later with one of the best plays he’€™s made in a season full of great plays. Eichel carried the puck down the right wing, made a great move inside Dylan Zink as Zink went for the hit and then slid the puck under a sliding Joe Gambardella and through Boyle’€™s legs for his 23rd goal of the season.

The River Hawks responded well, though, and cut the lead to 2-1 on a power-play goal with 1:50 left in the first. Tommy Panico fired a shot from the point that produced a rebound that Joe Gambardella gathered right in front and flipped past Matt O’€™Connor.

BU regained its two-goal lead 5:38 into the second when Cason Hohmann took a pass from A.J. Greer on a two-on-one and held the puck before beating Boyle five-hole. It was Hohmann’€™s fourth goal in four Hockey East tournament games.

Lowell nearly cut the lead to 3-2 on a power play midway through the second when the puck popped out to Zack Kamrass in the slot, but O’€™Connor made a great sliding glove save to rob Kamrass. The Terriers then made it 4-1 on another two-on-one in the final minute of the period. Olsson fed Grzelcyk, who then sent it right back to Olsson for an easy finish.

The River Hawks cut the lead to 4-2 with 13:13 left in the game when Michael Fallon fed Michael Kapla for a shot that beat O’€™Connor blocker-side, but then Eichel scored again with 5:17 left in the game when he raced down the right wing and beat Boyle five-hole to make it 5-2. Michael Louria cut the lead to 5-3 with 3:08 to go, but that was as close as Lowell would get.

Jack Eichel scores twice as BU beats UNH to reach Hockey East title game 03.20.15 at 10:54 pm ET
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For the second time in the last three years and third time in the last seven, the Hockey East championship game will be Boston University vs. UMass-Lowell. After Lowell beat Vermont 4-1 in Friday night’€™s first semifinal, the top-seeded Terriers beat New Hampshire by the same score in the second semifinal.

The Terriers took a 2-1 lead midway through the second on a strong shift from their fourth line. Nick Roberto took the puck down low and tried a wraparound attempt that produced a rebound for Chase Phelps to bury. It was just the second goal of the season for the freshman Phelps, and it was his first point since Nov. 29.

BU made it 3-1 with 6:15 left in the game. UNH had done a good job limiting the number of chances BU’€™s top line got for most of the night, but Jack Eichel and company came through late to seal the win. Eichel poked a puck to Danny O’€™Regan while lying on the ice and O’€™Regan then set up Evan Rodrigues in the slot. Rodrigues’€™ shot was partially saved, but Eichel pounced on the rebound and tucked it inside the post for his 21st goal of the season. Eichel later tacked on an empty-netter to finish off the scoring.

UNH took a 1-0 lead 14:34 into the game when a miscommunication between Brandon Hickey and A.J. Greer left the puck sitting in the slot for Tyler Kelleher. Kelleher partially whiffed on the shot, but it still managed to slide through Matt O’€™Connor’€™s legs.

BU answered two and a half minutes later on a big momentum swing. After O’€™Connor came up with a big save on Andrew Poturalski to keep the game 1-0, Cason Hohmann beat out an icing at the other end and wound up finishing off a nice pass from Matt Grzelcyk a few seconds later to tie the game. BU nearly scored again in the final minute of the first period, but Tirone made a great glove save to rob Matt Lane on a point-blank chance.

BU and Lowell have met for the Hockey East title three times previously, with BU winning in 1994 and 2009 before Lowell took the last meeting in 2013 in Jack Parker‘€™s final game behind the BU bench. The Terriers will be looking to win their eighth Hockey East tournament title, while the River Hawks are trying to capture their third straight and third overall.

BU has won both meetings with Lowell this season, coming from behind to win 4-3 in overtime on a Jack Eichel game-winner back on Jan. 18 and then running away with a 5-2 victory on Feb. 6.

With the win, the Terriers moved closer to getting one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. They can lock one up with a win Saturday night, but will most likely get one even if they lose. UNH’€™s season is over with the loss.

