For hockey nerds, today is one of the best days of the year. Four tournament games, back to back to back to back. Then tomorrow, there's six games, including two regional finals. While tomorrow I will be in Worcester for BC's game against Denver, today is all about being parked in front of the tee-vee.
2 PM: #1 Union vs. #4 Vermont - ESPNU
"I don't think Vermont (20-14-3) really cares too much if we're ranked No. 1," Bennett said. "I think we learned a good lesson about that. Mat Bodie actually brought it up after a loss when we were ranked third at the time. No one cares, the opponents do not care. It actually puts more of a target on your back."
Five years later, the Catamounts will play another NCAA game on the same Webster Bank Arena ice where Lawson's goal took nearly 20 minutes to go from his stick to the scoreboard. Ranked No. 4 regionally, Vermont will play the nation's No. 1 team, Union College, in a first-round game at 2 p.m. Friday (ESPNU; WVMT 620-AM).
4:30 PM: #2 Ferris State vs. #3 Colgate - ESPN3
The Colgate hockey team has already beaten Ferris State two out of three times this season, but that was just a warmup for the action Friday that really counts.
5:30 PM: #2 Quinnipiac vs. #3 Providence - ESPNU
The last time Providence College played in the NCAA Tournament, Lincoln C. Almond was Rhode Island's governor, Jimy Williams was the manager of the Boston Red Sox and Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. was soon to be indicted in the Plunder Dome scandal. In other words, it's been quite a while. But this week, for the first time since 2001, the Friars are headed back to the tournament.
The teams met Nov. 27 in Hamden, a 3-3 tie. Providence's standout goalie, Jon Gillies, made 45 saves.
8:00 PM: #1 Wisconsin vs. #4 North Dakota - ESPNU
Fresh off winning their inaugural Big Ten tournament title, the Wisconsin men's hockey team will travel to Cincinnati this weekend for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Pioneers will participate in their seventh-consecutive NCAA Tournament and 25th overall. Denver's 13-straight seasons of 20 wins or better is the longest streak in the game. Sam Brittain has been DU's anchor this season, backstopping its six-ranked defense (2.24 gpg). Brittain touts the fourth-best save percentage (.932) and owns a goals against average of 2.11 (12th). Trevor Moore, a rookie, leads Denver in scoring with 31 points (13-18-31) this season.
This marks the second consecutive season and the third time since 2005 that Denver has been placed in the Northeast Regional.
University of Denver hockey coach Jim Montgomery has a full roster at his disposal for Saturday's game against Boston College in the first round of the NCAA hockey tournament in Worcester, Mass.
"I came into this school year with a completely different respect for the game, actually," Hayes said. "I knew how close I had come to possibly never being able to play again. I always took it serious, but I kind of took it in a different way, almost as a matter-of-fact. But this is a game and something I want to do for the rest of my life, and I was so close to never being able to do it again that it was kind of a wake-up call. "I think I always knew how important the game was to me, but I think I had to somewhat grow up a bit and take my body serious, take my school serious, take my strength and conditioning serious, and just a mixture of those three kind of allowed me to be the player I am today."
Jim Connelly: This will be the ultimate of regional finals with the River Hawks barely prevailing. Massachusetts-Lowell 2, Boston College 1
Shane Frederick: BC seems to get it done in Worcester. The Mavericks won't go down easily, but Johnny Gaudreau will be the difference. Boston College 3, Minnesota State 2
Freshman Tatiana Cortez hit two three-run home runs to lead Boston College past Bryant University, 6-3, in a non-conference game at Conaty Park in Smithfield on Thursday afternoon. Boston College improved to 15-10, while Bryant is now 10-12.
Follow Jared Dudley and Reggie Jackson, two BC alumni, through their week by week performances in the NBA.
The closest Bojangles, FYI, is about 120 miles away in Reading, PA.
Junior John Gorman (baseball) and sophomore Sarah Mannelly (lacrosse) have been named Eagles of the Week for their performances last week.