Notre Dame Advances as BU's Season Comes to Early End
CHN Staff Report
Notre Dame advanced to the Hockey East quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over Boston University on Saturday.
With the loss, the Terriers' season comes to an end. In David Quinn's first year taking over as head coach for Jack Parker, BU finished 10-21-4, its worst record since 1961-62.
“Nobody wants to be 10-21,” Quinn told the Daily Free Press. “I certainly didn’t come here to coach 10-21 hockey teams, but everybody kind of knew the situation we were in this year and I think everybody has a good idea what we’re going to do moving forward.”
Of course, BU does have plenty to look forward to. Freshman Robbie Baillargeon wound up leading the team in scoring and getting a lot more playing time than he ordinarily would have, thanks to so many injuries and other factors. The team's top three scorers return, and it's expected defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will as well, from a shoulder injury that cut his season short.
BU also has a nine-member freshman class coming in, expected to be led by phenom Jack Eichel, a potential top 3 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Notre Dame's future is next weekend, where it moves on to face Boston College. Notre Dame may have to win at least one of those games to make the NCAAs. The win extended Notre Dame’s winning streak to five straight games and unbeaten run to seven (6-0-1).
“Boston College is going to be a challenge. They’ve had two weeks to think about us,” said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson, whose team closed the regular season by stopping BC's 19-game unbeaten streak. “It was a challenge going in there last week and it’s going to be a bigger challenge to go in there for a two-out-of -three series. We played them tough, but we just have to go in there and play a smart game the way we played them last time. That’s the biggest key.”
The Irish got on the scoreboard first as Bryan Rust notched his 13th of the year at 6:28 on a pretty passing play between him and linemates T.J. Tynan and Sam Herr. Herr, the sophomore left wing forced a turnover at the BU blueline and moved it ahead to Tynan with Rust joining on the 2-on-1. Tynan waited until the defender played him and slid the puck ahead to Rust, who beat Matt O’Connor with a nice move in front to give Notre Dame the 1-0 lead.
The score stayed that way until midway through the second period when Jeff Costello fired a wrist shot through a screen, making it 2-0.
“He (Jeff Costello) has been awesome here for the last couple of months,” Jackson said. “He’s put this team on his back in many ways. I wish he would get rewarded a little more with goals. He got one tonight and hopefully it’s one of more to come.”
BU was able to get within a goal on two separate occasions, with Evan Rodrigues and Robbie Baillargeon scoring.
“In the second period we started turning pucks over and they scored,” Jackson said. “Then obviously giving them the 5-on-3 is not a healthy thing. Other than that, I though we had good control of the game for the most part.”
Costello said, “They pressured us hard and came at us hard, which caused some turnovers. They were getting chances off that. We can’t do that when we have that 2-0 lead. It’s the worse lead. You have to keep going forward and attacking.”
From there, Notre Dame goalie Steve Summerhays and the Irish defense stiffened to hold off the Terriers.