Analysis: North Dakota’s speed faces Boston University’s skill

North Dakota’s Draka Caggiula and Boston University’s Jack Eichel meet in Thursday’s Frozen Four semifinal (photos: Bradley K. Olson and Melissa Wade).

As an old adage goes, speed kills. North Dakota has plenty of it.

When UND faces off on Thursday against Boston University in the second Frozen Four semifinal game at TD Garden in Boston, it will need all of the speed it can muster, as the Terriers have several highly skilled forwards who will cause great havoc if allowed free space on the ice.

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“It’s going to be a great matchup for sure,” said an opposing coach. “It will come down to Boston’s high-end talent — can it beat North Dakota’s high-tempo play?”

In years past, North Dakota has relied on high-end forwards like Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie and Zach Parise to carry it through deep playoff runs. UND has made the NCAA tournament 13 years running.

It also has made the Frozen Four 10 times in the past 19 years.

However, this season’s group is special for another reason: There is not that guaranteed scorer on the roster. North Dakota has rattled off an impressive 29-9-3 record this season without having one skater averaging a point per game.

Junior Drake Caggiula may be the closest skater that North Dakota has to a bona fide star. He leads the team in goals (18) and points (36) in 41 games played. However, his team-high 22 points in NCHC play placed him in a tie for 13th in conference scoring.

North Dakota has 10 forwards with at least 13 points, making it extremely deep.

“They are very balanced,” said an opposing coach. “They can roll four lines. That really is a weapon for them. You know, when you don’t have a Toews or an Oshie but you can roll four lines, that becomes a weapon on its own.”

Backstopping North Dakota is one of the best in college hockey in Zane McIntyre, one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award and one of five finalists for the Mike Richter Award.

In 41 games this season, McIntyre has posted a 29-9-3 record with a 2.00 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

He appears to be just as comfortable making 19 saves as he did in the regional final against St. Cloud State as he is making a season-high 43, which he did on March 6 against Miami.

“McIntyre is playing with great confidence,” said an opposing coach. “He doesn’t get rattled. He has been there all year for them.”

With confidence in what is in goal, North Dakota can make life miserable for opponents.

“They play an up-tempo game,” said an opposing coach. “They take time and space away from you. They play with a really good mindset. They are tough mentally.”

They will need to be tough mentally to handle the likes of the Terriers’ top line of Jack Eichel — perhaps the NCAA’s best freshman skater since Paul Kariya — along with Evan Rodrigues and Danny O’Regan.

Eichel leads the nation in assists (43) and points (67). He has been so strong as an 18-year-old that NHL teams are falling all over themselves to get into a position to potentially draft either him or Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters in this summer’s draft.

Rodrigues is second in the nation in scoring with 21 goals and 61 points. O’Regan is tied for ninth with 22 goals and 48 points.

“They have a lot of high-end people, starting with Eichel,” said an opposing coach. “They like to use their skill and their speed.”

Not as well known to teams outside of the East are skaters such as Ahti Oksanen, Cason Hohmann, Matt Lane, Robbie Baillargeon, Nick Roberto and Nikolas Olsson. All six of these forwards have at least 11 points.

“Their depth probably doesn’t get enough credit because of all that high-end talent,” said an opposing coach. “They can be very effective despite not getting their time in the sun like the others do.”

The Terriers have gone 27-7-5 on the season, winning the Hockey East regular season and playoff titles. While that top line has been impressive, junior goaltender Matt O’Connor has been every bit as good in goal.

O’Connor, one of the nation’s best-kept secrets until the start of the Beanpot tournament, has gone 24-3-4 with a 2.11 GAA and a .928 save percentage.

At 6-foot-6, the Toronto native has earned comparisons by many to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ben Bishop, a former Maine goalie who stands 6-7.

“They have a big goaltender who rises to the occasion,” said an opposing coach.

His 24 wins this season are more than he earned in his previous two seasons combined.

