ST. LOUIS – Nathan Gerbe and Dan Bertram each scored two goals as Boston College advanced to the Frozen Four title game with a 6-4 win over North Dakota on Thursday night at Scottrade Center.
With the win, the Eagles advance to face the Michigan State Spartans for the 2007 National Championship on Saturday night. It marks the second consecutive year that the Eagles have advanced to the title game. The game be played at 7 p.m. (Eastern) and will be televised live on ESPN.
Senior forward Chris Porter gathered a loose puck in the left circle and wristed a shot to the top right corner to give North Dakota a 1-0 lead at 10:28 of the opening period. The goal came just after Boston College had successfully killed two Sioux power play chances. Sophomore Brian Lee and freshman Chris Van de Velde picked up assists on Porter’s 12th goal of the season.
Boston College would tie the game at 1-1 before the end of the opening frame while on the power play. Junior Brian O’Hanley’s shot from the left point was redirected by freshman Ben Smith and the rebound bounced in front. Junior forward Dan Bertram swept the puck inside the right post for his seventh goal of the season at 15:41 of the first.
North Dakota would regain a one-goal lead with a power-play strike at 3:15 of the second period. Sophomore forward Jonathan Toews shot from the right circle was deflected behind the net but was quickly shoveled back to the front by fellow sophomore T.J. Oshie. The puck sat at the left post and Toews was able to stuff it in for his 18th goal of the season.
Bertram would net his second goal of the game – and his second power-play goal – at 15:21 of the second period. Freshman defenseman Carl Sneep set up sophomore forward Nathan Gerbe for a one-timer from the left circle that was stopped, but Bertram was again able to pot the rebound and make it a 2-2 game.
Smith would give the Eagles a 3-2 lead with 7:00 remaining in the third period. Gerbe carried into the North Dakota zone and fed Smith who was streaming into the right circle. Smith picked the top right corner for his 10th goal of the season. Sophomore defenseman Brett Motherwell also picked up an assist on the goal.
Oshie would score a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 3-3 just 2:22 later. Oshie created a turnover at the right side of the Eagle net, stepped to the front and lifted a backhander in to tie the game with 4:38 remaining in regulation. It was Oshie’s 17th goal of the season.
But just 32 seconds later, Boston College would regain the lead on Gerbe’s 24th goal of the year. Still on the power play, the Eagles controlled an offensive zone face off. Motherwell would set up sophomore forward Brock Bradford in the left corner. Bradford passed it into the slot and Gerbe buried the Eagles’ third power-play goal of the game with 4:06 remaining.
Senior forward Joe Rooney picked up an important empty-net goal at 19:10 to give the Eagles a 5-3 lead. With Boston College shorthanded, senior defenseman Brian Boyle iced the puck. Rooney was first down the ice and pulled the puck to the front of the net to score what was eventually the game-winning goal.
The Fighting Sioux would once again make it a one-goal game at 5-4 when Porter picked up his second goal of the game on a power-play at 19:43 of the final period. Oshie assisted on the goal for North Dakota.
The wild final frame was finally concluded when Gerbe picked up an empty-net goal with 5.5 seconds left to close out the scoring at 6-4.
Boston College junior netminder Cory Schneider finished the game with 25 saves. North Dakota junior Philippe Lamoureux posted 39 saves.
Both Boston College and Michigan State will be seeking their third national titles. The Eagles won titles in 1949 and 2001, while the Spartans earned championships in 1966 and 1986.