UMass-Lowell beats Vermont to reach third straight Hockey East championship game 03.20.15 at 7:37 pm ET
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UMass-Lowell is heading back to the Hockey East championship game. The River Hawks beat Vermont 4-1 in the semifinals Friday night to advance to Saturday night’€™s title game, where they will be looking to capture their third straight Hockey East tournament title.

Lowell took a 2-1 lead with 3:50 left in the second when Michael Louria scored on a bad-angle shot from the right side that Vermont goalie Brody Hoffman should have stopped. Terrence Wallin added an insurance marker 8:46 into the third when his shot from the slot deflected off a Vermont stick and over Hoffman’€™s glove. Joe Gambardella tacked on a late empty-netter

The Catamounts opened the scoring 11:42 into the game when Jonathan Turk fed a charging Kevin Irwin for a redirect goal from right in front. But then the Catamounts took two penalties in the next 25 seconds, and Lowell made them pay when Michael Kapla fired through an A.J. White screen for a 5-on-3 power-play goal to tie the game at 1-1.

Vermont struggled to generate any sort of consistent offensive pressure throughout the game, as the River Hawks controlled possession for much of the night and did a good disrupting Vermont’€™s breakouts and zone entries.

Lowell will take on the winner of Friday night’€™s second semifinal between Boston University and New Hampshire in Saturday night’€™s championship game at 7 p.m. at TD Garden. The River Hawks are looking to become just the second team in Hockey East history to win three straight tournament titles, with Boston College from 2010-2012 being the only team that has accomplished it so far.

If BU beats UNH Friday night, the Lowell defense will have to find a way to limit the number of scoring chances Jack Eichel’€™s line gets. That line, the best in the country, has combined for five goals and nine assists in two games against Lowell this season, both BU wins.

A win Saturday night would get Lowell back to the NCAA tournament for a fourth straight year. A loss Saturday night would almost certainly end the River Hawks’€™ season. They had only a slim chance of getting an at-large bid going into the weekend to begin with, but Harvard beating Quinnipiac and St. Cloud State beating North Dakota Friday seems to have eliminated most, if not all, of the scenarios that would have gotten Lowell in without winning Hockey East.

The loss ends Vermont’€™s season. The Catamounts were hoping to reach NCAAs for a second year in a row, but they needed to win at least one game this weekend and probably two.

Harvard knocks off top-seeded Quinnipiac, advances to ECAC championship game 03.20.15 at 6:36 pm ET
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Harvard advanced to the ECAC championship game and kept its NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 5-2 win over top-seeded Quinnipiac on Friday.

The Crimson stormed out to a 3-0 first-period lead with goals from Jimmy Vesey, Colin Blackwell and Tyler Moy. The Bobcats cut the lead to 3-2 with a pair of second-period goals, but Harvard kept them off the board after that. Vesey scored his second of the game on an empty-netter with 1:36 left in regulation and then Sean Malone tacked on another empty-netter.

With the two goals, Vesey upped his nation-leading goal total to 29. Blackwell now has four goals in his last six games after battling concussion symptoms for the better part of the last two years. There was a scary moment early in the third period when Blackwell left the ice after taking a hit to the head, but he returned to the game a couple minutes later.

Harvard will take on the winner of tonight’s semifinal between St. Lawrence and Colgate in the ECAC championship game Saturday night at 7:35 p.m. in Lake Placid. The Crimson are looking for their first ECAC tournament title since 2006.

A win Saturday night would also earn the Crimson a spot in the NCAA tournament. They would still have a chance to get in even with a loss Saturday night, but not a very good one. According to, they have an 11.6 percent chance if they lose Saturday.

BU’s Jack Eichel, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey, Bruins prospect Zane McIntyre among 10 finalists for Hobey Baker Award 03.19.15 at 10:57 am ET
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Boston University freshman Jack Eichel, Harvard junior Jimmy Vesey and Bruins prospect Zane McIntyre are among the 10 finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, which is given annually to the top player in college hockey.

