After three games of smash-mouth hockey and 106 combined penalty minutes, the men’s hockey team punched its ticket to the Hockey East semi-finals after winning a best of three series with cross-town rival, Boston University.
“It was a hard-fought series with a lot of bad blood between us,” sophomore defenseman Drew Ellement said. “We relied on what got us there which was being strong defensively and scoring timely goals.”
Senior forward Steve Silva netted two goals while senior forward Wade MacLeod and freshman forward Braden Pimm tacked one each in a 4-2 win over the Terriers to take a 1-0 lead in the series March 10 . Sophomore goaltender Chris Rawlings turned in a stellar performance and made 37 saves in the contest.
The Huskies switched things up in the second game and pulled Rawlings in favor of freshman netminder Clay Witt after the Terriers netted three goals. Freshmen forward Brodie Reid, who recently signed with the San Jose Sharks, and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak tacked on two Northeastern goals, but it wasn’t enough as the Huskies fell 5-2 to the Terriers March 11. Witt made 29 saves.
The teams met in a winner-takes-all matchup March 13 at Agganis Arena. Despite stellar play by Witt in game two, head coach Greg Cronin took a chance on Rawlings, who went on to make 31 saves on the night. Reid put two goals past BU goalie Kieran Millan with help from Silva and MacLeod and rookie Cody Ferriero, who each contributed a goal.
“Our freshmen played incredible and were not intimidated by playing at BU,” Ellement said. “It was the best win I’ve had here.”
The win sent the Huskies to their seventh-overall Hockey East semifinal appearance.
Coming in at a very close second for sporting moment of the year was the men’s hockey team defeat of Boston College at home, right after Cronin and assistant coach Albie O’Connell were suspended on Feb. 19. The Huskies beat the Eagles, who were ranked No. 1 in the country, 2-1.
–Brenda Maguire, News Correspondent