OMAHA, Neb. — The Boston College Eagles and the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks showed a mutual disgust for each other that you usually only find with intra-conference rivals. Both teams came out throwing the body early in the championship game of the Maverick Stampede, but Boston College won all three rounds of the title bout and won the Omaha Cup 5-1.
This was the first meeting between the schools.
Boston College went with tournament-tested goalie Scott Clemmensen to guide them to the cup. The rock-steady senior stopped 25 of 26 shots in the win over Notre Dame on Friday.
Freshman Dan Ellis got his first collegiate start for the Mavericks. Welcome to Division I hockey Mr. Ellis. Your first task is the No. 4 team in the nation.
“This is 10 times faster [than the United States Hockey League]. It’s such a better game at this level,” Ellis said.
The first period dragged on, with a combined 46 minutes in penalties dished out to either team for anything from roughing to a diving misconduct.
“He [referee John Rutherford] called a different game than he did last night, obviously because there were two different teams, two different styles playing tonight,” UNO coach Mike Kemp said.
Boston College got on the board 6:06 into the game. Eagles captain Brian Gionta sent a perfect pass across the rink, over sticks, past defenders, and onto the blade of Krys Kolanos for a one-touch goal.
The Mavericks didn’t register a shot on net until after the Boston College goal.
In the second period, BC got a goal on a rare 4-on-3 situation. Both teams got matching penalties at the 7:50 mark. Then UNO defenseman Ed Cassin went off for holding, which gave BC the 4-on-3 advantage. At the 9:34 mark, Chuck Kobasew scored a goal very similar to the Eagles first tally with a one-touch score. This time Kolanos got the assist. Boston College was 1-of-5 on the power play for the evening.
The Eagles weren’t done in the second. Mike Lephart put the Eagles up 3-0 when he wristed a rebound over Ellis glove. Marty Hughes, who was also credited with the assist, took the initial shot.
The Eagles eventually took a 4-0 lead early in the third period. Lephart got his second goal of the night on a counter attack. The Mavericks had a 3-on-1 opportunity that BC broke up, sending Lephart free to go the distance and score top shelf on Ellis.
The Mavericks refused to be blanked. On their 12th and final power play, Nebraska-Omaha ruined Clemmensen’s shutout. After 35 shots, Shane Glover got one by the BC wall on a pass from Jason White.
“I’m a huge confidence player, and I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said Glover, who has two goals in two games this season after not scoring last year.
Boston College added one more grain of salt in the wounds with a late third-period goal. Gionta completed his two-point night with a wrist shot that sailed into the net.
“We are very proud to be the first recipients of the Omaha Cup,” BC coach Jerry York said. “We don’t get to play for very many championships during the year, so we were very excited about coming to Omaha.”
Said Ellis: “They are a wonderful team, and they know how to win.”
Boston College is now 2-0 on the year in their quest for a fourth straight run at the Frozen Four.
Four Boston College players earned all-tournament team honors. Forwards Krys Kolanos and Mike Lephart, along with defenseman Bobby Allen and goalie Scott Clemmensen were all named to the team, with Clemmensen earning the Most Valuable Player award.
“Certainly the MVP was justifiably Clemmensen,” York said. Clemmensen stopped 61 of the 63 shots he faced in the tournament.
UNO’s Ed Cassin and Notre Dame forward David Inman were also named to the team. Inman won the consolation game for the Irish when he put in the winning goal on the shootout against Niagara.
“Frankly, I am proud of the way our guys played tonight,” Kemp said. “I think it was a lot closer than the score indicated. We outshot them, but Clemmensen earned that MVP.”
Boston College will head farther west next weekend when the Eagles take on Denver.
The Mavericks head to Michigan State to start CCHA play.