For North Dakota to beat the Terriers, it will have to stick to keeping the game from becoming a track meet. The simpler, the better.

For the Terriers, it will take solving McIntyre early. North Dakota lost both games it played in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in part because it was playing from behind after the first 20 minutes.

Part of the problem was late goals. Of the four goals UND gave up in their first periods over those two games, three came in the final 2:10 of the period.


  1. An opposing coach… opposing coach… opposing coach…..(both analyses)

    Did he/they request anonymity?

    • I agree, that did get a bit repetitive. Not sure why the coaches would need anonymity as their statements are not anything controversial or mind-blowing.

    • If he/they requested anonymity, their quotes should not have been used. Any coach that is so gutless to ask to remain anonymous deserves no ink at all. This Daver Karnosky, if that is his real name, needs Journalism 101 course.

  2. I am just curious as to how they decided on these two qualities.
    I have watched UND for many years (I think 45) and have never seen a WCHA team that passes the puck as effortlessly or with such precision. It is a rare event to have a UND line not pass the puch four or five times prior to a shot and those passes are usually ones I do not think a team in the 80’s could have made.
    At the same time I would not characterize this particular UND team as particularly fast. Though I have seen seen instances when a UND player has been able to exploit a breakaway and gain a shorty. But still, in my opinion, speed is not what sets this team apart.

    • UND maybe doesn’t have top end breakaway speed but I think what they do is use the speed they have to take away time and space and that is how that Eichel line wants to operate – lots of time and space to make plays. They just won’t get that opportunity on Thursday and I think that if UND can put the pressure on them that they have most opponents all season long they can force that line into some mistakes and take advantage. I think in a few games this year that I saw Eichel play teams seemed to back off and that is exactly what he wants. UND needs to get in his face and hit him every single time he touches the puck and I think that their speed will start to show even more later in the game when they will win those lose puck battles and that will be the different (I hope).

      • Every team BU has played has tried to take away Eichel’s time and space. They have mostly failed. Even if they have kept him off the score sheet, as in the Manchester regionals, his linemates scored four goals. The reason they cannot take away his ability to make plays is 1> he is faster than they are, 2> he is often bigger than they are, 3> his reach is long and he protects the puck, 4> he has great vision and knows where the open man is. So if you back off Eichel he will hurt you. If you don’t back off Eichel, he can still hurt you.

        • Thats fine the issue he is going to have with UND is he is going to have to face guys that are grown men in many cases on the d-corp who are stronger and have plenty of speed to keep up. Doesn’t even matter who he is on the ice with as 5 of the 6 of them have all been drafted and some of them fairly high. So my guess is that he isn’t the fastest player that UND has seen this year. Should be a great match up.

          • BU has faced many tough defensive teams. The UND defense has allowed 1190 shots on goal this season. BU has allowed 1168. UMASS Lowell allowed 1103 and lost twice to BU. Vermont allowed 1119 and lost twice to BU. Yale allowed only 882 and has the top goalie in NCAA and lost to BU.

          • So if that is how you are going to look at how strong a team is defensively then we have nothing left to talk about because you simply don’t understand the game. I’ve watched most of the UND games this year and a ton those “shots” that you are talking about would have been saved by any freshman high school goalie because they were from impossible angles and outside of any real scoring threat and UND will give BU 60 of those shots if they are dumb enough to take them. Again that stat is all you have to look at so fine, if you think that Yale or any of the other teams you have listed have the same depth and strength at defense that UND has then you are welcome to your opinion no matter how ill informed. Did you forget that Yale also played what 4 or 5 games less than everyone else? Thanks for the conversation it was great right up until the point you pulled out some worthless stats like “shots on goal” for the year.

          • Look at team defense any way you want. Yale, Colgate and Providence all rank higher than UND in team defense. BU is 3-1 against those teams. So I repeat, BU has seen teams like UND and outscored them by a combined score of 13-7.