Eichel, who will likely go second overall in this summer’s NHL draft, leads the country with 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) and 1.79 points per game. The North Chelmsford native is the clear favorite to win the award and would become just the second freshman ever to do so (Maine’s Paul Kariya did it in 1993).

Vesey, a third-round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2012, leads the country in goals (27) and is second in points per game (1.56). The guess here is that he’ll join Eichel in the Hobey Hat Trick, which will be announced on April 2. The winner will be announced on April 10 at Matthews Arena as part of Boston’s Frozen Four week festivities.

McIntyre, a junior goalie at North Dakota whom the Bruins drafted in the sixth round in 2010, ranks sixth in the country with a .932 save percentage and is tied for first nationally with 27 wins. He is the only goalie among the 10 finalists.

Eichel and the Terriers take on New Hampshire in the Hockey East semifinals on Friday at TD Garden, while Vesey and the Crimson take on Quinnipiac in the ECAC semifinals on Friday in Lake Placid.

Here is the full list of finalists:

Daniel Ciampini, Union
Jack Eichel, Boston University
Matt Garbowsky, RIT
Zach Hyman, Michigan
Tanner Kero, Michigan Tech
Joey LaLeggia, Denver
Zane McIntyre, North Dakota
Mike Reilly, Minnesota
Jimmy Vesey, Harvard
Cody Wydo, Robert Morris

College hockey roundup: Vermont upsets BC, UNH upsets Providence, Harvard beats Yale in 2OT 03.15.15 at 10:58 pm ET
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The Hockey East semifinal matchups are set, as Vermont, New Hampshire and UMass-Lowell won decisive Game 3s on Sunday. UNH will take on Boston University, who swept Merrimack this weekend, at 8 p.m. Friday night at TD Garden, while Lowell and Vermont will face off in the first semifinal at 5 p.m. The winners will play Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the championship game. This marks the first time in Hockey East history that the seventh and eighth seeds (Vermont and UNH, respectively) have both reached the semifinals.

Vermont pulled off an upset, beating third-seeded Boston College 1-0 to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2010. The lone goal came 2:53 into the third period when Alexx Privitera made a great outlet pass to spring his brother Jarrid on a breakaway. Jarrid Privitera made the most of it, beating BC goalie Thatcher Demko five-hole.

The Eagles had some chances down the stretch, but couldn’€™t find a way to beat Brody Hoffman, who stopped 87 of the 88 shots he faced in the series after coming on in relief Friday night. BC came close in the final minute, as Alex Tuch hit the post with 31 seconds remaining.

The Eagles are currently ninth in the Pairwise and will almost certainly make the NCAA tournament despite the loss, but they’€™ll still be doing some scoreboard watching next weekend. In particular, they don’€™t want to see a bunch of bids ‘€œstolen’€ by teams currently outside the top 15. The Catamounts are currently 19th in the Pairwise and most likely need to win Hockey East to get in. A semifinal win followed by a championship game loss probably wouldn’€™t be enough.

UNH also pulled off an upset, knocking off second-seeded Providence with a 2-1 overtime win. Jay Camper scored the winner 12:43 into the extra session when he tipped in a Brett Pesce shot. UNH’€™s Grayson Downing opened the scoring midway through the second with his seventh goal in the last six games. Nick Saracino tied it for Providence 1:20 into the third.

The loss could prove devastating to the Friars’€™ NCAA hopes, as they plummeted to 14th in the Pairwise. They’€™ll be scoreboard watching next weekend and will have to hope that teams below them don’€™t win their conference tournaments and ‘€œsteal’€ bids. UNH is one such team, as the Wildcats need to win Hockey East to make NCAAs.

Lowell scored six goals on its first 13 shots of the game and held on for a 6-4 win over Notre Dame. The River Hawks will head to the Garden for a third consecutive year and will try to become just the second team to win three straight Hockey East tournament titles (BC did it from 2010-2012).

