In Person: BU vs. UMass (NCAA Hockey)

Last weekend I was visiting Boston, and on Saturday night I was able to get tickets to the BU vs. UMass hockey game at Agannis Arena. I was always a big hockey fan when I was younger, but my interest has fallen off in the last few years. That being said, I am always excited to watch hockey in person.

I’m not the biggest follower of college hockey outside of the University of Minnesota and the WCHA, so I didn’t know too much about the matchup. BU is perennially good and was ranked nationally, and UMass seemed to be a conference rival. Solid matchup.

BU plays at Agannis Arena. To be honest, I haven’t been to many NCAA hockey arenas, so while it doesn’t compare to Mariucci Arena in Minnesota, it seems like it would be pretty average. The place never got very full or very loud, but it was still an enjoyable environment.

I got there a little late and UMass was already up 1-0. BU was playing sloppy and boring hockey, and by the end of the 1st period they were down 3-0. Throughout the second and third period, BU started to fight back hard and managed to score 4 straight goals to take a 4-3 lead midway into the third. However, UMass finally answered back with about 5 minutes left to tie the game up. Neither team could make anything happen and the game went to overtime. BU was able to draw a UMass penalty and scored a power play goal to get the exciting overtime win 5-4.

Overall, a game that started slow, but ended up being very exciting. Now I know a lot of people don’t like hockey, but I think they just don’t give it a chance. This game was a good example of why people should. Yeah, sometimes things can drag on, but that happens in every sport. Plus, hockey has the best overtime in all of sports. Hands down.

NFL overtime is simply the worst. Generally, it is determined by who wins the coin toss and can march down the field to kick a 30-yard field goal on 2nd down. Unfortunate to watch, and absolutely awful if you are on the wrong end of things (See: Vikings, Minnesota 2010). NBA/NCAA overtime does nothing for me. They trade baskets until the last 30 seconds when they foul and shoot free throws forever. No good. MLB extra innings are always good, but less dramatic when you are the away team and can’t get a walk off win.

Hockey on the other hand is the best. Both teams have an equal shot to end the game. One team can have all the momentum, and then one unlucky bounce and the other team can strike and win. There’s nothing like it. Non-hockey fans: I dare you to watch a 3-overtime NHL playoff game and tell me that hockey isn’t an exciting sport. There’s nothing better than hockey overtimes, and I am glad I got to see one.

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