Boston College rolls in Frozen Four semifinals

Apr 11, 2008 - 12:59 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Boston College is hoping the third time will be a charm.

Meeting North Dakota in the Frozen Four semifinals for the third consecutive season, the Eagles posted a dominant 6-1 victory over the Fighting Sioux at the Pepsi Center on Thursday to again advance to the championship game.

Boston College (24-11-8), which has lost in the title game each of the previous two years, will look to end that trend Saturday, when it faces the winner of Thursday's second semifinal contest between top-ranked Michigan and Notre Dame.

The Eagles, who defeated the Fighting Sioux in the 2001 championship game for its second national title in 20 tournament appearances, scored four times in the first period and twice more in the second for a commanding 6-0 lead. Hobey Baker Award finalist Nathan Gerbe led the way offensively, recording a hat trick and adding an assist to deny North Dakota (28-11-4) a chance for its first national championship since 1997.

It was the seventh overall Frozen Four meeting between the teams in 10 years.

With a record nine national championships already under its belt, Michigan is in search of its first since 1998, when it defeated Boston College.

The Wolverines (33-5-4), who are making their 23rd Frozen Four appearance, are the second-youngest club in the 16-team tournament field with 11 freshmen on their roster.

Legendary coach Red Berenson believes his team should be commended for its success considering that fact.

"This team has surprised all of us right from day one," he said. "The bottom line was, our goals for never changed much but our goals against changed by at least a goal a game. That starts in goal and goes right through the team. With such a young team, it's quite an accomplishment."

Michigan boasts Hobey Baker finalist Kevin Porter, a senior who has notched 33 goals and 29 assists in 42 games. Chad Kolarik is the team's second-leading scorer with 28 tallies and 54 points in 38 contests.

The Wolverines won both regular-season meetings with the Fighting Irish, with Louie Caporusso and Matt Rust scoring two goals apiece in the series.

However, they should not take their opponents lightly, as the Fighting Irish (26-15-4) breezed past top-seeded New Hampshire in the West regional semifinals before topping defending champion Michigan State en route to the first Frozen Four semifinal appearance in their 40-year history.

"People might talk about our second half and our first half, but what really matters is what have you done lately," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. "The fact that we're here - it's important to emphasize that this is the first time in Notre Dame history that the team's in the Frozen Four, and you don't do that by accident. We played well at the right time, and it's a great opportunity for us."

Erik Condra leads Notre Dame in scoring with 38 points - 15 goals - in 41 games, while Jordan Pearce has been an ironman in goal, going 8-6-3 with a 1.86 goals-against average in starting each of the team's last 17 contests.

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