NCAA Hockey: BU continues strong play, defeats Cornell in Northeast Regional semifinal

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NCAA Hockey: BU continues strong play, defeats Cornell in Northeast Regional semifinal

Kriby Paulson and Kirby Paulson

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Worcester, MA – The Boston University Terriers have been playing with their backs against the wall since January 6. This is something David Quinn has spoken about in press conferences before and it’s no secret that the team has had to play its way into the position its in now.

That was no secret last week when the Terriers beat both Boston College and Providence College last week to win the Hockey East Championship after having to play their way into the TD Garden.

And it was no secret Saturday afternoon when they beat the Cornell Big Red at the DCU Center by a score of 3-1 in the first game of the Northeast Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

The victory secures the Terriers a spot in the Regional Final and keeps their National Championship hopes alive.

Boston University forward Bobo Carpenter spoke of the team’s unity when asked about the difference in composure between the first half of the season and the games as of late.

“Every game we go into we’re there for each other,” Carpenter said. “It’s hard to describe on the bench, everyone’s screaming for each other they’re helping each other out, you can just tell everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and there’s that sense of unity that kicks in, it’s just the greatest.”

Quinn commented on his team’s matchup with Cornell.

“Again, playoff hockey at its finest, there wasn’t a lot of room out there I thought, two teams that just competed as hard as you can,” Quinn said. “It was a physical game, it was a fast game, that’s as big and strong as a team as you’re going to see in college hockey and they play fast, it took everything we had to beat them.”

Big Red head coach Mike Schafer wasn’t disappointed in his team’s performance and defeat, but rather proud of what they accomplished this season.

“[I’m] not disappointed at all. I couldn’t be more proud, I mean, disappointed with 25 wins? I mean, it’s NCAA’s, you’ve got a job for a couple more years, things are good. Hopefully,” Schafer joked.

The first period was stagnant score wise with neither team able to register a tally.

However, with 12:33 left in the second period, senior Trevor Yates received a pass and fired it straight off of his stick. The puck sailed past Boston University goaltender Jake Oettinger and into the back of the net, giving Cornell an initial 1-0 lead.

Yates reflected on his goal and his experience at Cornell.

“It was great, it’s been a great four years,” Yates said. “I thank Coach Schafer and the coaching staff who helped me become the player and person I am today.”

Less than a minute later though, the Terriers were able to respond with a goal of their own when Brandon Hickey sauced a puck in the direction of the net. That’s when Shane Bowers whiffed it out of the air, baseball style, to beat Big Red goaltender Matthew Galajda squaring the score up at one apiece.

But Boston University would not be held to just one.

With over 14 minutes left in the third, Brady Tkahuck fed a pass to David Farrance from behind the net. Farrance then blasted the puck past Galajda giving the Terriers a 2-1 lead over the Big Red. The goal was his third point in three games for the Terriers, adding to his seasonal total of nine. This would later prove to be the game winner as Boston University was able to add a late empty net goal to which Cornell was never able to respond.

“I’ve said this a lot, you’ve got to have a bunch of characteristics to win,” Quinn said. “You can’t just have talent, you have heart, desire, resiliency, mental toughness and I thought we had all of that today which means we get to play tomorrow.”

The Terriers will play tomorrow at 4 p.m. competing for a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Frozen Four. Their opponent will be decided in the Northeast Regional semifinal matchup between Northeastern and Michigan.