C.J. Smith and Adam Chapie scored in the first 4:17 of the game to put the River Hawks up 2-0. After Robbie Russo cut the lead to 2-1, Michael Fallon and Zack Kamrass scored to give Lowell a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission. The River Hawks eventually built up a 6-2 lead, with Kamrass scoring his second goal of the game in the process. The Irish cut the lead to 6-4 with 5:01 to go, but that was as close as they would get.

Despite the win, the River Hawks are still on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble, as they’€™re currently 17th in the Pairwise. They’€™ll need to win their semifinal game Friday night to have a shot at an at-large berth, but there’€™s a chance even that wouldn’€™t be enough. The only sure way for them to get in is to win that third straight title.

Harvard tops Yale in double OT to advance to ECAC semis

In the ECAC, Harvard won the longest game in program history to knock off Yale and advance to next weekend’€™s ECAC semifinals in Lake Placid. Jimmy Vesey buried a rebound 16:46 into double overtime to give the Crimson a 3-2 win in the decisive Game 3. Harvard will take on top seed Quinnipiac in one semifinal, with St. Lawrence meeting Colgate in the other.

Harvard trailed for much of the third period, but then Patrick McNally, playing his third game since returning from an injury that kept him out nearly two months, scored with 3:34 left in regulation to force overtime. McNally also had the shot that led to the rebound on Vesey’€™s game-winner.

With the win, the Crimson remain in contention for an NCAA at-large bid. They’€™re currently 15th in the Pairwise, meaning they’€™d be the last team in if the season ended today. A win over Quinnipiac on Friday might be enough to get them in, but they’€™d probably still have to win the championship on Saturday. A loss to Quinnipiac on Friday would end their season.

College hockey roundup: BU advances to Hockey East semis; 3 Game 3s Sunday; BC, Harvard women reach Frozen Four 03.14.15 at 10:51 pm ET
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Only one team secured its spot in the Hockey East semifinals on Saturday, and that was the top seed. Boston University (23-7-5) beat Merrimack (16-18-4) 5-0 to complete the series sweep and end the Warriors’€™ season. The Terriers dominated all weekend, but took it to another level in the second period Saturday when they outshot the Warriors 24-2 and outscored them 3-0.

The first goal was a shorthanded tally, as Jack Eichel made a nice move inside a defenseman on the rush and set up Cason Hohmann at the left post. Then Evan Rodrigues scored on the power play on a shot from the high slot and Danny O’€™Regan scored at even strength off a nice setup from Brandon Fortunato. Matt Grzelcyk and Cason Hohmann tacked on empty-netters late in the third.

Eichel assisted on three of BU’€™s five goals and finished the series with two goals and four assists. He became the first player in the country to hit the 60-point mark this season — and the first BU player to do it since Chris Drury in 1996-97 — and is now up to 61 (20 goals, 41 assists) in 34 games.

BU moved up to fourth in the Pairwise rankings with the win, meaning it would be one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament if the season ended today. Getting a one-seed would guarantee the Terriers a spot in either the Manchester or Providence regionals, but there’€™s a good chance they’€™d end up in one of those even if they end up being a two-seed.

Vermont, Notre Dame, Providence force Game 3s

The other three spots in the Hockey East semifinals will be decided in a trio of Game 3s on Sunday, as Vermont, Notre Dame and Providence all won Saturday to keep their Hockey East seasons alive.

Vermont (21-14-4) got out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of power-play goals from Brady Shaw and held on for a 3-1 win over Boston College (21-12-3). The Eagles cut the lead in half late in the second with a power-play goal from Ryan Fitzgerald, but then Brendan Bradley sealed the win for Vermont with a late empty-netter. Brody Hoffman, who had been relegated to backup duties before playing well in relief Friday night, got the start for Vermont and stopped 39 of the 40 shots he faced. Game 3 will be Sunday at 6 p.m. at BC’€™s Conte Forum.

