A Trip around the rinks – Friday Action HE Quarterfinals

I had the unenviable task of trying to watch the UMass/BC game (NBC Sports Network) on tape delay last night. Granted, college hockey scores are much easier to avoid than say, NFL or MLB scores, but it is never as easy as it seems to avoid all texts, tweets, facebook messages, etc.

You had to wonder whether or not some of the UMass momentum and excitement generated from the hoops team’s upset win over #1 seed Temple earlier in the day would carry over to the hockey game Friday night. The ever demure, Toot Cahoon had to incorporate the big hoops win into his pregame speech in some form or fashion.

As I mentioned in my HE playoff preview, I thought the game represented a prime and no doubt, rare opportunity for UMass in particular, to show the national tv audience how competitive their program can be. Although the end result wasn’t in their favor, 2-1 loss, they played at a frenetic pace and gave BC all that it could handle, outshooting the Eagles 26-18.

UMass seemed to offer BC a taste of its own medicine, they outplayed BC in the transition game and beat the Eagles to virtually every puck as a result of their great speed. The

Kevin Boyle - UMass netminder

Minutemen pinched their D at every chance and in BC-esque fashion, were relentness on the forecheck. Midway through the period, the Minutemen APPEARED to score the game’s first goal as Stephen Guzzo directed a center feed into the net- problem is, it was with his skate not his stick. This play has been disputed all morning – even the famed Kevin Paul Dupont and Dale Arnold of Bruins fame offered their take. Personally, it was blatantly kicked into the net and the proper call was made.

If it wasn’t for two brief, albeit crucial defensive lapses, UMass could’ve and SHOULD’VE won this game. Their effort appeared spurred on by the significant UMass contingent and the repeated “Let’s go UMass chants” that resonated through the sparse crowd at Conte. I know BC is on Spring Break but c’mon Superfrauds, it’s the 1st round of the playoffs and your school is #1 in the nation.

To the Eagles credit, they capitalized – as they typically do- on the limited opportunities given to the. Johnny Gaudreau figured in both scores – Pat Mullane and Tommy Cross both scored a mere 39 second apart in the 2nd – and paced the timely Eagles to the game 1 win.

Hats off to parker Milner (25 saves) who was stellar all night, making some dramatic saves – including a beauty on a breakaway of a scoreless game in the 2nd that was a game saver.

Elsewhere in HE action on Friday:

Fri Merrimack 1 at Maine 2 Recap Box
Fri New Hampshire 3 at Boston University 2 2OT Recap Box
Fri Providence 2 at UMass Lowell 3 OT Recap Box
Fri Massachusetts 1 at Boston College 2 Recap Box

Around the Boards- Blogger’s Take on Friday’s HE Action:

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