This one was a unanimous choice: BC's win over UMass-Lowell in Worcester to advance to the Frozen Four was not only the best hockey game of the year, it was one of the best college hockey games I've ever witnessed.
If you're a casual BC hockey fan who tunes in at tournament time, you could be forgiven for not going into the game knowing what to expect from UMass-Lowell, or expecting that a win over the Riverhawks could go down as a great BC achievement. But it didn't take long watching that game for anyone witnessing it to understand the task BC faced in taking down their stout, disciplined, speedy, and highly skilled team. Whenever BC did manage to break through Lowell's defense and create a scoring chance, the nation's best goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck (I don't care who won the Richter award) was there to make scoring a tall task.
My overwhelming feeling watching the game the entire time was that it was a nearly nauseating experience because you felt like if BC slipped up for just a second, Lowell would punish them. Lowell had the experience and the tournament savvy that had defined some of BC's championship teams, and they seemed to always be able to pounce when given an opportunity to do so. After easing past Notre Dame and UNH to win their second straight Hockey East title, UML had their sights on going all the way.
During the "play of the year" post, we already discussed a critical moment where BC turned things around - Ryan Fitzgerald's breakaway goal to tie the game shortly after Lowell took their first lead early in the third period. Ian McCoshen's late winner put BC back on top; the Eagles then held on in a white-knuckle finish to punch their ticket to Philly. Highlights on NCAA.com are here. Relive the game in GIF form here.
The Final Vote
BC vs. UMass-Lowell - 8
Game of the Year - Men's Basketball - tomorrow, 9 AM
Schedule and Awardees
Monday, July 21
-Best Female Athlete - McKenzie Meehan, Women's Soccer
Tuesday, July 22
-Best Male Athlete - Andre Williams, Football
-Best Individual Performance in a Game - Andre Williams vs. NC State
Wednesday, July 23
-Coach of the Year - Steve Addazio, Football
-Team of the Year - Men's Hockey
Thursday, July 24
-Best Moment of the Year - BC Football Senior Day vs. NC State
-Worst Moment of the Year - BC Football's Last-Second Loss at Syracuse
Friday, July 25
-Play of the Year - Ryan Fitzgerald's Goal against UML
-BCI Post of the Year - Super Andre Williams
Monday, July 28
-Biggest Story of the Year - Win for DK
-Most Disliked Opponent of the Year - Syracuse
Tuesday, July 29
-Game of the Year (football) - BC 34, Virginia Tech 27
-Game of the Year (men's hockey) - BC defeats Lowell to advance to Frozen Four
Wednesday, July 30
-Game of the Year (men's basketball)
-Game of the Year (all other sports)