March 9, 2014

College Wraparound: BU's season ends in South Bend

By Joshua Kummins

Freshman Robbie Baillargeon (Enfield, Conn.) tallied for the Terriers Saturday night, but they couldn't complete their comeback against the Irish. (Photo by Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal)

Boston University saw its season come to an end on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena, as it dropped a 3-2 battle against Notre Dame in the opening round of the Hockey East tournament.

The Terriers (10-21-4) scored goals in the second and third periods, but could not find the equalizer against senior goaltender Steven Summerhays and the Irish (21-12-2). With the loss, coming just two weeks after being swept in South Bend, BU misses the quarterfinal round for the first time in Hockey East league history.

Notre Dame entered the game on a six-game unbeaten streak and scored first at 6:28, as senior Bryan Rust cashed in on a turnover at the offensive blue line.

It was not until the 9:25 mark of the second that the Irish doubled their lead. On the other side of a power play, senior Jeff Costello tossed a shot from the point between the legs of BU sophomore Matt O’Connor.

BU got on the board for the first time this year against the Irish at 16:04 of the second. Evan Rodrigues found a loose puck in front and tucked it by Summerhays for the 15th goal of his junior campaign.

Austrian junior Peter Schneider pumped home the game-winning goal for the Irish 3:07 into the third, beating O’Connor without assistance.

The Terriers clawed back to within one at 14:22. Robbie Baillargeon (Enfield, Conn.) capped a solid freshman season with his 10th goal, a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a power play.

It did not take Baillargeon long to leave an impact on the BU lineup as he finished the year with a team-best 26 points. Last year, Danny O’Regan (Needham, Mass.) became the first BU freshman since Tony Amonte (Hingham, Mass.) in 1989-90 to lead the Terriers in scoring.

The Terriers, which would have missed the Hockey East playoffs for the first time ever if it weren’t for the new format instituted this season, are eligible to have each of their top four scorers return next season.

Notre Dame never trailed in the game and scored once in each period. They’ll meet Boston College in the quarterfinals, beginning Friday night in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Eagles and Irish split their conference meetings this season, with Notre Dame winning in the regular season finale last Saturday in overtime.

Maine2, Merrimack 0

Mark Anthoine’s (Lewiston, Maine) goal just 2:01 into the first period proved to be all the offense the Black Bears (15-13-4) in their Hockey East first-round playoff win at Alfond Arena. Sophomore Devin Shore added an empty-netter with 19 seconds left to secure Maine’s spot in the quarterfinal round for the sixth year in a row. The Warriors (8-22-3) saw their season come to an end, despite an excellent 33-save performance from junior Rasmus Tirronen.

St. Lawrence 3, Brown 2

Stellar freshman Gavin Bayreuther (Canaan, N.H.) notched a goal and an assist to help the Saints (11-14-3) sweep the visiting Bears (9-11-3) out of the ECAC playoffs at Appleton Arena. The win was SLU’s first in a conference playoff series against Brown since 2006. Senior Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, Maine) found the back of the net for a second night in a row for the Bears, as did junior Ryan Jacobson.

Yale 2, Harvard 1

The Crimson (10-17-4) held a 1-0 lead with under ten minutes remaining thanks to a first-period goal from sophomore Brian Hart (Cumberland, Maine), but the Bulldogs (17-9-5) stormed back with two late goals and swept its rival from the league playoffs at New Haven’s Ingalls Rink. The early Harvard goal snapped Alex Lyon’s scoreless streak at 137:01, but sophomore Stu Wilson and senior Kenny Agostino scored in less than a minute to secure his 14th win as an Eli freshman.

Dartmouth3, Rensselaer 2

Junior Eric Neiley scored twice to help the Big Green (9-18-4) reach a decisive third game in the ECAC playoffs for a second straight season, this time against the seventh-seeded Engineers (15-15-6) at Houston Field House. Neiley scored the winning goal with just 6:14 remaining in regulation as Dartmouth improved to 12-6 all-time in the middle games of ECAC postseason series. Sophomore Charles Grant was the backstop and made 20 saves in his eighth win of the year. For RPI, junior Ryan Haggerty (Stamford, Conn.) scored his 27th goal of the season at 11:55 of the second.

Holy Cross 5, RIT 1

The Crusaders (13-20-3) staved off elimination in the Atlantic Hockey playoffs at the Hart Center as four players posted multi-point games and junior Matt Ginn made 29 saves in a rout of the Tigers (12-19-5). Senior Shayne Stockton scored twice against his hometown team to lead Holy Cross offensively in just its second-ever playoff win over RIT. The teams will decide a winner on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Niagara4, American International 2

Despite two third-period goals from freshman David Norris and 24 saves from freshman Hunter Leisner, the Yellow Jackets’ (10-25-1) season came to an end at the hands of the Purple Eagles (13-18-5) in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs at Dwyer Arena.

Canisius 5, Sacred Heart 0

Junior Cody Freeman scored a hat trick for the Golden Griffins (14-19-3) and Tony Capobianco completed a playoff series shutout of the Pioneers (12-24-0) in a Saturday win at Buffalo State Sports Arena. SHU finished the regular season with six wins in its final 10 games, but could not find the back of net in either game of the weekend to support sophomore goalie Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.).

Twitter: @JoshuaKummins