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College hockey roundup

Gill helps surging BU edge Huskies

Staff And Wire Reports / March 5, 2011

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Boston University opened the season with a 10-game unbeaten streak, and after last night’s 3-2 win over Northeastern at Matthews Arena, the Terriers are hoping to close out the regular season with another impressive stretch.

Freshman forward Sahir Gill scored a shorthanded tally with 3:15 left and Kieran Millan made 39 saves to lift 13th-ranked BU over the Huskies, clinching home ice for next week’s Hockey East playoffs.

After a 6-0-4 start to the season that pushed the Terriers into the top spot in the USCHO.com Top 20, BU hit hard times, winning just once in November and December. The Terriers are 8-2-2 in their last 12 games, with both losses coming in the Beanpot Tournament.

BU (18-9-8, 15-5-6) enters tonight’s regular-season finale at Agganis Arena in third place, 1 point ahead of Merrimack and 2 points behind second-place New Hampshire. UNH is hosting Boston College tonight, with first place on the line.

Gill struck for the winner just 1:40 after Northeastern’s Steve Silva scored a shorthanded goal of his own to tie it. Corey Trivino put BU up, 1-0, beating Chris Rawlings (24 saves) at 16:16 of the first period.

Cody Ferriero answered for NU (11-14-8, 9-10-7), beating Millan just 1:38 into the second peroid. Max Nicastro put BU back in front at 12:58 of the third period with a power-play strike.

Maine 4, UMass 3 — Spencer Abbott had a goal and an assist and the No. 14 Black Bears (17-10-6, 14-8-4 Hockey East) built a 4-1 lead and held off the Minutemen (6-21-5, 5-16-5) in Amherst.

UMass goes into tonight’s finale against the Black Bears in Amherst holding a 2-point lead over Providence for the eighth and final playoff berth in Hockey East. Providence is hosting Merrimack tonight.

Merrimack 6, Providence 1 — Ryan Flanigan and Joe Cucci each scored twice and the No. 9 Warriors (22-7-4, 16-7-3) blasted the Friars (7-18-8, 3-16-7) in North Andover, clinching home ice for the Hockey East playoffs.

Stephane Da Costa had a goal and two assists for Merrimack, which connected on three of five power-play chances.

Vermont 4, UMass-Lowell 4 — Drew MacKenzie scored with 45 seconds left, helping the host Catamounts (7-18-8, 5-14-7) salvage a tie with the River Hawks (5-24-4, 4-20-2) and clinch a berth in next weekend’s Hockey East playoffs.

Anthony DeCenzo, Connor Brickley, and Matt Marshall also scored for Vermont, which led 2-0 and 3-1 before UMass-Lowell rallied with four third-period goals, going ahead, 4-3, on Riley Wetmore’s goal at 17:45.

Harvard 2, Clarkson 1 — Michael Biega scored at 9:25 of the third period and Ryan Carroll (32 saves) made it stand up as the visiting Crimson (10-19-1) surprised the Golden Knights (15-18-2) in the opener of their best-of-three ECAC first-round playoff series. Danny Biega scored in the first period for Harvard, which has won six of its last seven games.

Quinnipiac 4, Brown 0 — Jeremy Langlois scored 15 seconds into the game and the host Bobcats (14-13-8) never looked back in blanking the Bears (10-15-5) in their ECAC tournament opener. Dan Clarke made 22 saves for Quinnipiac.

ECAC East semifinals — Scott Schroeder had a goal and two assists and Norwich (19-5-3) eliminated Southern Maine, 4-0, in Northfield, Vt. The Cadets will meet Babson, a 4-3 winner over Castleton State, in tonight’s final.