Boston College, Michigan State move on at Frozen Four

Apr 6, 2007 - 10:01 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Boston College needed a late boost to extending its winning. It can thank Nathan Gerbe.

Gerbe scored twice within the final 4:06 of the contest to lift the Eagles to a 6-4 victory over North Dakota in the semifinals of the NCAA Frozen Four on Thursday at Scottrade Center.

With their 13th consecutive win, the Eagles (29-11-1) advanced to face Michigan State (25-13-3) in Saturday's night national championship game. The Spartans posted a 4-2 win over Maine in the early semifinal.

It is the eighth title game appearance for Boston College, which was stuck in a 3-3 game when Gerbe took over.

"There were just a lot of good plays by both teams," Boston College coach Jerry York said. "The game is never over, whether it's pro hockey or college hockey, you have to play all sixty minutes.

"They come at you hard. I feel that we have that same quality. We feel extremely fortunate and very proud that we're going to the championship game."

The sophomore scored on the power play just 32 seconds after the Fighting Sioux (24-14-5) tied the contest with a shorthanded goal by T.J. Oshie, the St. Louis Blues' 2005 first-round pick, with 4:38 remaining.

After North Dakota's Robbie Bina was called for elbowing with 4:13 left, Gerbe collected his 24th goal of the season. He finished with four points, including two assists.

A fifth-round selection of the Buffalo Sabres in 2005, Gerbe is tied for second in the nation in game winners with seven.

Beating the Fighting Sioux in the national semifinals for the second straight year, the Eagles extended the longest winning streak under coach York's 35-year tenure. They have outscored their opponents, 61-23, during the 13-game run, which began February 15 with a 5-2 triumph over Maine.

It was the third consecutive time that Boston College has beaten North Dakota in the Frozen Four since falling to the Fighting Sioux in the 2000 national championship game.

"They have a terrific club and we have a terrific club," York said. "It's a great rivalry. That's what builds rivalries."

Making its second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four, Maine built a 2-0 lead over Michigan State 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, the Black Bears were unable to reach the title game.

The lone team which did not reach the Frozen Four last year, Michigan State 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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