April 11, 2008 PRINT Bookmark and Share

CCHA Coaches Break Down Notre Dame-BC

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

DENVER — Last year, Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson broke down how Michigan State could defeat heavily-favored Boston College in the national championship game.

Patience, he said, was key. A highly-skilled team like Boston College loses its patience playing against a team like Michigan State, and tries to do too much.

As it turned out, of course, Jackson's words were prophetic, with the Spartans pulling off the 3-1 win.

Now, Jackson must devise the game plan for his own team to defeat Boston College, and the words of wisdom of two of his fellow CCHA coaches are similar as Jackson's were a year ago.

"The biggest thing is, they have to take care of the puck," said Miami coach Enrico Blasi, who played Notre Dame in the regular season and lost to Boston College in overtime in the Northeast Regional final.

"You can't turn the puck over against BC. If you do, they'll make you pay. They have guys that can score up and down the lineup. You really have to make sure you're staying within your game plan and doing the things you do well. Notre Dame's been on the big stage so they're ready to go. I think they'll give BC everything they've got."

Blasi's team learned that the hard way, as BC scored three quick-strike goals to take the lead on Miami. And you can't get lulled to sleep thinking that BC isn't physical just because they are a smaller group.

"They're fast and they'll get on you. They're aggressive. If you're not ready to play a physical game, you're going to get beat," Blasi said. "So you really have to be ready for bad bounces, they shoot from everywhere, they're really good down low."

Michigan coach Red Berenson, whose team just lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals, said you can expect Notre Dame to do what it always does.

"They're a different style of team than Boston College," Berenson said. "Boston College and Michigan are similar. I think you'll see a hard-fought defensive-type game. You're not going to blow Notre Dame out. They're hard to play against us. So they'll make a good game of it.

"He's (Jackson's) not a gimmicky coach. He's a systems coach, through thick and thin. They're disciplined, they'll stay out of the penalty box. They don't give you much — when you're on the power play, you're not going to get much on them. They're a well-coached team."

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