BOSTON — If you flipped away from Thursday’s Frozen Four semifinal between Boston University and North Dakota before the final horn, shame on you.
Sure, the outcome wouldn’t have been a surprise — BU won 5-3 at TD Garden and will play Providence on Saturday for the national championship — but these teams packed enough action and drama into the final seven minutes to fill half an episode of “SportsCenter.”
Here’s what went down:
The Terriers took a commanding 4-1 lead into the third period thanks to goals by Jack Eichel, Brandon Hickey, A.J. Greer and Doyle Somerby. That margin stood until the 13:10 mark of the third, when a blunder by BU goalie Matt O’Connor gift-wrapped a goal for North Dakota defenseman Troy Stecher.
Less than four minutes later, O’Connor was victimized in more conventional style, with forward Connor Gaarder beating the goaltender with a one-timer on the power play. BU defenseman Brandon Hickey went down after blocking a shot moments before the goal, giving North Dakota what amounted to a five-second 5-on-3.
4-3 BU. We have ourselves a game.
Then things got heated. Tempers flared with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, resulting in several near-fights around the BU zone. That unrest came to a head when Terriers senior Evan Rodrigues clipped North Dakota captain Stephane Pattyn in the neck with his stick on Pattyn’s way to the bench.
With that, Pattyn lost it and chased Rodrigues down. He never quite reached his target, but referees sent both players to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
On a de facto power play with goalie Zane McIntyre pulled, North Dakota made one last-gasp effort. But in the end, it was Eichel who — as he has so many times this season — sealed it for the Terriers.
And with that, there was much rejoicing among the largely pro-BU crowd at the Garden. As for the North Dakota fans in attendance…
Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 10, 2015
GIFs via @cjzero
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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