MIH: No. 2 Terriers Seek Revenge vs. Minnesota in NCAA Regional Final

By Miranda Lemus

Now that No. 2 Boston University Men’s Hockey has soared through the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Terriers now have a bigger challenge, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. The winner will held to St. Paul, Minnesota to play in the Frozen Four. 

The Terriers and the Gophers have some history when it comes to competing for the NCAA National Title, last year the teams met in Tampa, FL for the 2023 Frozen Four Semifinals. Minnesota won 6-2 to advance to the finals but fell to the Quinnipiac University Bobcats in overtime. 

“[Losing to Minnesota in the 2023 NCAA Semifinals] leaves a sour taste in our mouth, we’re looking forward to, you know, getting back at them,” said senior forward Dylan Peterson.

Minnesota got the better of the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in the tournament’s opening round after rallying back from two separate Omaha leads. 

Similarly to the Terriers, the Gophers are a deep team with some star players shining brighter than the rest. Forwards junior Rhett Pitlick and sophomore Jimmy Snuggerud are the key to creating offense for Minnesota, with freshman Oliver Moore and graduate student Bryce Brodzinski keying in also. 

“They’ve got some skill, they can be dangerous at times, so we’re gonna have to take those certain players away,” said Peterson. 

The Gophers average 3.5 goals per game to the Terriers 4.1, so the question is not whether both teams can create offense, but how well each team’s net minders can play. 

When comparing BU junior Mathieu Caron and Minnesota graduate student Justen Close, one thing that stands out, playoff experience. Close backed the Gophers in their 2023 NCAA Runner-Up run last season, Caron however is coming into his first-ever NCAA Tournament and has not performed well in tournament finals previously this year. 

In both the Beanpot Final and the Hockey East Championship, the Terriers outshot their opponent and came up short. Caron was in net for each game. Each game exposed Caron’s tendency to overslide, in which he improved upon in his most recent game against RIT. 

Simply put, when Caron plays hot, the Terriers can beat anyone. 

The No. 2 Terriers will continue their journey to the NCAA National Championship this Saturday against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 6:30 pm. The Regional Final will be played in Sioux Falls, SD at the Denny Samford Premier Center and available to stream on ESPN+.