Three years ago, The Boston University Club Ice Hockey Team finished with four wins on the season. Over the weekend, the team nearly matched that win total in one weekend and qualified for the ACHA D2 National Tournament in the process.
ACHA D2 is split into four regions; Northeast, Central, Southeast, and West. Teams are ranked within their region according to the following criteria:
- Strength of Schedule
- W/L Record based on Strength of Schedule
- Comparative scoring
- Complying with ACHA Policies
- Head to Head
- General Knowledge of Voter
- Overall W/L
- Good Wins/Bad Losses/H & A Records
A total of 16 teams qualify for the national tournament (4 from each region). At the end of the last ranking period, the top two ranked teams in each region receive auto-bids to the National Tournament while the #3 – #12 ranked teams are invited to compete at the regional tournament for the remaining two national spots from each region. Seeds #9 – #12 play a “play-in” game and then are reseeded to face the remaining 6 teams. BU was ranked 9th and therefore was required to compete in a play-in game. This season was the first time BU qualified for the regional tournament.
Game 1: Boston University (#9) vs. Rutgers (#12)
BU came out flying against Rutgers and scored :31 seconds into the game from a nice shot by Riley Marotta. The boys clearly came ready to play, and after twenty minutes of play BU was up 6-0. BU would go on to add three more goals throughout the rest of the game while a scrappy Rutgers team managed to score twice. Several Terriers had strong offensive nights as Marotta would finish with a hat trick, Mike Minarczyk scored twice, and Taylor Parkinson added three assists.
Final Score: BU 9 – Rutgers 2
Game 2: Boston University (#9) vs. UMASS Amherst (#4)
In their only other meeting of the season, UMASS defeated BU by a score of 6-1. The first meeting took place nearly five months ago, and UMASS would quickly find out they were facing a very different and much improved BU team.
BU got off to a quick start with a power play goal on a deflection off of Nick Lupo from Jack Faso’s point shot. In the second period, Captain, Matt Fineberg, would extend the BU lead to two after a great feed from Taylor Parkinson. Things got interesting in the third after UMASS converted on a power play goal to make it a one goal game mid-way through the third period. However, BU never wavered and would eventually pull away after a tic-tac-toe goal from the Fineberg – Esposito – Parkinson line and a bar-down snipe from Nick Lupo. Jared Hynes was great in net and frustrated UMASS with some unbelievable saves down the stretch.
Final Score: BU 4 – UMASS 1
Game 3: Boston University (#9) UNH (#3)
This was the third meeting between UNH and BU this year, with UNH taking the first two games 8-0 and 5-4. Again, UNH would quickly realize they were facing a hungrier, more determined BU team than they saw at the beginning of the year.
With a trip to nationals on the line, BU came out flying again and got off to a quick start. Mike Gates got the Terriers on the board first and Tyler Trubish added another goal to put BU up 2-0 heading into the second period. Although there was no scoring in the second period, there was plenty of end to end action and Jared Hynes continued his stellar play shutting the door on several great chances for UNH.
With their season on the line, UNH was not going to go away quietly. After a barrage of shots, they were finally able to beat Hynes with a nice shot from the hashmark and were later able to add a rebound goal to tie the game with five minutes left. The last few minutes of the game were frantic, but with no scoring, the game was headed into sudden death OT. Win and advance to Nationals. Lose and go home.
With both teams trading quality chances, it was clear a winner in OT would be determined fairly quickly. After a broken play from a defensive zone faceoff, Dan Sutterman chipped the puck to Mike Minarczyk who skated down the ice on a 2 on 1 and dished an absolutely beautiful saucer pass to Mike Matos who made no mistake and buried the biscuit low blocker to send BU to their first national tournament only 2:30 into the overtime frame.
Final Score (OT): BU 3 – UNH 2
The 2016 ACHA D2 National Tournament will take place in West Chester, PA from March 18-22. BU is in pool D with Lindenwood Belleville, Utah, and Miami of Ohio. Teams play round-robin style within their pools with the winner of each pool advancing to the semi-finals.
Stay tuned for more information!