By the Numbers: BC-North Dakota
by Avash Kalra/Staff Writer
DENVER Like numbers? Here are some to take note of, following Boston College's 6-1 win over North Dakota Thursday.
For the third consecutive season, the Eagles scored six goals against North Dakota. The Eagles won all three. It was the first time in the 2008 calendar year the Fighting Sioux allowed six goals, and Thursday's score was the first Frozen Four blowout of at least five goals since Maine beat New Hampshire 7-2 in 2002.
The six goals scored by BC in this year's Frozen Four matchup may have been a bit more of a surprise, though, as the Sioux came into Denver leading the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 1.76 goals per game. And senior netminder Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux, who posted six shutouts this season, led the nation in both goals-against average (1.64) and save percentage (.936).
Shots on Goal
In the first period of Thursday's contest, North Dakota had two early power plays, putting eight of its 12 first-period shots on goal during those man-advantage chances.
In the second period, the Sioux had zero shots in three man-advantage situations.
Were any adjustments made between periods? It seemed likely, but BC head coach Jerry York was quick to credit freshman goaltender John Muse for keeping North Dakota off the board early.
Said York, "I thought Johnny Muse was really something during those first initial flurries that North Dakota had. We always talk about goaltenders are so important for you."
Muse now improves to 7-0 in postseason play. And he's been busy. In six of the seven games, the Eagles have allowed at least 30 shots on goal. In the seventh game, they allowed 29.
BC's rookie netminder also holds the school-record for most saves in a season, with 1,151... and counting.
Holding the Lead
BC now improves to an amazing 89-0-1 in their last 90 games when scoring four or more goals in a game. The Eagles are 23-0-0 in such games this season alone.
This was also just the fourth time all season that North Dakota goaltender Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux allowed four or more goals in a game. North Dakota as a team had not allowed a first period goal all season. Tonight, the Sioux allowed four.
Finally, over the last two seasons, BC is now 94-2-7 when leading after two periods. One of those two losses? Last season in the national championship game against Michigan State, when a 1-0 third period lead quickly turned to a 3-1 defeat.
Other Numbers of Note
Nathan Gerbe has an eight game point-scoring streak and now has 14 points in 11 NCAA tournament games.
The BC senior class of Joe Adams, Dan Bertram, Mike Brennan, Pat Gannon, and Matt Greene now improves to 10-3 in the NCAA tournament.
Sophomore Ben Smith, who scored the Eagles' sixth and final goal Thursday, has a six-game goal-scoring streak.
Boston College is 56-15 in postseason play over the last 11 seasons. The Eagles' .789 postseason winning percentage in that span is the best mark of any college hockey team. They also improve to 10-11-1 all-time against North Dakota.
The Eagles will be playing in their ninth championship game on Saturday. They are 2-6 in their previous eight title games.
BC becomes the first team since Lake Superior (1992-94) to appear in the national championship game three consecutive seasons.
Quote of the Day
Three was the number of the day for BC. Nathan Gerbe scored three goals to lead the Eagles to their third straight title game.
After the game, the Hobey finalist was asked what he ate for breakfast before his offensive outburst.
"Same as usual — just cereal and a bagel," said Gerbe.
But then came this:
"Same as me," said Eagles captain Mike Brennan, rolling his eyes. "And I didn't have four goals or whatever."
In a Fog
North Dakota thought it was starting to take over the regular-season game between these teams, the game that was halted after two periods because of fog with the score tied, 0-0. So the Sioux were confident coming in.
But, the Sioux and their fans learned another lesson about trying to take anything from the regular season for granted, especially when it comes to BC, which always seems to be peaking at this time.
Mike Machnik and Adam Wodon contributed to this article