NCAA Frozen Four Notebook
Bradford, Ferriero, Gerbe spark Eagles
to title game return
By Joe Gladziszewski,
Jeff Howe, and Jess Myers
|Boston College sophomore forward
Brock Bradford didn't score on this shot, but the Eagles'
second-year skaters had a productive night in the team's
6-4 win against North Dakota.
ST. LOUIS – The Boston College sophomores
won’t exploit each other’s off-ice activities
out of fear that they’ll get served a not-so-sweet
dish of revenge. But, they have no problem talking about
their conquests on the ice.
Once again, the super slew of sophomores came
up large for the Eagles, who knocked out North Dakota, 6-4,
in a wild Frozen Four contest Thursday night. Headlined
by Nathan Gerbe’s two goals and two assists, the group
combined for a seven-point night and figured in on four
of the team’s goals.
“You want to stick together,”
said Gerbe, who admits he feels a sense of pride when one
of his classmates lights the lamp. “When Benn [Ferriero]
or Brock [Bradford] scores or any of our sophomores, you
always want to give them credit.”
Gerbe, Bradford and Ferriero are the top three
goal scorers on the team and have a combined 67 tallies
this season to go along with 137 points.
“They’re a huge part of the team,”
senior captain Brian Boyle said. “They came on a little
bit last year as freshmen, but this year, they’re
a special group. They really can change a game for us.”
They did just that against North Dakota. With
the game tied 3-3, Bradford fed Gerbe in the slot, and Gerbe
blasted a wrister past Philippe Lamoureux at 15:54 of the
third period. Gerbe then added an empty netter with 5.5
seconds to play to cap off a wild finish.
His go-ahead strike was even more meaningful
to Ferriero, though. The Eagles took a 3-2 lead with 7:00
remaining. With BC on the power play a couple minutes later,
Ferriero coughed up the puck behind Cory Schneider, and
T.J. Oshie roofed it to knot the score.
“I was feeling pretty down,” Ferriero
said. “I just gave the puck away on a turnover, and
they scored and tied the game. After Nate scored that goal,
it definitely made me feel a little bit better.”
“We know that he knows that we need
him to win the game,” Gerbe said. “He came back
and competed hard after that. It’s tough to do to
come back like that. You kind of want to leave or something,
but he played unbelievable for us.”
Eight of Boston College’s sophomores
share a house together on campus, so they’re pretty
used to each other by now. Ask them to share a story or
two, and their eyes light up but their lips remain sealed.
“I don’t want to start any wars
right now,” Bradford said. “We pull some pranks.
We have a good time. Anything I say will be fired back at
me, so I’ll keep it clean.”
“I’ll stay out of that,”
Ferriero added. “That’ll come back to bite me.”
BC SPECIAL TEAMS FRUSTRATE SIOUX
|North Dakota forward T.J. Oshie's
shorthanded goal with 4:38 left in regulation tied the
game at 3-3.
North Dakota scored a pair of power play goals
and a shortie, but the Sioux acknowledged that their opponents’
mastery of the penalty kill and the Eagles’ repeated
winning of special teams battles was the key to the game.
One could see right from the start that North Dakota forwards
were being effectively held to the perimeter and were rarely
able to get traffic in front of Cory Schneider.
“They did a great job of minimizing
our chances,” said North Dakota forward Ryan Duncan.
“We did a good job of working the puck around but
maybe we didn’t get it to the middle or the net as
much as we’d like. They came in with a game plan and
executed well, and they were just a little more sharp than
The Eagles score three power play goals, including
the go-ahead goal just 32 seconds after Oshie’s short-hander
had tied the game 3-3 with less than five minutes to play.
“It’s very frustrating,”
Oshie said. “We pride ourselves on our special teams
and tonight we lost that battle. Hats off to them. They
did a great job.”
INCH's Three Stars of the Game
Jonathan Toews, North Dakota
sophomore forward showed why he's such a highly regarded
NHL prospect, beating defensemen off the rush with
his incredible puck skills, fearlessly plowing to
the net for rebounds, playing a physical game, and
killing penalties. The next time you see him wearing
a Native American crest on the front of his sweater,
it might be that of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Nathan Gerbe, Boston College
When doesn't Gerbe play an enormous role
in a Boston College win? He set up Ben Smith's goal
with seven minutes left in regulation that gave the
Eagles a 3-2 lead, then scored a little less than
three minutes later to put BC back ahead at 4-3. He
also iced the game with an empty-net goal with six
Dan Bertram, Boston College
Twice North Dakota took leads, and twice
Bertram was there to answer. Both of his goals were
on the power play, and both were scored late in the
period, keeping the Fighting Sioux from taking momentum
into the locker room. He also played a key role on
the penalty-killing unit when North Dakota was pressing
for the game-tying goal late in regulation.
Story: Eagles Return to Title Game
Boston College is in the NCAA championship
game for the second straight season with another semifinal
win over North Dakota.
