During the course of this game nearly three years ago, I wondered what would happen if Maine – a team that was teetering on the brink of missing the Hockey East playoffs – would beat Boston University, the No. 1 team in the country on Valentine’s Day weekend of 2009.
There were no goalposts to rip down, because football season was well over. Plus, Orono is a small, sleepy college town, so there’s no couch-burning or rioting on Mill Street.
A few of the journos jokingly referred to the 2008-2009 team at BU as “The NHL’s 31st team.” The Terriers had a lineup with 13 NHL draft picks, including current St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and current Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson, and defenseman Matt Gilroy, who opted to return to BU instead of turning pro after his junior year. Gilroy won the Hobey Baker Award in the spring of 2009 as the nation’s top Division I hockey player and now plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Maine led 2-1 late in the third period but in the end, Boston University tied the game on Nick Bonino’s goal with less than five minutes left in the third period.
Oh, and the Terriers ended up winning the national championship less than two months later.