WORCESTER, Mass. — After having the start time of the late game of the Northeast Regional semifinals moved back due to a double-overtime matchup earlier, No. 6 Boston College left nothing to the annals of hockey ambiguity.
The Eagles scored three goals in the first 22 minutes to take the second game of the Northeast Regional 4-1 over the Harvard Crimson.
2016 NCAA Northeast Regional
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Alex Tuch and Austin Cangelosi each scored twice, and Thatcher Demko made 32 saves for the Eagles, who will play Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday for a spot in the Frozen Four.
The Eagles’ scoring, however, did not start without a level of controversy. The first goal of the game came off a net mouth scramble, with Tuch poking the puck in after it trickled away from Merrick Madsen. The goal was reviewed twice, but on both occasions the goal stood, giving the Eagles the 1-0 lead.
“We didn’t get a great look at it,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “We just saw the replay on the Jumbotron. It looked like it was a little bit of pileup in the net. Tuch kind of pushed the goalie in the net. The good thing about the NCAA’s is that all those plays go to review so it wasn’t like they didn’t get a chance to look at it. Obviously, I felt it was a good goal, and it’s our job to respond.”
The Eagles, however, were able to hold off the Harvard attack, enabled by several key saves by Demko. On one, caught out of position, Demko forced his leg to the post to keep a puck out.
All the while, BC was getting chances of its own, and it paid off. Miles Wood sent a puck in on net that was tipped by Cangelosi, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead going into the locker room for the first intermission.
The second period saw more of the same, with the Eagles striking early. Streaking into the zone, Tuch made a move around a Harvard defenseman and rocketed a shot over Madsen’s glove-side shoulder, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
Harvard, finally, responded after the Tuch goal. Approaching the halfway mark, with the Crimson entering the zone, Jake Horton left a drop pass to Seb Lloyd, who ripped a shot past Demko, denying the junior his 11th shutout of the year.
Into the third, however, the Crimson did not get the opportunities needed to close in on the Eagles. Even a Ryan Fitzgerald penalty late in the third did not garner quality offensive chances for the Crimson.
Instead, Cangelosi netted his second goal after Chris Calnan intercepted a pass in the BC defensive zone.
The Cangelosi goal sealed the game for the Eagles, who will play in the regional final for the sixth year in a row when the regional has been held in Worcester.
As for the Crimson, the loss marks the end of an era. Gone are Harvard mainstays like Kyle Criscuolo and Hobey Baker Award finalist Jimmy Vesey.
The graduating seniors, however, said that they think the future of the program is bright with returning players and the quality of the incoming freshman class.