          • BU fans really don’t get how easy their schedule was or what good shots are vs bad shots. UND gives open shots from far and closes down the second chances but BU fans just don’t know how to read into stats

          • Easy schedule? I am sick and tired of the fans out west telling us how tough every game is in the NCHC. HE is 4-1 vs. NCHC in the tournament. Playing in Hockey East is not easy western bloggers. can’t wait for the games to finally start. Hockey East and NCHC should play against each other every year for 2 or 3 weekends. That would be great for the game.

          • I agree. At this point the past schedules mean nothing. Whole new season. This is going to be a dandy. I really don’t know which way it will go but obviously I hope UND comes out on top. Is it Thursday yet?

          • Totally agree they should do the same thing that the Big 10 and ACC do in mens basketball and have the challenge to start the year. Don’t think it will ever happen though it would require a lot of travel and those costs start to add up. I hope they find a way to make it happen.

          • Actually, HE is 3-1 vs. NCHC. I think HE has some awesome teams, but lacks the depth of the NCHC.

          • I’m all for that too! I wish they played each other more often, it would be great for college hockey if they could get more match ups like UND and BU

          • Yeah but how great would it be if they did the NCHC/ HE Challenge like the ACC and Big10 do? Each team squares off against another for a weekend series one year DU hosts the next they are back east, same for all of the teams. The challenge is that they have 12 teams and we only have 8 so some of the teams would have to sit out each year but I still think that could be pretty awesome.

          • That would be awesome. Still don’t think you can read anything into results, would have to be played early on before conference play begins. Teams change, strength-wise, as more games are played.

          • Hate to have to hold your hand with this one, but this is not a ‘blog’. This is a comment section. The stuff above it is a ‘column’.

          • That’s isn’t fair at all. I can totally see reason and logic and most of the other posters that I have traded comments with this season or last I think will absolutely back that up. But come on, you have to admit that looking at how many shots a team gives up is a pretty weak stat right? He came back with something more useful but again goals against for the year isn’t as useful a stat in college hockey as it is in other leagues like the USHL or NHL where there is much more balance in the schedule and everyone plays everyone. Yale had the 30th SOS, my hunch is that if BU or UND played the 30th SOS that both their goals against would be lower, potentially significantly lower. So in college because of the unbalanced schedules, etc sometimes you have to look past the stats. Not sure but I seriously doubt that any of the teams mentioned have 5 of the starting 6 d-men all drafted, which speaks to the talent that the group has. I know that isn’t a “stat” so you may think that isn’t reason or logic but then we would just have to agree to disagree. As I said to Mike, if BU wins, best of luck in the championship game, lets hope that both teams come out of this one healthy and that it lives up to the potentially.

          • Well, stats are part of my life, but hockey is a game of the intangeables which is why I like it so much.
            One of those intangeables are that western hockey is rougher. If the refs call it as an east coast game than it will be along afternoon for UND.
            Another of those intangeables is how each team handles setbacks. I know this Sioux team is extremely resilient. Not sure of BU.
            All the stats in the world will never capture those two.

          • Most years I would tend to agree that the teams in the west might play a bit more physical but have you seen Providence play. A couple of those guys seem to hit everything that moves and BC was kind of the same way. I don’t think that this UND team is really as physical as past teams. I don’t think the refs will be an issue.

          • I have not seen Providence this year. Sadly, living in the desert southwest I am at the mercy of DirecTV in seeing only occasional games on FCS or CBSSN. That is why i pray ASU joins the NCHC….

          • I just don’t see ASU joining the NCHC. Having a league with 9 teams is a scheduling nightmare. If they invite another team to join and get them, then it could happen. Will be interesting to see where ASU lands but I would guess it would be the WCHA. One thing that the teams in the NCHC will be hesitant of is how long before enough of the Pac12 move up to D1 in hockey and they split off to form the Pac12 hockey conference? That would be just one of the concerns, with the other being ASU will struggle for a while at the D1 level and having programs that were more competitive was a primary reason for the NCHC being created.

