Lamoureux Plays Huge in Defeat
by Dane DeKrey/Staff Writer
ST. LOUIS It was only a matter of time.
For North Dakota goaltender Philippe Lamoureux, that time was Thursday night, but by no fault of his own.
Turning away a tournament high 39 of 43 shots he faced, Lamoureux did his best to weather a second period peppering by familiar foe, Boston College, but his efforts ultimately proved fruitless, as he saw his team get the gate by the Eagles for the second time in as many years, losing 6-4 in the nightcap.
For a game where the conventional wisdom held that Boston College had an edge with first-round draft pick Cory Schneider in net, Lamoureux did more than hold his own.
"As a goaltender, sometimes you're called upon to make 20 saves and sometimes you're called up to make 50 saves," said a somber Lamoureux. "Despite the shot difference going into the third period, I wanted to keep giving our guys a chance to win."
It was during this latter part of the second period flurry that Boston College sewed the initial seeds of disaster for the Fighting Sioux, as they relentlessly bore down on the Grand Forks, N.D., native until they drove him to the brink.
Lamoureux's teammate, Jonathan Toews, who many surmise played his final game for UND on Thursday night, saw this 20-to-9 second-period shot dominance by BC to be a turning point in the game.
"Phil played great tonight," Toews said. "We didn't give him enough help in front of him out there tonight; we gave them too many chances, especially in the second half of the second period, and they have too many great players on their roster not to capitalize."
But no matter the fluctuating score, Lamoureux remained the lone constant for the Fighting Sioux, as he allowed but one goal during even strength play. It was Lamoureux's steady play that allowed UND to keep in the game, as more than once it seemed the final blow had been delivered to the WCHA's lone Frozen Four representative.
Fighting Sioux defenseman Taylor Chorney echoed Toews' words in his assessment of Phil's night in goal, quick to point out how a different Lamoureux has shown up to play for the second half of UND's season. It was a relief after North Dakota went into the season facing the unexpected when Jordan Parise decided to turn pro a year early after last season's FF loss.
"It's no surprise watching Phil play tonight," Chorney said. "If I had to pick an MVP after Christmas, other than maybe Ryan (Duncan), it would have to be Phil, because he's kept us in so many games."
The lone blip was a 8-5 win over Michigan in the NCAA opener. In this one, he played great but lost. That's hockey.
Tthis time, the rabbits ran out, and the only thing Lamoureux could pull out of his hat was exactly what he did — a performance good enough for his team to win.
His teammates didn't hold up their end of the bargain.