Boston University’s intensity had been a big question mark over the last two months of the college hockey season. Never was the lack of consistent effort more evident as it was in the Terriers’ 7-3 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional semifinal Saturday evening.
Minnesota showed speed and improved puck work throughout the game, and that showed with Kyle Rau’s first period goal to give their Gophers their first lead of the evening just over five minutes into the game. Minnesota carried that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Boston University was rejuvenated after the intermission, and their speed and passing improved. They knotted the game with a Wade Megan power play goal slid past the left side of Minnesota goalie Kent Peterson. Jake Parenteau shot the puck easily through by Terrier goalie Kieran Millan less than two minutes later to give the Gophers a 2-1 lead.
BU forward Ross Gaudet continued his tendency this season to score goals at crucial times, taking advantage of a slip up by a Minnesota player in their own zone to score and knot the game at 2-2.
Minnesota quickly responded again. Within minutes, Seth Helgeson stuffed the puck behind Millan to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead. A frustrated BU began to get a bit too physical, with Justin Courtnall removed from the game due to a contact to the head call. Minnesota’s Jake Hansen took advantage of the resulting power play, scoring a goal to put the Gophers ahead, 4-2, heading into the second intermission.
Minnesota continued to pepper Millan as the third period started, but found themselves on the penalty kill after a Justin Holl hooking call three minutes in. On the resulting power play, BU defenseman Adam Clendening shot a booming slapper from the blue line to get the Terriers within one.
BU showed some hustle as the third continued, with a series of eight shots on Patterson within a three minute span. The Gophers gained possession of the puck, and Nico Sacchetti scored to put Minnesota up by two.
The Terriers pulled Millan as the game drew to a close, but sloppy passes and lack of communication negated the advantage for the BU skaters. Minnesota scored two empty-netters during the last two minutes to end the game.
BU finished the game with 34 shots on goal, while Minnesota had 42. The Terriers finish the season with an overall record of 23-15-1. Minnesota advances to play North Dakota on Sunday afternoon for a spot in the Frozen Four.