After last night’s overtime thriller, the Boston University Terriers needed one more win to punch their ticket to the Hockey East Semi-Finals at the Boston Garden. That win would not come easy against the Northeastern Huskies. True to form, the long-time rivals staged another classic game that went right down to the wire. It felt eerily similar to the prior night in tone, Tambor, rhythm, and scoring.

For the second consecutive night, BU started slowly and Northeastern made the Terriers pay. Only 2:23 into the game, freshman Biagio Lervario netted his first collegiate goal to put Northeastern ahead. After killing off an Eric Williams hooking penalty, Northeastern got their first chance on the power play when Chase Phelps was called for holding.

Northeastern got many good chances on the man advantage and one second after the penalty expired, Nolan Stevens netted his tenth goal of the season to put the Huskies up 2-0. BU would fight and create more chances for themselves, outshooting Northeastern 10-7 in the opening period, but would not score.

For the second consecutive night, the Huskies led 2-0 after one period.Northeastern got many good chances on the man advantage and one second after the penalty expired, Nolan Stevens netted his tenth goal of the season to put the Huskies up 2-0. BU would fight and create more chances for themselves, outshooting Northeastern 10-7 in the opening period, but would not score. For the second consecutive night, the Huskies led 2-0 after one period.

The second period was chaotic and frantic. Play got physical, and both teams laid out big hits. One sequence near the midway point was particularly chaotic. Former Terrier Sam Kurker drove the puck in and hit Oettinger to try and free up position for a shot. He was called for goalie interference. Oettinger then hit Kurker and was called for a roughing penalty.

Simultaneously, Patrick Curry and Adam Gaudette were called for hitting after the whistle. Despite four penalties called at once, there was no special team hockey. No 3 on 3, not even 4 on 4. Just many boo birds and sore hockey players. BU would get another chance on the advantage when Matt Filipe was called for slashing. Clayton Keller slipped a pass to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and the Swede tapped it by Ryan Ruck for a goal. BU got on the board and went into the third trailing 2-1, just like last night.

BU started hot in the third period. Only three minutes were gone when Nick Roberto ripped a shot from the high slot to score and tie the game 2-2. BU continued to put pressure on Ryan Ruck. Despite their best efforts, they could not grab the lead. The game looked destined for overtime. However, a mistake by Northeastern prevented the game from feeling too much like deja vu all over again. With just 1:36 left in regulation, Garret Cockerill was called for hooking.

BU worked down the clock and their chances and got the look they wanted. Forsbacka Karlsson shot from the left and Ruck made a sprawled-out pad save. Chad Krys got to the loose puck and shot on net to put BU ahead 3-2 with 24.9 seconds left in the game. Northeastern got a few last second shots on Oettinger, but they fell just shy of overtime.

After the game, Husky coach Jim Madigan praised BU for playing well and expressed pride in his team for playing hard against a talented team. He declined to take any questions, as he felt that the series turned on a few bad calls by the officials and he did not want to be publically uncharitable to the officials. Terrier coach David Quinn credited his team’s mental toughness and character for fighting back against a difficult team. He did say of his unit that “We might be so immature that we’re stupid, that might be why we don’t feel out of most games.”

With the loss, it is likely that Northeastern will not get invited to the NCAA Tournament. If so, then their record finished at 18-15-5 overall with a 9-10-3 record in conference. They beat UConn in a first round series victory, finished 3rd at the Beanpot, and gave BU a hard fight in the second round of the playoffs. Four seniors will graduate from the Huskies. Tanner Pond, Sam Kurker will graduate after providing toughness and good skill for their time at NU.

Two members of the Huskies’ top line will graduate. Captain John Stevens battled injury all year and led Northeastern the whole way. He will graduate after a strong final stretch. The hardest departure will be Zach Aston-Reese, the nation’s leading scorer and Hobey Baker Award candidate. He finished the season with 31 goals, 32 assists, and 63 total points. He will stand a great chance of winning the sport’s top individual award.

Four seniors will graduate from the Huskies. Tanner Pond, Sam Kurker will graduate after providing toughness and good skill for their time at NU. Two members of the Huskies’ top line will graduate. Captain John Stevens battled injury all year and led Northeastern the whole way. He will graduate after a strong final stretch.

The hardest departure will be Zach Aston-Reese, the nation’s leading scorer and Hobey Baker Award candidate. He finished the season with 31 goals, 32 assists, and 63 total points. He will stand a great chance of winning the sport’s top individual award.

Boston University moves on to the Semi-Finals of the Hockey East Tournament. They will play on Friday, March 17th at the TD Garden, but their matchup is still to be determined. They will know after tomorrow’s game between UMass Lowell and New Hampshire. That game is tomorrow at the Tsongas Center in Lowell at 4 PM.

About The Author

Chris is a Boston University and Connecticut School of Broadcasting alum. He reported on BU's basketball for two years for WTBU, where he was a part of the hockey broadcast coverage and hosted a weekly radio show. He broadcasts games for various sports at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University. He primarily covers college hockey in the northeast for Inside Hockey.

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