          • I am hoping they join the NCHC and in a way it makes financial sense.
            The schools in the WCHA now are generally smaller and have smaller programs with smaler budgets.
            Thus the desire for the NCHC to get commitments from teams that have a greater desire to provide dollars for the programs.
            No one will ride a bus to Phoenix. Everyone will fly.
            The NCHC schools will likely handle that better financially.
            The question will become, can ASU’s flegeling program afford to fly to Grand Forks, Duluth, Miami, Omaha, etc. If they cannot it will be a short lived affair.

          • See now you are coming with some stats that I can see helping you make your point, well done. But I think that both you and I would agree that you can probably toss the Yale stat out a bit right? I think it is clear that the ECAC didn’t have the best year overall and if either BU or UND had played the 30th SOS in the country that their goals against/game would be lower than where it is today right? Look, I don’t discredit any of the teams that BU has played and I certainly don’t discredit BU, they have an outstanding team. I believe that UND has as much or more talent with their d-corp and goalie as anyone in the country and while Eichel is a special talent he is still just an 18 year old freshman playing against a set of defensemen that on average are nearly 22 years old (I rounded up from 21.667), lots of growth and development in that 3.5+ years.

            I also think that overall he hasn’t seen a team that can roll multiple guys at him the way UND will. I doubt UND will do what most teams have tried to do, in the 4 or so games that I have seen BU play, and match lines. They just won’t care, they will let it roll like they have pretty much all year. Anyway, I think it will be a great game and whoever is able to make the other team play their game will most likely come out on top. And if BU wins, best of luck in the championship game. Let’s hope that everyone stays healthy and this one lives up to its billing.

          • BU “has faced many tough defensive “teams”? Are you implying UND hasn’t? Shots on goal means zero. The real stat is scoring chances. Unscreened shots from the point, or bad angle shots from the boards are ones that any peewee goalie can stop. Every UND league game, except maybe CC, has been every bit as “tough defensively” as what BU faced. There are 3 NCHC goalies on Goaltending Leader rankings before you reach UVM one, all 8 NCHC goalies before you reach UML goalie. Great statistics you quoted, except for the ones you conveniently left out.

          • No – read my post. I am saying that BU has faced defenses as good or better than UND and done very well. I am not saying UND has not faced tough teams. Yale, Colgate and Providence have lower goals against than UND and BU went 3-1 against those clubs.

        • Eichel is a great player no doubt however I do think UND’s Dmen may be the best he sees all year. It should be a very exciting matchup.

  3. UND has speed but I’d say they win because they are
    Assignment sound, Disciplined/selfless and Hard-nosed. I expect to see a game similar to BU/UMD but UND is better than UMD (better goaltending, more consistent, same speed).

    A gopher fan rooting for the Sioux (yah, I said it) is strange but I will be. Don’t think BU will be able to withstand the never ending pressure UND puts on all facets of the game/ice.

    • Yeah BU has players all over the ice that can make plays. But I wouldn’t give up UND’s D-corp for any in the nation. Top to bottom each unit can move the puck (a couple more effectively than the other) and all are willing and able to jump into the play because they have such great confidence in McIntyre on the back end if something goes wrong. I think you are right about the comparison of UND and UMD, and if that is in fact true then I think UND can get BU. But that top line if they get loose and if BU gets ahead early and it has to turn into an up and down game, it will take a lot of luck for UND to win that type of game. But I just don’t think it will get there.

      • Agree. I like BU creative offense abilities, but I rate UND higher overall. I think if either team gets up by 2 goals it’ll be hard to make a comeback.

    • I think you’re spot on. I think the game will be won or lost with BU’s transition game – or lack thereof (due to UND pressure). If BU can stand the pressure and get the puck up and out and transition quickly, and move onto the attack, I think they win. Should be a good one. Can’t wait!

