Terriers' Luck Runs Out
BU Falls to BC in Northeast Final
by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer
WORCESTER, Mass. "I thought we were dominated tonight."
That was how Boston University coach Jack Parker opened his comments after his team's 5-0 loss to Boston College Saturday night in the Northeast Regional Final in Worcester.
That pretty much says it all.
The Terriers, in a complete reversal of fortune from 24 hours earlier, were scored on early and often. Just 6:24 into the game, Kevin Schaeffer tried to bring the puck out from behind his own net, but BC's Brian Boyle used his long reach to his advantage, picking off a pass and putting the puck home past John Curry to give BC a 1-0 lead.
Little did Boyle and the rest of the Eagles know, it would be all that they needed.
"That's the perfect example that the puck wasn't bouncing our way tonight," said Curry.
BU had won four games in a row against BC, including the Beanpot championship as well as the Hockey East Tournament championship. They also edged out the Eagles for the Hockey East regular season championship in the last weekend.
Parker said Friday after his team's 9-2 win against Nebraska-Omaha that it was a disadvantage that his team didn't have to play with a sense of urgency for the entire 60 minutes. He echoed those comments after Saturday's game, as BU saw a chance to return to the Frozen Four for the first time in nine years, fall by the wayside.
"We may have been fooled by last night with the puck jumping in the net for us," Parker said.
It was hard to tell the exact difference between the two games. What did BU not do that they did a week ago? What did BC do differently? The Terrier players and coaches all thought that it was a case of being outworked.
"We didn't control any of this game, from the opening goal to the third period," Parker said.
"Tonight we just got outworked, they wanted it more than us tonight," said senior forward Brad Zancanaro.
Zancanaro was battling hard with Boyle all night long. There is a 14-inch height difference between the two, but Zancanaro hung tough with the Eagle giant.
The biggest difference, may have simply been "puck luck." BC was getting the bounces that BU was getting in their last four meetings.
"We've had a lot of games against them lately and we've gotten a lot of bounces on them," said Dan Spang, who played in his final collegiate game for BU.
Curry also saw the "puck luck" going the other way.
"Look back at the games we played with them this year, we've gotten some puck luck, they've gotten some puck luck, and we didn't get anything tonight.
"They got a couple more bounces and before you know it was 4-0 going into the third, and you can't come back from that. You try to, you try to stay positive, you try to get some bounces but it doesn't happen too often," Curry said.
Curry said that Boyle's goal in the first really set the tone for the game.
"Just to start the game we get that one bad bounce in front and Boyle buries it, and that's another bad bounce," said Curry.
"That stuff happens but it's pretty deflating when a team who has been beaten four times in a row wants to beat you that bad and that gives them the burst they needed."
Curry was not making excuses, simply pointing out the difference from the previous meetings between the teams.
"The second goal hit off my head and then went off someone's skates, but you can't use that as an excuse because we didn't play our best game and neither did I," Curry said.
Parker was surprised by his team's effort. BU had been the hottest team in the nation with only one loss in their last 22 games (19-1-2).
"We certainly came out nowhere near the intensity we needed to play with, and I am absolutely surprised at that," Parker said.
BU did go further than anyone back in September thought that they would have.
"Great season for us, hard for us to end it not going to the Final Four, we won everything there was to win for us in our league, but we don't get the chance to win that last one (NCAA Championship)," Parker said.
BU was obviously aware of its recent success against the Eagles, and they had to block that out of their memory.
"Our main focus was to make it about one game. It is tough to beat a team five times in a row, you'd be lying to yourself if you said it isn't," Curry said.
When push comes to shove, years from now, people will likely remember that BC beat BU to go to the Frozen Four, and the success that the Terriers had against their cross-town rival this season may all be forgotten.
"A lot has been talked about, 'You have to beat BC five times'," said Parker.
"No, we didn't, we had to beat BC once tonight to get into the Final Four, and we didn't do it."