As of 10:30 p.m., Vermont is 19th in the Pairwise and BC is ninth. The Eagles should be in decent shape when it comes to getting an NCAA at-large berth even if they lose Sunday, while a win would virtually guarantee them a spot. The Catamounts, meanwhile, need to win Sunday to keep their at-large hopes alive. They would possibly need a win in the semifinals, too.

Notre Dame (18-18-5) trailed UMass-Lowell (19-11-6) 2-1 entering the third period, but then got a pair of goals from Anders Bjork (a Bruins draft pick) and Mario Lucia to take a 3-2 lead before Peter Schneider sealed the victory with an empty-netter. Game 3 is Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

The River Hawks dropped to 18th in the Pairwise with the loss, meaning they need to win Sunday to remain in contention for an NCAA bid. They would then potentially need another win next weekend to get in. The Irish need to win the Hockey East tournament to get in.

Jon Gillies stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced to lead Providence (22-12-2) to a 2-1 win over New Hampshire (18-18-2). John Gilmour had a goal and an assist and Mark Jankowski scored as well. Game 3 will be Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. at Providence’€™s Schneider Arena.

The Friars are currently in a similar position as BC in the Pairwise. They’€™re 10th right now and should still have a good chance to make NCAAs even if they lose Sunday, but there’€™s a chance they’€™d drop enough to be in danger if a couple teams currently outside the top 15 ended up winning their conference tournaments and ‘€œstealing’€ a bid. Providence can pretty much lock up its spot in NCAAs with a win Sunday. UNH needs to win the Hockey East tournament to get in.

Harvard to play Game 3; Dartmouth eliminated

Harvard (18-12-3) will have to play a Game 3 in its ECAC quarterfinal series, as the Crimson failed to close out Yale (18-8-5) Saturday, losing 2-0. Mitch Witek gave Yale a 1-0 lead early in the second and Trent Ruffolo added a late empty-netter. Game 3 is Sunday at 7 p.m. in New Haven.

The Crimson are in a similar Pairwise situation as Lowell and Vermont. They’€™re 17th right now and need to win Sunday to have any chance of getting an NCAA at-large berth. Then they might need another win next weekend as well. Yale is 14th right now, but would likely drop out of the top 15 with a loss Sunday.

Dartmouth (17-12-4), meanwhile, saw its season come to an end with a 3-2 loss to Colgate, who completed the series sweep. The Big Green overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the second period, but then Mike Borkowski scored early in the third and Colgate held on for the win.

BC, Harvard women advance to Frozen Four

Alex Carpenter registered two goals and an assist and linemate Haley Skarupa had a goal and three assists as the Boston College women beat defending national champion Clarkson 5-1 to advance to the Frozen Four. It was a big bounce-back game for the Eagles (33-2-2), who were coming off a disappointing loss to Boston University in the Hockey East championship game.

The Harvard women (26-5-5) also advanced to the Frozen Four, beating Quinnipiac 5-0 on Saturday. Abbey Frazer and Karly Heffernan each had a goal and an assist in the win, while Emerance Maschmeyer stopped all 20 shots she faced.

BC and Harvard will now face each other in the national semifinals Friday in Minneapolis. The winner of that game will play the winner of Minnesota vs. Wisconsin on Sunday in the national championship. The Eagles and Crimson have played twice this season, with BC winning 10-2 back in November before Harvard handed the Eagles their first loss of the season with a 3-2 win in the Beanpot championship game on Feb. 10.

The BU women (25-9-3), meanwhile, were eliminated with a 5-1 loss to Wisconsin. The Badgers scored twice in the first and twice more in the second to put the game out of reach. It’€™s a disappointing result for the Terriers, but winning a fourth straight Hockey East tournament title last weekend still makes this a successful season. The game was the last at the college level for Olympic star Marie-Philip Poulin.

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