  4. I love this Frozen Four matchup (BU v. North Dakota). It’s no accident they are both still playing college hockey in April.

  5. This is a tough one to call
    Neutral Ice BU 6-0-0 UND 2-0-0
    OT Games BU 6-1-5 UND 3-1-3
    Game Spread BU 3.85 – 2.26 UND 3.29 – 2.17
    Depth BU 12 players > 9 pts UND 16 players > 9 pts
    PP BU 25.6 UND 19.6
    PK BU 83.1 UND 84.4
    Period #3 BU 68/25 UND 44/36
    PEN/MIN BU 11.56/25th UND 13.51/12th

    UND needs to stay out of the penalty box or BU’s superior power play will cut them to pieces. UND wants a lead going into period #3 because BU owns period #3 and overtime. Last year the winning team scored 7 goals and those 7 goals were scored by 7 different players. UND’s ability to roll 4-lines wins it for them if they can stay away from the penalty box AND hold on in period #3.

    • As someone who works with stats on a daily basis, they are largely meaningless in these situations. (All the fans of moneyball begin to call me out as a heretic….)

    • I disagree on that first point… BU is the team that has to stay out of the penalty box. They got runaround on D at times vs UMD 5×5. So, I’d be wary of too much time in the penalty box… either team.

  6. I love reading these blogs! The pro-North Dakota writers have watched them (for years) and not so much the Eastern teams, and the BU fans (not so many) the exact opposite. North Dakota has had the easier path to the FF, either because they are far superior or BU played tougher teams. To me, BU didn’t look nearly as good in the regional as they did in the Beanpot or the HE playoffs, where they were a cut above the rest. I think as others have written, an early lead and staying out of the box will go a long way to winning this game. In my mind, the winner of this game wins the tournament, but what do I know? I didn’t see Yale dominating the FF 2 years ago. Maybe PC or Nebraska-Omaha will win. Hopefully both games will be close and exciting.

    • It sure did seem like either BU was tight in the regional, or perhaps playing down to their competition, but they’ve certainly looked better.

  7. UND was sick for the NCHC tournament and it showed. They made Q and St. Cloud look sick in the West Regional. A healthy UND, with equal amount of puck luck against BU should win against BU. In my estimation, this is the national title game. Except it isn’t. Let’s hope it isn’t another UND vs. Michigan game from the semis a few years ago.

  8. UND fan here. I have gone back and forth on this one. I convince myself the game will go one way, then start to think the other team has too much of……fill in the blank. I have to say, this Eichel kid scares me a little bit. I heard about Eichel at the beginning of the year, but given the paucity of college hockey coverage on TV (depends on where you live of course), I did not get to see him play until now. I first saw him play in the quarter finals of this year’s NCAA tourney. His play was so impressive that I found myself wondering if Eichel was possibly the best freshman players I have ever seen…?? He has excellent speed, lugs the puck well, moves so smoothly (all the great players seem to move so easily on the ice), and plays with a knowledge of the game very few college players have, much less an 18 yr old freshman. The only thing I could not tell was whether he was a sniper or not, ie, shoots with great accuracy and power. Shooting is the wild card here, if Eichel shoots like Matt Frattin, well, it could be a long night for my beloved Sioux. If he shoots with the power of Evan Trupp, well, I guess this will be one less thing UND will have to deal with trying to corral this kid.
    It is so hard to pick a winner in this game. BU has to be the favorite, if for no other reason than location. The keys for UND in this game comes down to: 1) keep the game close and score first. 2) Compromise Eichel’s affect on the game…..easier said than done. 3) McIntyre will have to play the best game of his life if UND is to win.
    My concern with Eichel is that BU has other players who are very good in their own right. My concern is that we put so much energy into stopping Eichel that we allow BU’s other good forwards free reign to cause damage. Conversely, Hak can get a little arrogant at times so it would not surprise me if he told his players to treat Eichel like any other player on the ice (I have seen him do this before). If Hak decides to treat Eichel in this manner we could end up losing by 4. Actually, I think teams worry about top players too often. There are very few players who are so good that a special game plan is needed to manage their impact on the ice; Eichel is definitely one of those few.
    Quick question for anyone in the know:
    Is Eichel’s game substantially better now than it was at the beginning of the season? Or, did Eichel come in and play at the level we see him at now? In other words, was he a complete player on day one; or did he need to learn and adjust to the college game before his star started to shine? The answer to this could have some bearing on this game, at least to some degree. TIA….

