For the fourth time in six seasons, Boston College owns the Lamoriello Trophy. The Eagles defeated Maine, 7-6 in overtime, to win the Hockey East Tournament championship and clinch an automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Hockey Tournament.
This wild match between the Eagles and Black Bears began with Boston College jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a Carl Sneep goal with 8:16 to play in the first period. Maine hit right back with a Gustav Nyquist goal 24 seconds later to even the score at 1-1. With 4:41 to play in the first, the Eagles again went ahead, this time on a Matt Lombardi goal, but 36 seconds later, Maine tied the game again on a Joey Diamond score. The game went into the first intermission tied, 2-2.
Less than two minutes into the second, Boston College took a 3-2 lead thanks to Joe Whitney's power play goal. Four minutes later, Matt Lombardi scored his second goal of the night, giving BC a 4-2 edge. With 4:56 to play in the second, however, Maine got back to within a goal thanks to a power play goal of their own, and at the second intermission, the score was 4-3 Eagles. Through the second period, both teams had been called for a combined sixteen penalties.
The third period saw five total goals scored. Jimmy Hayes put Boston College further ahead at 5-3 with 14:44 to go in regulation, but then Maine hit back three minutes later to make it 5-4, again on the power play. Boston College pushed the advantage back to two, 6-4, thanks to Barry Almeida with 5:37 to play, but very shortly thereafter, the Black Bears scored again, trimming the margin to 6-5. Finally, within thirty seconds of the end of regulation, Maine scored the equalizer to make it a 6-6 game and eventually send it to overtime.
The overtime period only lasted five minutes, 25 seconds, as Matt Lombardi scored his third goal of the game to give Boston College the title. It was Lombardi's first hat trick and first multi-goal game as a BC Eagle.
Offensively, #4 Boston College (25-10-3) put forth a superb effort. The top offense in Hockey East lived up to its rank by putting seven goals on the scoreboard. On defense, however, the Eagles were concerning. John Muse and the defense in front of him let Maine, though a good offense themselves, score six times. Three of those goals happened only moments after BC had scored themselves.
Nevertheless, the Eagles will advance to the NCAA Tournament and get a favorable draw as they look to work their way to the Frozen Four and beyond. For Maine, their season has likely come to an end. Check for more to follow on BCI regarding Boston College's tournament draw and upcoming schedule.
Joe is the author of Soaring to Glory, a Boston College blog.