- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

Colin Wilson scored two goals and Chris Higgins recorded four assists as Boston University overcame one-goal deficits in each of the last two periods to defeat Vermont 5-4 on Thursday night in the Frozen Four semifinals at Verizon Center.

The top-ranked Terriers jumped to an early 2-0 lead but trailed with 10 minutes remaining. Jason Lawrence and Wilson scored 73 seconds apart, however, to propel BU to its first title game appearance since losing in the 1997 title game.

“It was a great game for college hockey - the emotional swings, the tide turning one way and the other,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “There were a lot of positive things going on out there.”

Boston (34-6-4) will play at 7 p.m. Saturday against Miami (Ohio), which defeated Bemidji State 4-1 earlier Thursday.

On the winner, Wilson won the faceoff and barreled toward the goal. Higgins' shot was stopped by Rob Madore, but the rebound went right to Wilson, who slammed it home with 5:41 remaining.

“I didn't see where Chris went with it, but I knew he was going to shoot it, so I just went to the net,” Wilson said. “It was natural reaction to whack at it.”

Vermont (22-12-5) was making its second appearance in the national semifinals.

“Obviously, it's tough to put into words the emotions that are going on in our locker room right now,” coach Kevin Sneddon said. “We had a taste of it toward the end of the game, and unfortunately, it slipped through our hands. … We needed to be a little bit better defensively to get the job done.”

The teams played to a 3-3 tie through two periods. Vermont scored first in the third period, a power-play tally with 11:20 remaining by freshman Drew MacKenzie, his first collegiate goal. MacKenzie fired a wrist shot from the high slot that went under the right arm of BU goalie Kieran Millan.

“We had been tied with them 3-3 the last two times we played them and lost both games 4-3,” Parker said. “Sure enough, they score again and that's when our team came up big.”

The Terriers forced the game's third tie less than four minutes later when Higgins' shot hit traffic and went in off MacKenzie's stick. A replay review confirmed the goal.

As they've consistently done all season, the Terriers started fast, jumping to a 2-0 first-period lead. They've outscored opponents 58-25 in the opening period this year.

Wilson's first goal came when he deflected defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk's slap pass through his legs and past Madore low to the stick side. Five-plus minutes later, BU capitalized on a Vermont turnover just inside the Catamounts' blue line. After passing the puck to Higgins, Lawrence drove to the net, where he got the puck back and went top-shelf over Madore's shoulder.

BU outshot Vermont 14-7 in the first period and killed off three power plays. But a crazy second period got Vermont back in the game. The Catamounts scored three times, and BU hit the post twice before notching the equalizer late in the period.

The Catamounts scored three goals in a span of 5:59 to take a 3-2 lead - Wahsontiio Stacey used BU defenseman Colby Cohen as a screen and snapped a shot past Millan at 3:50 to make it 2-1.

Vermont tied the score and took the lead with goals 45 seconds apart. On their fifth man advantage, the Catamounts finally took advantage. Millan stoned Viktor Stalberg from point-blank range, but after a scramble the puck slid across the crease to Justin Milo, who slammed it home off Millan's right pad. Vermont seized its first lead when Josh Burrows fired an innocent snap shot from the top of the right circle that went under Millan's glove.

Parker called timeout, and the Terriers regained their legs late in the period. On only its second power play (compared with six for Vermont), BU turned a near turnover into a goal. Brandon Yip's cross-ice pass to Nick Bonino was momentarily intercepted, but Bonino regained possession and threaded a pass to Vinny Saponari, who scored over Madore's right shoulder at 18:39.

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