Things were looking mighty rosy midway through the game on Friday. BC was buzzing, the Eagles were up 4-0 and looking pretty good to skate their way into the Garden after missing out last season.
But things changed after the Catamounts put Brody Hoffman in net to replace Mike Santaguida -- Hoffman started making saves, Vermont started making plays, and it was all downhill from there.
After the Catamounts tied the series Saturday, they scored the only goal on Sunday to advance to the Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden and eliminate the Eagles.
Things started out just terrible for BC. The Eagles were outshot 10-2 through the early part of the 1st period and looked content to just ride out the end of their tournament lives. Vermont scored what appeared to be a good goal late in the frame, but it was reviewed and waved off for goalie interference -- in all honesty, kind of a questionable call.
But the call gave BC new life and they improved in the second period, although a slew of penalty calls sure helped their cause. Seven penalties in about 8 minutes put the both clubs on special teams duty for a stretch that was just about continuous from 6:46 all the way until the last man exited the box at 14:58. BC even had a brief two man advantage in there somehow, but never could find the back of the net.
They did find just about ever other part of the next over the final 20 minutes -- both posts, the crossbar, the outside of the net on both sides, and even one instance where the puck was shot and landed on the top of the net for a whistle. But it was the brothers Privitera for Vermont who scored the only goal of the night early in the third period.
A comeback was not in the cards for the Eagles, despite hitting the post on two separate occasions with Demko pulled in the final 15 seconds.
Now BC will sweat out championship weekend at home to see if they will earn an at-large spot into the NCAA tournament. After the rest of the results last night, it looks like BC should find itself on the right side of the bubble, probably even as a three seed, on Selection Sunday next week. The Eagles somehow still find themselves in 9th in the Pairwise, the same place they started the weekend, and while they may drop a spot or two depending on next week's results, they should be protected from multiple autobids into the tournament.
A quick back-of-the-envelope run of USCHO's Pairwise Predictor shows that only 5 teams could conceivably pass BC in a perfect storm of bad results, dropping BC to 14th:
Bowling Green wins the WCHA, jumps from 12 to 8,
Quinnipiac wins the WCAC, jumps from t10 to t9,
St. Cloud State wins the NCHC, jumps from t10 to t9,
Minnesota wins the Big Ten, jumps from 13 to t12,
UMass-Lowell wins Hockey East, jumps from t16 to t12
The cut line would be 15 here, and while more upsets in the conference tournaments could move up that cut line, BC would also drop fewer positions in the Pairwise.
So it appears that BC is in the bizarre situation of riding close to the bubble but actually being cool with a couple autobid upsets in the conference tournaments. There might be more autobids, but BC would also hold onto a 3 seed, avoiding a 1 seed in the first round and also making it more likely that they stay east (and possibly get put in the same region as BU). Of course, all the teams above them winning is obviously preferable.
Time to wait and hope for the best.