Monday, March 16, 2015

Vermont Eliminates BC in Three Games

Nearly 25 years later, the Maroon and Gold was again done in by a green and gold opponent near St. Patrick's Day. 

The ninth-ranked Boston College men's hockey team will have to wait a week to discover its NCAA Tournament fate after falling, 1-0, to visiting No. 17 Vermont on Sunday in Game 3 of their best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series at Kelley Rink.

BC won, 4-2, on Friday before UVM (22-14-4 overall) evened up the series on Saturday with a 3-1 victory. BC fell to 21-13-3 on the season.

Alexx Pivitera scored the game's only goal less than three minutes into the third period of Game 3 to offset a 22-save performance by BC sophomore netminder Thatcher Demko.

Vermont junior goaltender Brody Hoffman made 36 saves for the Catamounts on Sunday, one day after stopping 39 shots by the Eagles. He played clean-up on Friday night, stopping all 12 shots he faced in his first action in nearly a month, and for the weekend recorded 87 saves on 88 shots to boost UVM to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden in Boston.

The Catamounts will now face UMass Lowell on Friday at 5 p.m. The winner of that contest will meet the victor of the Boston University-New Hampshire tilt on Saturday evening for the Hockey East crown and the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

On March 15-16, 1991, BC dropped a two-game set to visiting Alaska Anchorage in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (Like UVM, UAA’s colors are green and gold.) BC would not return to the national picture for seven years after that series, while the 3-2 and 3-1 wins remain the only NCAA Tournament triumphs by the Seawolves in their 35-year history.

The 2015 NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be televised at noon on Sunday on ESPNU. BC, which dropped to 11th place in the latest national polls, is ranked ninth in the current Pairwise Rankings, which mimics the NCAA Tournament selection process. That almost assures that the Eagles will receive one of the 16 NCAA Tournament bids for the 13th consecutive season, the longest current streak in Hockey East. 

UVM sits 19th in the current Pairwise, and the Catamounts will likely to have to win the Hockey East championship this weekend to advance to the national tournament.

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