Video: Boston University’s Friday news conference

BOSTON — Boston University players and coach David Quinn met the media on Friday to talk about Thursday’s win over North Dakota and to preview the national championship game against Providence.

Here’s the video, courtesy of NCAA On Demand:

North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre wins the 2015 Mike Richter Award

Zane McIntyre won 29 games for North Dakota this season (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

BOSTON – North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre has been named the winner of the 2015 Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in Division I men’s hockey.

McIntyre won 29 games in helping North Dakota get to the Frozen Four for a second straight season.

Full coverage from the ceremony to come.

Notebook: For Boston University’s Somerby, a big first in a big game

Boston University’s Doyle Somerby defends North Dakota’s Connor Gaarder on Thursday (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — When Doyle Somerby scored at 13:10 in the second period in Boston University’s 5-3 win over North Dakota on Thursday, the Terriers defenseman netted his first goal of the season and the second of his career.

As it turned out, he also scored the game winner, a “lucky” goal, the sophomore said.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Somerby said. “I skated back to the bench to celebrate and the guys were all laughing. I woke up thinking I was going to play some defense and get the pucks out, but it’s really nice to score.”

The blueliner also has six assists this season, and Thursday’s goal gave him three points in his last nine games, dating to Feb. 14. That Valentine’s Day assist in the third period of a 4-3 loss to New Hampshire was the first point that Doyle had scored since BU’s 3-1 win over Maine on Nov. 14, a span of 17 scoreless games.

An uncharacteristic third period

After outscoring opponents 68-25 overall in the third period this season, the Terriers were by far the best final-stanza team in the nation.

Not so much tonight.

“Your goalie lets in a goal that he hasn’t let in all year, you get a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty that we haven’t gotten all year, and all of a sudden it’s 4-3,” said coach David Quinn, “and we’re hanging on for dear life.”

Not only was BU outscored 2-1 in the third, but the Terriers let in two late third-period goals less than five minutes apart, both involving special teams play.

“In the third period, we’re up 4-1, we’re playing a little bit different and we don’t want to play conservative,” said Quinn, “but we still wanted to be smart. I thought we did a pretty good job and then you get the power play and a fluky, fluky goal and then we get a little demoralized and then a penalty I still didn’t get to look at.

“But we got it done. This time of the season, you’ve just have to find ways to win. There are all sorts of ways to win. We’ve been very fortunate this year. We’ve won games a lot of different ways. We won one tonight in a way that we haven’t had to win one all year.”

Short-handed but not unexpected

North Dakota led all teams in short-handed goals in 2014-15. Sophomore defenseman Troy Stecher’s goal at 12:10 in the third — the goal that began UND’s rally — was the 12th of the season.

“Down on the penalty kill, down 4-1, needed a goal, so I pressed up the ice,” said Stecher. “Lucky bounce I got, and hopefully we try to build off that. Can’t really put it into words. It was just a lucky bounce.”

It was the third goal of the season for Stecher, but the first short-handed goal of his career. Junior forward Drake Caggiula led all UND players with three short-handed goals this season.

Big play: Eichel feeds Greer for a laser one-timer

North Dakota goalie Zane McIntyre is left sprawled out after A.J. Greer’s goal (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — For much of the second period, North Dakota owned Boston University. UND scored early, opened up the pace of play, and took the game to the Terriers.

North Dakota had goalie Matt O’Connor off his mark, flopping, uncomfortable and, most importantly, vulnerable.

In need of a boost, BU got it from the man who gave it to the Terriers all year long: Jack Eichel.

With their early two-goal lead halved to 2-1, Eichel and A.J. Greer delivered the equalizer in the form on a beautiful decision, a crisp pass and a picture-perfect laser beam of a shot that goalie Zane McIntyre stood no shot of stopping.

As BU cleared the zone, coach David Quinn called for a line change to his top line. “It was a change — I think pretty late,” said Eichel. “Coach started yelling ‘Eichel! Eichel! The Eichel line!’”

It was something he’d done many times before. “I do that a lot,” said Quinn. “I catch myself doing it in my sleep.”

His top skater came off the bench at exactly the right time, and the Terriers found themselves with a bang-bang, three-on-two break over the blue line.

Eichel held the puck on the left wing as Greer spread out wide with Robbie Baillargeon trailing the play. Luke Johnson back checked to cover the puck handler, allowing the defense to work against the passing lanes.

Nick Mattson moved backwards in between the hash marks right in front of the goalie to protect against the drop pass for a straight-on shot. But he lost track of Greer, who teed it up. Eichel fed it straight across the open ice, and the freshman buried it.

“I thought it was going to be dumped in at first. Then Jack stepped on the ice, set up on the left side, and walked it in,” said Greer on the goal. “I posted up at the top of the circles, he centered it [for me], and I just let it rip.”

“I just jumped on the ice actually pretty late,” said Eichel. “[Brien Diffley] makes a big play to beat the forechecker. He slides me the puck and got over the blue line, [and I] saw A.J. open up. I tried to put it in his wheelhouse where he could hammer one. He works on the shot a lot and I wasn’t surprised at all.”

The goal came at a critical juncture of the period. Until that point, UND brought heat onto the BU defense. More than once, long shifts led to the Terriers running around on the defensive side. Their line changes were disjointed and long. With roughly half of a period left, they needed a big play in a big moment.

What they got was exactly that.

Video: Boston University’s A.J. Greer, Matt O’Connor after semifinal win

BOSTON — Boston University forward A.J. Greer and goaltender Matt O’Connor talk after the Terriers’ 5-3 victory over North Dakota Thursday in the Frozen Four semifinals.

