Hockey East Championship Notebook
by Mike Machnik/CHN Senior Editor
BOSTON Boston University freshman goaltender Kieran Millan was named as the Most Valuable Player of the 25th Hockey East Tournament, shutting out Mass.-Lowell, 1-0, in the championship game.
Joining Millan on the All-Tournament Team as voted by the media were forwards Colin Wilson and John McCarthy of BU, and Scott Campbell of Mass.-Lowell; and defensemen Matt Gilroy (BU) and Maury Edwards (UML).
Millan became the first rookie to be named MVP since BC's Chuck Kobasew led the Eagles to the 2001 title.
BU lost sophomore forward Joe Pereira early in the game to a ruptured spleen, according to head coach Jack Parker.
Pereira was taken to a local hospital and according to Parker, is out for the rest of the season.
Pereira had played on the Terriers' fourth line and recorded 3-7—10 in 34 games. It was the second straight night that BU was forced to go with only 11 forwards the rest of the game, following Brandon Yip's ejection for hitting from behind on Friday against Boston College.
While BU's power play, first in the league, was a big reason the Terriers got to this point, it was their penalty kill that helped them win a championship.
Lowell was held scoreless on seven chances after entering the night with the league's second best man advantage ratio. That included :23 of 5-on-3 in the third period.
The River Hawks had four of their power plays in the third, but were held to only four shots in total despite skating a third of the period (7:30) up a man.
Lowell made just its second appearance ever in the championship game and first in 15 years. Both have come against BU, as the River Hawks fell to the Terriers, 3-2, in 1994, and are still seeking their first title.
BU won its seventh championship and first since 2006. The Terriers became the first team to win the championship while playing the maximum five games since the permanent move to a best-of-three format in 1996. BC also won the tournament while playing five games in 1990, after winning its opening round series in three games against Merrimack.
Millan's shutout was the third ever in championship game history, following UNH's Mike Ayers blanking of BU, 1-0 (ot) in 2003 and BC's John Muse shutting out Vermont, 4-0, last year.
It was the only time this season that BU had won a game by the 1-0 score.
The top seed has now won 12 of the 25 championship games. The fifth seed, which Lowell was, is now winless in only two tries.
BU has had a decided edge against Lowell in tournament play. The Terriers are now 8-1 all-time, with Lowell's only win coming last year in quarterfinal play, 4-1. BU went on to win that series, two games to one.
The Terriers won all four meetings this season and lead the all-time series with Lowell, 62-17-8.
Red-hot Scott Campbell entered the game with four goals and 10 points over his last five games, three in tournament play, but was held scoreless on the night. Still, his 3-3—6 tied BU's John McCarthy for the lead in points in this year's tournament, as McCarthy finished with 1-5—6.
BU's Brandon Yip, who scored the only goal of the night, finished with three goals in the tournament, tied with four other players including Campbell.
Before the opening faceoff, Hockey East culminated its season-long 25th anniversary celebration by honoring the five men who founded the league in 1984. Included in the on-ice ceremony was former Providence athletic director and league commissioner Lou Lamoriello, now CEO, president and general manager of the NHL's New Jersey Devils.
Lamoriello's Devils are in town to face the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon.
Lowell ended the season 8-9 in one-goal games and had a seven-game winning streak in games decided by one goal snapped.
Since falling to Massachusetts on Jan. 17, the River Hawks went on to go 11-4-2 the rest of the way, falling twice each to BU and Northeastern, who Lowell defeated on Friday to reach the championship game.
BU is 7-3 in one-goal games and has lost just one of its last 21 overall (17-1-3), the second game of the quarterfinals to Maine last weekend.