    • Given BU struggled with OT against Yale and then had to score late to beat UMD, I’m not sure why BU would be the favorite. UND is a better team than UMD in almost every imaginable way that I have seen. UMD is 23 and 24 if team offense and team defense (and I know I have said these are not great indicators but maybe slightly better for teams that play a somewhat similar schedule like UMD and UND since they are in the same conf) and UND is 8 and 7 respectively. Our goalie is better and honestly if it were me, I would treat Eichel like any other player and just roll our lines until he proves that he is deserving of some kind of special treatment against a team like UND that takes away time and space as well as any in the nation.

  9. I like BU with the home crowd and arena. UND fans will be there in droves but I still think it will feel like home. I think BU wins a close one IF (and it’s a big IF) they can stop the defensive turnovers, and mistakes in their own zone. If they do make a few mistakes, couple bad penalties etc I think UND is too good overall to come back from a multi-goal deficit. It’s going to be a great game, i’ll be there!
    I’m dreaming of a Providence-BU joint “HOCK-EY EAST” chant ala the SEC chants down south. ha

        • Well done. Your reference to SEC chants is something the Boston “homer”, Jim Connelly, would say. Watch what you wish for, your “dream” could become a nightmare. Any “chants” would be only from BU fans, Providence fans will be sparse. There might be more fans from Nebraska at the games.

          • Yea I was just trying to be humerous. I do not think nor expect that to happen, Hopefully Providence fans will make the trip north. I did read somewhere (Boston herald maybe?) that MA residents made up ~25% of ticket sales, and North Dakota were another ~15% which seems about right. I would bet a decent chunk of the MA ticket sales aren’t BU-centric too.

          • Do BC fans ever root for BU? I was in Providence and there were very few PC fans. When I read the Providence player say theycame in “busloads”, I was wondering how many buses. Sunday game had a ton of empty seats, BC defectors after their loss. All the dark seats made it look like only half the lights were on for the game. Horrible lighting to begin with, terrible with empty seats.

          • Yea I noticed that! It looked like the game was being played in a closet or something. So dark on TV. I wouldn’t expect BC fans to root for BU. But I was thinking there were probably a lot of tickets bought in advance by just general hockey fans, businesses or event goers in Mass. area instead of specifically BU fans.

          • OK, I have to put in my two cents worth. Not that it means anything, but I like PC and UND. I believe PC underachieved all year and the confidence and John Gillies lead them to a 2-1 win. UND beats BU because they attack faster than any other team BU plays. O’Connor has a very nice save %, but if you watch him, he really doesn’t control rebounds very well and his D units get there to clear it out. Against UND, I don’t think they will get there fast enough. UND wins 5-2. On anther note, I think BC fans will cheer for BU… for the most part. So, I may lose both of my predictions, but I’ll be at the Garden and enjoying two great (hopefully) college hockey games… and one more on Saturday… regardless of the teams!

  10. Dont understand this comment: “For North Dakota to beat the Terriers, it will have to stick to keeping the game from becoming a track meet. The simpler, the better.” What is simpler than a track meet? Run a lap, ready, go. End to end hockey is the easiest. What he means to say I think is that UND needs to play complicated smart passing posession hockey with good defending, prevent the breakaways.

