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MANCHESTER, N.H. - The top-ranked and top-seeded Boston University men's ice hockey team scored the first six goals of the game and got at least one point from 11 different players to secure an 8-3 victory over fourth-seeded Ohio State in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals on Saturday evening at Verizon Wireless Arena. The Terriers will take on Hockey East mate New Hampshire - a 6-5 overtime winner over North Dakota - on Sunday with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line.
OTHER LINKS: Jack Parker Audio (mp3) - BU Players Audio (Nick Bonino, Jason Lawrence, Matt Gilroy-mp3) - John Markell Audio(mp3) - Hunter Bishop (mp3)
Senior Jason Lawrence and junior Zach Cohen each scored twice, while senior Hobey Baker finalist Matt Gilroy tallied a career-high four assists. Sophomore Nick Bonino tallied a goal and two assists and seniors Brandon Yip and Chris Higgins each had one goal and one assist. Junior Luke Popko (2a) and sophomore Colin Wilson (2a) also had multi-point efforts.
Freshman goaltender Kieran Millan recorded 22 saves for the Terriers to improve to 26-2-3 on the season. The Hockey East Rookie of the Year is now a combined 13-0-1 in road and neutral-site contests.
Sophomore Dustin Carlson made just nine saves on 15 shots for the the Buckeyes before being replaced midway through the game by freshman Cal Heeter, who recorded 10 saves and allowed one goal. Ohio State finishes the year with a record of 23-15-4.
The Terriers - now 32-6-4 on the year - opened the scoring with two goals 50 seconds apart midway through the first and added another before the opening stanza came to a close.
BU duplicated its first-period output in the second to take a 6-0 lead before the Buckeyes scored two goals late in the middle stanza.
The Buckeyes made it a 6-3 affair at 11:12 of the third, but that is close as they would get, as the Terriers tacked on two late goals after Ohio State pulled Heeter in favor of an extra attacker.
BU snapped an 0-for-22 skid on the power play when Bonino wristed a shot from the right circle that beat Carlson high at 8:49 of the first to open the scoring.
Just 50 seconds later, sophomore Colby Cohen broke up a Buckeye pass, allowing Bonino to rush in from the left side. Bonino then found Jason Lawrence, who snuck the puck past Carlson on a redirect at the far post.
The Terriers took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to Zach Cohen's first goal of the night at 13:16 of the first. The junior sent home the puck from the foot of the right circle off a pass from Popko, who collected a rebound following a shot from the right point by Gilroy.
BU continued to put on the offensive in the second, as freshman Corey Trivino capped a give-and-go with Gilroy by potting his fifth goal of the season at 5:57 of the period. Yip and Lawrence scored at 7:01 and 13:34, respectively, to allow the Terriers to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
Ohio State did not back down, as sophomore Hunter Bishop, senior Zach Pelletier and freshman Matt Bartkowski scored consecutive goals to cut the deficit in half, but BU closed out with empty-net goals by Zach Cohen and senior Chris Higgins to move on to the regional final.
The Terriers, who went 2-1-0 against UNH this season, last faced the Wildcats in a home-and-home series on Jan. 23-24 with BU coming away with 5-0 and 3-1 victories. Sunday's regional final will start at 5:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live by ESPNU.