Boston University senior defenseman Doyle Somerby, of Marblehead, MA, scored this early second period goal (his first of the season) to tie the game at 1-1, helping BU to squeak out a 2 OT win over North Dakota.

Boston University senior defenseman Doyle Somberly (#27 in white), of Marblehead, MA, scored this early second period goal (his first of the season) to tie the game at 1-1, helping BU to squeak out a 2 OT win over North Dakota on Friday in Fargo.

College Hockey Update:  The opening game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, in the West Region in Fargo, ND, was attacking and physical from the start.  A pass from the corner across the ice was converted to a goal by the oncoming Rhett Gardner, and North Dakota had the 1-0 lead with three minutes left in the first.  Both teams had played solid defense, and continued to do so in the game, but in very different ways.  North Dakota had the preferred style, clogging up the neutral zone with four and sometimes five men, confounding the normal Boston University transition-oriented offense; they couldn’t skate through it with the puck, and they couldn’t pass through it.  At the same time BU managed to freeze the game defensively when the puck was in their zone by keeping men in front of the puck, and blocking many attempts by North Dakota.  Two minutes into the second a similar pass across the ice was converted to a goal by the oncoming Doyle Sommerby for the senior defenseman’s first goal of the year, yielding a tie.  Play continued with a lot of action in the BU zone.  Only half a minute into the third, BU was able to break away in a more open style of a goal rush, and Clayton Keller passed from behind the net to a perfectly positioned Bobo Carpenter, who popped it into the net for the 2-1 BU lead.  Only four minutes later, again on a more open style of play, Jackob Forsbacka Karlsson scored to give BU the 3-1 lead.  BU had disrupted the pace and composure of North Dakota, and BU had them scrambling.

But about six minutes later a massive shoulder-to-shoulder hit from the side that BU’s Kiefer Bellows never saw coming, delivered by Mike Gornall, blasted Bellows into the glass and broke it into thousands of pieces.  A sixteen minute game delay to clean up and replace the glass seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for North Dakota, and they came out swinging after the delay, scoring two minutes later, and again another three minutes later, on goals by Ludvig Hoff and Christian Solanin, to tie it at three apiece.  BU came back to life and managed to get the puck out of their zone more effectively, and the game ended in regulation, 3-3.  The first OT started with North Dakota in control, and an apparent score by Dixon Bowen six minutes into the period was reviewed and declared no good after a video review showed that North Dakota had entered the BU zone offside.  The seven minute delay seemed to give BU a chance to focus and they came back and skated the remainder of the period to a defensive stalemate; while BU didn’t manage to fire a single shot during the period, according to the record book  (they did manage to hit the pipe on a non-shot attempt??), they curtailed North Dakota to only five in the period.  In the second OT the action was fairly even, and twelve minutes into the period a clean pass from Clayton Keller across the ice was converted to a goal by the oncoming Charlie McAvoy for the BU 4-3 win.  While BU freshman goalie Jake Oettinger did allow three goals, he stopped 56 of 59 shots in a massive all-game-long North Dakota assault on the net.  Boston University showed signs of fatigue at several points late in the game; they will play the winner of today’s late game between #3 Minnesota-Duluth and #13 Ohio State tomorrow, Saturday, March 25th, at 3:00PM Pacific Time on ESPNU.

The outcome of this game could be considered as a minor upset in our pool as 22 out of 46 participants picked BU to win, while 24 picked North Dakota.

Harvard Blanks Providence College

Harvard senior forward Tyler Moy, of San Diego, CA, scored two goals, helping his team to beat Providence College 3-0 on Friday in  Providence, RI, and to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

Harvard senior forward Tyler Moy, of San Diego, CA, scored two goals, helping his team to beat Providence College 3-0 on Friday in Providence, RI, and to advance to the second round in the NCAA Tournament, tomorrow, Saturday, March 25th.

The opening game of the East Region, in Providence, RI, featured on opening outburst by Providence and an apparent Providence goal at about the ten minute point of the first period that was declared no good after a video review showed that Providence had entered the Harvard zone offside (sound familiar?).  Harvard took control of the game in the second, starting with a goal by Tyler Moy on a power play opportunity only a minute into the period, followed by a goal by Adam Fox with only two minutes left in the frame.  Much like the opening game in Fargo, Providence out-shot Harvard 41-29, but Harvard junior goalie Merrick Madsen, of Acton, CA, stopped 41 of 41 shots, and with time running out in the third period, Tyler Moy struck again on the empty net for the 3-0 win — Harvard’s first win in an NCAA Tournament game in 23 years.  Harvard will face the winner of today’s late game between #8 Western Michigan and #15 Air Force tomorrow, Saturday, March 25th at 5:30PM Pacific Time on ESPNU.

The results of this game are not remotely an upset in our pool as 42 of 46 participants picked Harvard to win, while only four picked Providence.

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned, and go Terriers!

— Tom