BOSTON, Mass. - Goals by David Cotton and Chris Grando, and 36 saves by Joseph Woll lifted seventh-seeded Boston College to a 3-0 upset of top-seeded Massachusetts in the semifinal nightcap of the 35th annual Hockey East Championship Friday at TD Garden. The Eagles advance to the finals for a record 18th time and will face off against third-seeded Northeastern Saturday at 7 p.m. (TV-NESN Plus/Web- FloHockey).
The Eagles (14-21-3) are the first seventh seed- the lowest ever- to reach the Hockey East championship game, and they advanced by shutting out the top scoring team in the conference and the third best in the NCAA. BC will be bidding for its 12th title on Saturday, another conference record, and its first since 2012.
Woll finished with 36 saves for his third shutout of the season. He made 19 stops in the decisive third period with Boston College clinging to a 1-0 lead.
UMass out-shot the Eagles 12-7 in the first period but it was BC that drew first blood with 12.7 seconds left in the stanza. Cotton tucked one home from the goalmouth for his Hockey East leading 22nd goal of the season, set up by Logan Hutsko and Julius Mattilla.
Energized with the 1-0 lead, Boston College pressured UMass with a 18-5 edge in shots in the second. Minuteman goalie Filip Lindberg was superb especially when UMass killed two straight BC penalties midway through the period.
Right after BC killed another UMass power play, Grando iced it for the Eagles with his third of the season at 12:36 of the third, converting a nice feed from J.D. Dudek. Mattilla capped the scoring with an empty net goal with 38 seconds left.
Casey Fitzgerald, on Grando's goal, and Marc McLaughlin on the empty netter added assists for BC. The Eagles went 0-for-3 on the power play and killed both attempts by UMass who came into the semifinals with the top power play in the conference at 29%.
The victory was the 600th at Boston College for head coach Jerry York who is in his 25th season at his alma mater.
Lindberg finished with 29 saves for the Minutemen who were shut out for just the third time this season. UMass (28-9-0) is assured of a bid to the upcoming NCAA Men's Hockey Championship. The bracket will be announced Sunday evening on ESPNU and NCAA.com.