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 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.