SEEN AND HEARD AT THE SCOTTRADE CENTER
• North Dakota's T.J. Oshie and Boston
College's Cory Schneider were teammates on Team USA during
the World Junior Tournament in Vancouver last year and have
faced each other on the ice in two consecutive Frozen Fours
now. The North Dakota forward said he got exactly what he
expected from his friend in maroon and gold.
“He’s a great goalie and plays
great in big games,” Oshie said. “He played
great against us last year. That was probably the first
time I’ve scored against him in practice or in a game.
He played great and we were expecting that.”
Oshie admitted that the roar may have been
extra loud when he scored thanks to Blues fans in the crowd
who are eager to see the first-round pick wearing the Bluenote
sometime soon. While not hinting whether or not he’ll
return to Grand Forks for another season, Oshie said he
liked visiting his potential future office.
“It was nice to get to St. Louis for
the first time and I had a good time here except for that
last little bit tonight,” he said.
• After five straight NCAA titles, and
appearances in the past seven title games, the WCHA’s
10 teams will all be spectators for Saturday’s final
game. Reached outside the North Dakota locker room after
his last hope’s loss, league commissioner Bruce McLeod
expressed disappointment not only with the game’s
result but the process that led up to it.
“Each year the odds grow against it
continuing, but the process, the RPI, they made some tweaks
in it and in the end it works against you,” McLeod
said. “You look at the 16 teams that made the tournament,
the 14 and then the two automatics, the next four teams
were all WCHA teams.”
McLeod mentioned the pairings that put the
WCHA’s top two teams at the end of the season, Minnesota
and North Dakota, in the same region.
“I’m certainly disappointed and
I guess maybe a little frustrated about the whole thing,”
he said. “It was just one thing after another, and
it kind of feels odd.”
He also acknowledged that after the 2005 Frozen
Four in Columbus featured four WCHA teams, there’s
no sympathy for his league outside the confines of the 10
teams he oversees.
“I’m certainly kind of sad, but
life will go on and we’ll start a new streak,”
McLeod said, with a grin.
• Brian Boyle was forced to change his
skates with 15:17 remaining in the first period. He normally
changes his skates during games, but during an intermission.
Luckily for him, it happened right before a television timeout.
• Can't blame a guy for trying: Boston
College forward Matt Greene tried to engage in a bit of
skullduggery in the third period. After being kicked out
of the face-off circle, Greene skated away slowly, then
twirled back and headed toward the dot. He couldn't pull
off the the trickery, however — he was tossed by one
of the assistant referees a second time.
• College Hockey America, which is hosting
this year's Frozen Four, may want to send the promotional
video it showed on the Scottrade Center video board for
editing prior to Saturday's title game. The spot included
shots of the Air Force campus and the Falcons' logo. Air
Force left the CHA at the end of last season for Atlantic
his post-game press conference, Boston College coach Jerry
York summed up the sentiments of just about everyone at
the Scottrade Center Thursday evening when he said, "It
was great plays by great players. I hope you guys had as
much fun watching as I did."
Indeed, the Eagles and Fighting Sioux put
on a show that was as enjoyable a matchup as we've seen
on college hockey's grandest stage in some time.
job by assistant referee John Philo, who intervened on Boston
College's goal celebration after Nathan Gerbe scored with
4:06 remaining. The Eagles were huddled very close to the
North Dakota bench, and Langseth stepped in and shuffled
them along toward their own bench.
North Dakota's West Regional first-round win against Michigan,
Fighting Sioux goaltender Philippe Lamoureux stopped T.J.
Hensick's breakaway attempt, then threw the puck in Hensick's
Tonight, Lamoureux peered through traffic
to glove a Boston College shot, dropped the puck from his
mitt, and swatted it out of mid-air with his paddle. The
puck finally came to rest at BC goalie Cory Schneider's
feet, some 180 feet from where it started its journey. We
don't mind someone who plays with a little flair, but Lamoureu's
line drive was uncalled for. He should've been penalized
for unsportsmanlike conduct or, at the very least, delay
expect the official scoring line to be changed once in a
while, but it seemed like assists were modified for nearly
goal scored today. We know the official scorers are under
pressure to get the information to the public address announcer
and such, but take the time to get it right the first time.
For the first time since the dawn of time
— maybe it just seems that way — there won't
be a WCHA team in the national championship game. Instead,
we're left with Michigan State and Boston College in a Big
Ten-ACC matchup. What's that? Right, it's a CCHA-Hockey
East tilt. Incidentally, both BC and MSU are chasing their
third national championships — the Eagles won in 1949
and 2001, while the Spartans were winners in 1966 and 1986.
And though the boys from the Heights are making their fourth
championship game appearance since 2000, the drive to win
a title now remains.
"This year, I feel like we're playing
with that urgency that we didn't have last year," junior
forward Dan Bertram said. "Now that we're on a roll,
I feel like everybody's here for a reason."