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BU 8, Ohio St. 3

Terriers unleashed in rout

BU runs circles around Ohio St.

By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell
Globe Staff / March 29, 2009
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MANCHESTER, N.H. - In the days leading up to the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal game between No. 1 seed Boston University and No. 4 Ohio State at the Verizon Wireless Arena last night, the Terriers and their coaching staff said all the right things. They talked about the Buckeyes' skills, their tenacity, how much they played like UMass-Lowell, which gave BU all it could handle in the Hockey East championship game last Saturday.

They referenced the times they had made the mistake of being overconfident and how they were not going to allow that to set in with the stakes being so high.

Mission accomplished.

The Terriers demonstrated that they are a force to be reckoned with, rolling past Ohio State, 8-3. They will take on Hockey East rival New Hampshire this afternoon in the regional final, with the winner moving on to the Frozen Four in Washington April 9. The matchup guarantees the league will have two teams at the Frozen Four. Vermont advanced out of the East Regional last night.

When asked about the Terriers' struggling power play, which went into last night having converted on just 1 of 31 opportunities over six contests, the BU coaches and players believed it would contribute.

Turns out they were right, if only to a small degree. Against the Buckeyes, BU was 1 for 4, but it didn't matter. There was plenty of offense to go around with 11 players contributing at least a point. The eight goals ties for second-most in an NCAA regional. BU had nine against Nebraska-Omaha in 2006.

"I thought the puck obviously jumped in the net for us tonight," said coach Jack Parker. "The game was over pretty quickly. Give Ohio State credit, kept working and working. In general, I thought we played a pretty good game. We made some nice plays, we got to the net. It just happened to jump in tonight."

The Terriers scored three goals in the opening period, added another three tallies in the second, and two more in the third. Sophomore center Nick Bonino (one goal, two assists) started the first surge during the man advantage when he took a pass from right wing Brandon Yip and wristed a shot from the right circle past sophomore netminder Dustin Carlson at 8:49. Bonino figured in on the second BU score as well, dishing a pass from the deep left circle over to senior right wing Jason Lawrence, who backhanded in a shot from the right side of the crease to make it 2-0 at 9:34. At 13:16, it was junior left wing Zach Cohen (two goals), who took advantage of a Buckeyes turnover in the defensive zone and beat Carlson to make it a three-goal lead.

At 5:57 of the middle period, with BU swarming, Carlson poke-checked the puck while trying to get it out of harm's way. But instead, it went right to defenseman Matt Gilroy, who was coming in late down the slot. Gilroy (four assists) found freshman center Corey Trivino, who put it home from the edge of the crease and it was 4-0.

Yip (one goal, one assist) increased the lead to 5-0 when he buried a rebound of a John McCarthy shot at 7:01. McCarthy took a hard shot from the slot that Carlson turned back but Yip got the rebound outside the right post and didn't miss. That goal chased Carlson in favor of freshman Cal Heeter.

Lawrence potted his second at 13:34 when he took a centering pass from Wilson and fired it past Heeter for the 6-0 bulge.

Ohio State chipped away later in the period. Sophomore Hunter Bishop broke up the shutout with an even-strength goal at 15:12 and senior right wing Zach Pelletier added another at 18:45. The Buckeyes closed to within three on a power-play goal by freshman defenseman Matt Bartkowski at 11:12 of the third. Coach John Markell pulled a bold move with more than six minutes left, pulling Heeter for an extra attacker but Cohen buried an empty-net goal to seal the victory for BU. Chris Higgins had another empty-netter with 2:48 remaining with Heeter out for an extra attacker during a power play.

The Buckeyes never quit, but in the end, the hole they dug was too deep.

"We got behind by three quick goals and obviously it's tough to recover with the team they have," said Markell. "I thought their defensemen were tremendous. We tried to get a forecheck going and they were able to find our weakness. They were banking things off the boards, using the place like a pool table. It's a credit to them, they're good defensemen and they did their jobs tonight."

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at marrapese@globe.com.

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