  11. As a fan of college hockey I will be routing for good games and for the underdog Providence (even though their logo looks like a grandma skating with a walker). As for the BU vs. UND game I am just hoping that it is a entertaining game, but high scoring not really caring who the winner is. As for UND’s defenseman being the best that BU has gone up against, I guess that is debatable. I will say that they are probably the best two way defenseman that BU has seen and leave it at that. Should be a great match-up.

    • Just curious who do you think might have the better d-corp? Because I haven’t seen every single team play this year but I also can’t seem to find a group that has that many that have been drafted, and I know that being drafted isn’t the end all be all but it is somewhat an indication of talent.

      • Not saying that UND isn’t the going to be the toughest that BU had faced, I’m just saying that you can make an argument for a Providence or a Yale. I’m just saying that it is hard to compare them since they are different styles of defense. I would say providence is more of a physical type of defense then UND, not saying UND can’t shut you down cause we know they can. But what the providence and yale lacked in my opinion is the two way or transition defense. I think that is probably what BU hasn’t run into before. And this is just my opinion based on the games two weeks ago since I can’t see the teams play throughout the year.

  12. This one won’t be as close as the Western fans think. I hate BU but they haven’t lost a game since late February. They are feeling it and I expect to lift the Trophy on Saturday.

    • Feeling it? They needed overtime and a goal in the last 2 minutes to get out of their regional. If that is “feeling it” I would hate to see how good they could be with whatever is better than “feeling it”. Sorry but UND is a better team than UMD in almost every way and certainly much better defensively and the UND goalie is up for the Hobey, so I think we know who the better goalie is. If they struggled with UMD, then this is going to be a much closer game than you think. But maybe they are “feeling it” and will just run away with the game. Good luck with that.

      • Midwesterners are pretty sensitive huh? North Dakota won’t win. Zane won’t win the Hobey Baker. And Hakstol still will continue to be shoutout of a title.

        • Not all tough guy, just think your comment is kind of funny. They looked like they were really “feeling it” to me when Yale took them to overtime. And again when they were just minutes away from OT against UMD. I think your comment is excellent. Just like most guys I know from the east coast who think they know something about hockey but every time they open their mouths, it just gets funnier and funnier. I agree that Zane won’t win the Hobey, personally I don’t think his season was good enough to make the final 3, there were a few others that were probably more deserving but he got it because he is the best player on one of the best teams in the country. Look BU might win the game but we should both be back on here tomorrow morning after the game, because I think that it will be a close game either way. Your comment of BU is “feeling it” just seems utter ridiculous.

          • As an actual Native American (my father is 100% Micmac), I am quite pleased at how the Sioux were able to muster an almost-comeback.

            Also, don’t try and insult me by saying the East knows nothing about hockey. Especially when we went 5-1 against NCHC teams in the Tournament. And the champion will be from Hockey East.

            Great game.

          • It was a great game and bu deserved to win it. But you have to admit that it was a lot closer than you had thought it would be right? You said it wouldnt be close and it came right down to the wire and frankly McIntyre picked a bad game to play pretty average but Oconnor wasn’t spectacular either. Eichel is very good, not sure I agree with the analysis of his first goal that it was all that spectacular but it shows how much hockey sense he has. Good luck to both teams on Saturday, should be a great game as pc is obviously playing better at this point in the season than they were earlier.

          • It was closer that I had said. That weird clear that O’Connor couldn’t handle really got NoDak going. Again, as a Lowell fan, I hate BU but my heart was pounding when it came down to the wire.

  13. I love reading these comments and am really looking forward to seeing today’s semi’s. I now live and work in Canada where the NCAA hockey programs are viewed as a threat to the CHL; hence, not much coverage…but thanks to TSN and the NCAA… a handful of games have been televised…including the FF’s both games. GO BU!!! I loved BU hockey for four years while attending BU & never missed a game.

  14. Miami & UMD looked like the 2 best teams in NCHC this yr. Both lost to HE. Omaha looked like a highschool team vs Prov. Imagine if VT, UMassL & UNH got in the Tourn. FF would be redux of HE Tourn


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