Michigan State beats Maine at Frozen Four

Apr 5, 2007 - 11:18 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Boston College enters its NCAA Frozen Four semifinal game with hopes of extending its winning streak. North Dakota comes in with revenge on its mind.

With their 12-game winning streak on the line, the Eagles continue their quest for a third championship Thursday when they meet the Fighting Sioux in the second of two semifinal games at Scottrade Center.

In the first semifinal, Michigan State secured a spot in Saturday night's title game with a 4-2 victory over Maine.

Making its second straight trip to the Frozen Four and seventh in 10 years, Boston College (28-11-1) is in the midst of its longest winning streak during coach Jerry York's 35-year tenure. The Eagles have outscored their opponents, 55-19, during the run, which began February 15 with a 5-2 triumph over Maine.

However, Boston College will be facing an angry foe in North Dakota (24-13-5), which had its hopes of repeating as national champion squashed by the Eagles in 2001. The Fighting Sioux had topped the Eagles in the title game the previous year.

Last season, North Dakota suffered the same fate as it did five years earlier, losing to Boston College in the Frozen Four semifinals. The teams have met a total of seven times in the NCAA Tournament, with the Eagles holding a 4-3 advantage.

Fighting Sioux coach Dave Hakstol, however, ensures his team is focused on winning the title rather than just exacting revenge.

"Each and every year, each team is different," he said. "I will say this - within our program, it is not just our goal to be at the Frozen Four, it's our goal to win games at the Frozen Four. This year, we talked about our goals in September. After that, it's not something we talk about every day. We know exactly where we want to get by the end of the year."

After overcoming an early two-goal deficit to top Michigan and ousting top-ranked Minnesota in overtime in the West Regionals, North Dakota is two wins away from its eighth national championship. Leading the way is the sophomore line of T.J. Oshie, Jonathan Toews and Hobey Baker Award finalist Ryan Duncan, who leads the team with 57 points. The trio has combined for 151 points this season.

Boston College also has a pair of impressive second-year players in Benn Ferriero and Nathan Gerbe, who share the club lead with 23 goals apiece.

Making its second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four, Maine built a 2-0 lead just 3:24 into the contest on goals by Keith Johnson and Josh Soares.

But just like last season when they lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Wisconsin (23-15-2), the Black Bears were unable to reach the title game.

The lone team which did not reach the Frozen Four last year, Michigan State (25-13-3) showed plenty of grit as it moved a step closer to winning its first national title since 1986.

Chris Mueller scored an unassisted goal at 7:25 of the opening period, pulling the Spartans within 2-1. They tied it at 16:32 of the middle session on Chris Snavely's tally.

The Spartans put a stamp on their comeback by scoring twice in the first 10 minutes of the third period.

Nick Sucharski snapped the tie at 5:11 before Jim McKenzie provided the final margin just over four minutes later.

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