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Maine executed their best-in-the-nation power play perfectly and BC goalie John Muse did not have his best outing, but the Eagles proved that they could win a slugfest as well, downing Maine 7-6 in overtime to claim their ninth Hockey East tournament title. Their eight coming into the night was already tops in the conference, ahead of BU’s seven.
Maine scored two power play goals in eight chances, with their 25% efficiency actually being down from their near 30% mark coming into the game. BC took advantage with two of their own in only five tries. Maine scored with the extra attacker on the ice off of a face off in the BC zone with 27.6 seconds to go to tie the game and force the overtime. Matt Lombardi won the game with his third goal of the game (and only sixth of the season) 5:25 into the extra period.
Muse made 26 saves of the 32 shots faced while Maine’s Dave Wilson saved 27 of 34 to take the loss. Joey Diamond had two goals for Maine as five players from each team found the back of the net and 22 players recorded a point in the wild game.
With Saturday night being conference championship night, the NCAA Tournament field of 16 is set. The tournament will officially be announced Sunday morning, but with the system the selection committee uses, the teams are determined. The committee has some discretion with where to place teams based on geography, attendance, and avoiding first round intra-conference matchups.
BC will get the fourth overall seed, or a number one seed in one of the regionals. It appears BC will draw Michigan in the first round, barring some jumbling of the teams due to the aforementioned factors. The Wolverines are among the hottest teams in the country. With Maine’s loss, Vermont earned the 14th seed (a number four) and UNH earned a berth earlier in the evening, number 11 overall (a number three seed).