East Meets West
Although North Dakota and Boston College are approximately 1700 miles apart, the two teams are building quite a rivalry. As part of a four-year agreement, the Eagles and Sioux will face off once against next year each regular season.
More importantly, though, the teams have a knack for meeting each other in the NCAA tournament, when everything is at stake.
“When you meet teams in big games, that’s how you build rivalries,” said Dan Bertram, and he couldn’t have said it any better. Just take a look at the meetings between BC and North Dakota in the NCAAs:
April 6, 2007 (Frozen Four, St. Louis) BC 6,UND 4
April 6, 2006 (Frozen Four, Milwaukee) BC 6, UND 5
March 28, 2005 (Northeast Regional, Worcester) UND 6, BC 3
April 7, 2001 (Championship Game, Albany) BC 3, UND 2
April 8, 2000 (Championship Game, Providence) UND 4, BC 2
March 28, 1999 (Midwest Regional, Madison) BC 3, UND 1
March 18, 1965 (Frozen Four, Providence) BC 4, UND 3
March 14, 1963 (Frozen Four, Chestnut Hill) UND 8, BC 2
“We’ve played six times in the last [eight] years in the national tournament and four of those times were in the Frozen Four,” said York. “It’s hard to have rivalries outside of your league, but when you play as many times as we have, and have had as many classic games [you really do build rivalries].”
Easy for York to say: his Eagles are now 5-3 all-time in the NCAA tournament against the Sioux.
It’s Gotta Be Some Kind of Record
Most expected that this would be a high-scoring game, but with the score knotted 2-2 late in the third period, it seemed like the two very evenly-matched squads might play deep into the night.
Their respective offenses disagreed, as the teams combined for a six-goal eruption in the final seven minutes. The flurry left most shaking their heads, but for a pair of teams with the speed and skill of Boston College and North Dakota, it was just a matter of time before the goals starting coming in bunches.
“Just a lot of good plays by both teams,” explained York.
Added sophomore defenseman Brett Motherwell, “After Smith scored that goal, the floodgates opened and it was all or nothing. I kind of thought Gerbe’s goal would be the end. What was it? Two? Three more goals? It was like ‘Geez, what next?'”
Déjà Vu All Over Again
When North Dakota’s Chris Porter tallied an extra-attacker goal in the final minute, ghosts of past Boston College-North Dakota Frozen Four games instantly sprung to mind.
In the 2001 national championship, North Dakota scored two extra-attacker goals in the final minutes of the third period to force overtime. But that’s not all. On this date just one year ago, with the Eagles clinging to a two-goal lead in the final minute, the Sioux’s Brian Lee scored an extra-attacker goal to crank up the heat in the last seconds. Unfortunately for North Dakota, Boston College was victorious in all three contests.
Bertram Sees Sioux, Goalies See Red
BC’s Dan Bertram must have something against North Dakota. The junior forward has only recorded three career multiple-goal games, and two of them have come against the Sioux. On October 29, 2004, Bertram popped a pair in a 5-3 win. Thursday evening, however, marked the first time in Bertram’s career that he had a two-goal game without the help of an empty-netter. He tallied two critical power-play goals, both of which erased a North Dakota lead.