O’Regan Leads BU into NCAA Quarterfinals
By Ethan Leavitt
BU News Service
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Once again, the Boston University men’s hockey team got off to a slow start. But also once again, the Terriers erased an early deficit and earned a key victory.
Junior forward Danny O’Regan scored 7:27 into overtime to lift BU to a 3-2 victory over Yale in a thrilling opening game of the NCAA Northeast Regional Friday afternoon at Verizon Wireless Arena.
“First of all, what a hockey game, and I would like to congratulate Yale on a fine season,” Quinn said. “It was everything we thought it was going to be. We knew it would probably come down to a one-goal game, with the possibility of overtime.”
The Terriers will face Minnesota-Duluth, who pummeled Minnesota 4-1 in Friday’s second game, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with a spot in the Frozen Four at TD Garden on the line.
Today’s game pitted the nation’s top offensive team (BU) against the nation’s top defensive team (Yale). For a while, defense dominated the game.
Yale drew first blood 13:37 into the second period. Sophomore forward Nate Repensky snapped one stick-side past BU goaltender Matt O’Connor to put Yale up 1-0.
The game remained that way until the 49th minute of play. Junior Ahti Oksanen ended the scoring drought at 8:21 of the third and senior Evan Rodrigues gave BU a 2-1 lead less than three minutes later.
Yale responded less than two minutes later, however, as sophomore forward Frankie DiChiara took advantage of a Terrier turnover in the defensive zone deposited a wrister top-shelf on O’Connor’s glove side to tie the game 2-2 and ultimately send the game to overtime.
A lengthy possession in the Yale zone resulted in the winner. Freshman Jack Eichel ripped a blistering slap-shot from the right point that Yale goaltender Alex Lyon kicked right to O’Regan, who deposited the rebound into the night to give the Terriers the first-round victory.
“I definitely had my chances early, and [Lyon] kinda had my number,” O’Regan said. “I got a lucky bounce for once and it was nice open net for me.”
Senior Evan Rodrigues, who had a goal and an assist on O’Regan’s winner, commented on the fact that BU’s inexperience in the NCAA may have led to their slow start this afternoon, but that they were able to pull it together at the end.
“Playing at this stage, it takes guys a few extra minutes to get into the game and relax,” Rodrigues said. “I think we’ve done a good job of being able to relax as the game goes on and just play our game. We’ve had these comebacks all throughout the year, and we’ve done a good job in coming back.”