Boston University and UMass Lowell each advanced to the Garden but both did so in very different ways. That leads the three things we take away from this weekend.
1. Terriers easily advance, Lowell reaches Garden after battle.
It was incredible to see BU get past Merrimack with such ease. Given that every other series went three games, all game three tough, consider the Terriers the early favorite in Boston.
But it’s hard to look past UMass Lowell and the 13 goals they pumped past Notre Dame’s Cal Petersen. It seems like ages ago Petersen stopped 87 saves to set the NCAA record against Massachusetts. The River Hawks offense is looking quite potent heading to the Garden.
2. Vermont, Sneddon emotionally advance
If you happened to watch NESN’s telecast of game three between Vermont and Boston College, a 1-0 win for the Catamounts to reach the final four in Hockey East, there was a great moment in the final minute when Vermont called timeout. Holding that slim one-goal lead, Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon burned his timeout to compose his team. At the end, the excitement and emotion Sneddon showed to give his team that final motivation was refreshing. It reminds us all how emotional this game can be, even for the coaches.
3. Game three OT – what is better
There were two game three overtimes on Sunday, one in Hockey East between New Hampshire and Providence. And it was the Wildcats winning on a Jay Camper goal at 12:43 of OT that advanced UNH to the Garden. I may be overspeaking when talking about bonus hockey as I wouldn’t want to be involved emotionally in this game. But there may not be any more pure moment of excitement in sports than advancing your team in the postseason on a make-or-break overtime goal.