Northeast Regional Preview | Worcester, Mass.
Greene and Miami will be among the many players wearing
red at the DCU Center this weekend.
Tournament Bracket | Info
Regional Preview Coverage
Friday, March 24
4 p.m. ET: No. 1 Boston University vs.
No. 4 Nebraska-Omaha
7 p.m. ET: No. 2 Miami vs. No. 3 Boston
Saturday, March 25
6 p.m. ET: Regional Final
By Nate Ewell and Jeff Howe
Just days removed from an outstanding Hockey
East championship game, college hockey fans in Boston are
abuzz over the chance of a rematch just one week later.
Boston University and Boston College both
find themselves in Worcester’s DCU Center this weekend,
and wins on Friday would make for their sixth meeting this
season. It’s all the more special since they went
to overtime last Saturday, a game extended by John Curry’s
strength in net and ended by Brandon Yip’s goal at
the other end.
But before we plan on those teams and deck
out DCU Center in its Beanpot best, it’s worth remembering
last year. The same two teams were in Worcester, but North
Dakota spoiled the fun. The Fighting Sioux stomped BU in
the opener, then dismissed BC en route to an all-WCHA Frozen
Have things changed this year? Well, for one,
the games in Worcester are the Northeast Regional –
last year this was the East Regional. It’s just semantics,
to be sure – but as long as we’re changing the
wording on the brackets, BC and BU would love the chance
to pencil in a Saturday meeting.
Nobody likes Nebraska-Omaha right now.
Not Boston newspapers, who see the Mavericks
as unavoidable fodder on the way to that inevitable BC-BU
showdown. Not fans in Marquette, Mich., where they saw their
Wildcats dispatch UNO two weeks ago. And certainly not fans
in Denver, who wonder how a fifth-place team from a lesser
conference could steal the Pioneers’ chance to defend
their back-to-back titles.
Maverick head coach Mike Kemp and his players
have offered no apologies for their presence – nor
should they. They’re in fair and square under the
current criteria; Friday they’ll have a chance, on
the ice, to prove that they deserve their first trip to
the NCAA Tournament.
walk from the DCU Center, the Irish
Times features a little bit of something for everyone:
pub on one level, nightclub on another. The plasma
screens on the first floor are your best bet for out-of-town
games. There’s live music each night as well
– catch No Alibi on Friday and Chad LaMarsh
ON A ROLL
No one in the history of the Hockey East tournament
had ever collected two hat tricks over the course of their
career. That was until BU’s David Van der Gulik footed
the feat in a whopping span of three games last week. He
did it in Game 1 of the Terriers’ quarterfinal quagmire
with UMass and then again seven days later in the league
semifinals against New Hampshire. He has picked up two game-winning
goals and one contest-clinching assist in the last four
games, and – perhaps most important – BU is
19-2-2 with him in the lineup since he returned from injury
on Dec. 30.
The game is on the line. Your team is in overtime
on the brink of winning some gold or taking an early flight
home with a lump of coal. So you need a goal as quickly
as possible. Or do you? John Curry has allowed just five
goals in Boston University’s four postseason games
while the Terriers made their run to the Hockey East championship.
He had his best performance when it mattered most in the
title tilt on Saturday, making 10 stops against a hungry
Boston College offense in overtime before Brandon Yip scored
the game-winner at 14:22. Curry’s saves were all of
the stand-on-your-head variety; playing center field in
traffic, diving to his left and snaring two wristers from
close range that crossed him up, among others.
SOMETHING TO PROVE
Both CCHA clubs have something to prove, but
Miami is the one that really seems poised to make a statement.
The Redhawks, some felt, deserved a No. 1 seed for racing
to the CCHA title. Instead, they get two de facto road games.
The RedHawks have been a remarkably consistent
team since the puck dropped in October, especially in this
season when, it seemed, everybody had a tailspin. But they
haven’t beaten a tournament team since a sweep against
Michigan the first weekend of December, and nobody outside
of the CCHA seems to have paid much attention to the guys
from Oxford. This weekend they have a chance to grab some
attention on the New England – and national –
ONE TO WATCH
Keep an eye on the crafty Scott Parse of Nebraska-Omaha.
The nation’s leading scorer isn’t the type to
grab your attention with a highlight-reel move the way Boston
College’s Chris Collins will, but watch him for a
couple of shifts and you’ll appreciate his skill.
Keep an eye on the way he works with linemate Bill Thomas,
playing off each other to create space for the other. Boston
University will have to slow those two to advance to the
As mentioned above, this would mark the sixth
game this season between Boston College and Boston University
if both advanced. But if the top seeds hold true, it’ll
be RedHawks vs. Terriers on Saturday night. BU would be
looking for its first Frozen Four trip since – brace
yourself here, because you won’t believe it –
1997, when the tournament last visited Milwaukee. Miami,
meanwhile, looking to beat a Boston-based school “on
the road” for the second day in a row, would be eyeing
its first Frozen Four.