Tournament Championship Game | Gallery --
Boston University 1, UMass Lowell 0. Final
The Boston University Terriers defeated the UMass Lowell River Hawks, 1-0, to take the Hockey East Tournament Championship on Saturday night in the TD Banknorth Garden. Terrier goalie Kieran Millan made 32 saves for the shutout as Boston U took their third crown of the season: Beanpot Champions, Hockey East Regular Season Champions and the Hockey East Tournament title.
|Boston University, 2009 Hockey East Champs |
“I thought it was bizarre that the game wound up 1-0 with all the penalties were called, with the way they’ve been going on their power play, and we’ve got a pretty good power play,” said BU head coach Jack Parker, postgame. “That in and of itself takes me aback a little bit.”
However, the game was in question throughout the evening. A back-and-forth, fairly even first period (shots were 14-12 in favor of BU) finally gave way to the first goal of the game with 1:22 remaining in the period, when Brandon Yip put the Terriers up 1-0.
Yip shoved the puck past UMass’s Nevin Hamilton after the goaltender blocked a shot by John McCarthy from the left faceoff circle and David Warsofsky
’s shot off that rebound from the left side of the goal slid through the crease and dinged the right goalpost.
A scrum in the BU net at 10:38 of the second period nearly resulted in a tying tally, as the River Hawks tried to push the puck – and the Terriers who were helping netminder Millan defend the goal – into the net. But the play went under review and was ruled a “no goal” because the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the goal line.
“No,” said UMass head coach Blaise MacDonald of if he agreed with the call. “I mean, we heard a whistle, but not, in our opinion, before the goal went in.”
UMass controlled the play during the second but still was unable to even the score before heading to the locker room for the final intermission.
“I thought the second period, we really started to impose our game on BU,” said MacDonald. “You’ve got to give BU a lot of credit – they did a terrific job on their penalty kill, especially late in the game, when it really mattered.”
A penalty-marred third period gave UMass a strong advantage during the first half and BU a slight advantage during the final minutes, but Yip’s first period goal, now a distant memory, remained the only goal of the 1-0 Terrier victory.
“Our goaltender and our penalty killers won us the game, no doubt about it,” said Parker.
For his stellar play, Millan was chosen tournament MVP.
“He’s playing in a lot of big games, and that’s what you do when you play at BU,” said MacDonald of BU’s rooke goalie. “He looked like cool-hand Luke in there.
“Nothing seems to faze him or rattle him…and that’s what good goalies do.”
He is the first freshman to be chosen since current Bruin Chuck Kobasew won the award as a Boston College player in the 2000-2001 season.
“He’s a freshman, but it’s tough to think of him as a freshman anymore,” said BU co-captain John McCarthy.
Boston University and the rest of Hockey East will await their NCAA Tournament opponents, which will be announced on Sunday.
--Click here for coverage of Friday night's semifinals.