In the TD Garden seats, student representation slight

BOSTON — There are 17,565 sellable seats for each hockey game at Boston’s TD Garden. The Bruins tend to fill them all, and the NCAA was pleased to put a body on every cushion this weekend as well.

Yet, with a capacity greater than the total undergraduate enrollment at any of the four participating schools, fewer than 400 of those 17,565 tickets — 2.3 percent — ever made their way to actual students.

It’s not always convenient for vehicularly and financially challenged undergrads to support their tournament teams in person; in fact, it’s a bit of a rarity lately for a Frozen Four to include a team from the host state, much less the same city.

That said, this year’s final weekend includes two schools that didn’t even have time for a movie on the bus ride over (Boston University and Providence) and another that always travels well in North Dakota. If ever room ought to be made for greater student attendance, 2015 made a strong case.

While the NCAA ticket allocation has varied between 500 and 800 in the recent past, the association allotted 600 tickets to each participating program this spring to be distributed however the schools felt best. Unsurprisingly, students are generally not at the top of that pecking order: Donors, boosters, board members and trustees; alumni; season-ticket holders; and team staff and player considerations trump the tuition payers.

Once the big fish had their fill, students earned their shot at the remainder. All four programs sold out their 600, so there were never going to be enough to meet the demand; instead, the schools rewarded students for high regular season attendance through loyalty-points programs and/or held lotteries to most fairly distribute what was left of the 600.

In the end, Omaha students took 125 seats. Hometown Boston University students claimed between 75 and 100. North Dakota was left with 61 stubs for students, and Providence — a school with just 3,810 undergraduates — scrounged up just 50 for the student raffle.

The first object of scorn might seem like the NCAA given its paltry allotment, but the per-program package is low for a reason: Since Frozen Four tickets go on sale well before the tournament even begins, the governing body wants to assure as many tickets sold as possible before the field is decided.

After all, even a hockey hotbed like Boston would be unlikely to sell out a Frozen Four featuring, say, Minnesota State, Quinnipiac, Denver, and Minnesota-Duluth, which could well have happened this year. Ergo, the NCAA ticket office opens for business when all 59 teams still have some hope of qualifying and there is ample optimism to go around.

Schools may deserve some of the blame for the situation, but it’s hardly shocking that institutions would want to satisfy the individuals who support them ahead of all others, and there are only so many tickets to which the schools have access in the first place.

If there is any legitimate blame to be levied, it may lie in the NCAA’s ticket-resale system. The NCAA Ticket Exchange allows fans to resell their tickets at any price, not capping the maximum at face value or any other amount.

NCAA associate director of media coordination and statistics Mark Bedics explained that the organization picked the lesser of two evils in establishing its exchange: In order to minimize incidents of ticket fraud, the NCAA verifies and guarantees tickets sold through its exchange while allowing sellers to place any price tag they like. This gives ticket holders every incentive to use their site, even if the markup is extreme: Lower-bowl tickets to Thursday’s games (one ticket got you a seat for both contests) were being sold for upwards of $350, well beyond face value.

In the end, nobody is truly to blame for so few students in the stands Thursday. The NCAA followed a system designed to minimize loss. The schools looked out for their own as fairly as they could, while still considering their long-term relationships, and the NCAA Ticket Exchange prioritizes security and reliability over, perhaps, equity.

The NCAA emphasizes the “student” in “student-athlete.” It’s an unfortunate collusion of circumstance that students could not be better emphasized at TD Garden Thursday night.

Boston University holds off North Dakota charge for spot in championship game

Boston University is into the national championship game for the first time since 2009 (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — It will be an all-New England final in the Hub of Hockey, but it certainly wasn’t easy getting there.

Boston University held a commanding 4-1 lead over North Dakota late in Thursday’s second national semifinal and then hung on for dear life, eking out a 5-3 victory to advance to Saturday’s national title game.

The Terriers will face Hockey East foe Providence, a 4-1 winner over Omaha, in Saturday’s national championship game at the TD Garden.

Up three and on the power play, BU allowed a short-handed goal to Troy Stecher on a miscue by BU netminder Matt O’Connor with 7:50 left. Then, after a too many men on the ice call on the Terriers, North Dakota’s Connor Gaarder struck on the power play with 3:43 left to pull within one.

It wasn’t until rookie phenom Jack Eichel scored his second goal of the game with 18.5 seconds remaining, into an empty net, that the game was iced.

Boston University advanced to the national title game for the first time since 2009 when it beat Miami 4-3 in overtime for the school’s fifth national title.

Greer, Somerby help Boston University extend lead over North Dakota to 4-1 after two periods

Luke Johnson’s shot got past Boston University’s Matt O’Connor for North Dakota’s first goal (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — The Boston University Terriers held a 4-1 lead over North Dakota through two periods of the second national semifinal Thursday at the TD Garden.

After goals by Jack Eichel and Brandon Hickey in the first period, North Dakota began the second period with a power play and wasted little time getting back in that game.

Luke Johnson saw an ounce of daylight above the glove of BU netminder Matt O’Connor and roofed a tight shot to pull North Dakota within a goal.

A cross-checking penalty to Hickey at 6:43 gave North Dakota more momentum. But BU’s ability to kill the penalty gave the Terriers their first sniff at offense in the frame, and at 11:20 A.J. Greer cashed in.

Greer one-timed a perfect cross-zone pass from Eichel past goaltender Zane McIntyre, a shot that exploded the water bottle off the net’s mesh for a 3-1 Terriers lead.

Less than two minutes later, defenseman Doyle Somerby extended the lead, threading a shot through a double screen set by BU’s Ahti Oksanen and Greer.

North Dakota held a 25-21 lead in shots on goal through two periods. BU, however, has converted on two of three power plays, while North Dakota is 1-for-3 on the man advantage.

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