Three takeaways from Boston University’s 4-3 victory over North Dakota in the West Regional

Bobo Carpenter celebrates his goal in Boston University’s victory over North Dakota (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

FARGO, N.D. — Here are three takeaways from Boston University’s 4-3 double-overtime thriller over North Dakota:

1. Young Terriers growing up

With a sold-out, UND-dominated crowd at Scheels Arena, there may have been some people wondering if Boston University’s young squad would fall short of its potential, as the Terriers had done in the Beanpot final as well as in the Hockey East semifinals.

But on this big stage, in one of the most memorable first-round games in recent memory, the Terriers bent but didn’t break, even when everything was going against them. It didn’t matter that UND came back from a 3-1 deficit. It didn’t matter that the Fighting Hawks kept piling on the shots (145 shot attempts and 59 on goal). When Dixon Bowen’s apparent game-winning goal was called off due to an offside judgment on replay, the Terriers knew they weren’t going to let the game slip away.

“Throughout the season, one thing we’ve battled with is trying to play well beyond our years. We’re a young team,” Charlie McAvoy said. “Maturity might be something that people question is in our locker room at times, but tonight we proved that we can play our game and stick with it regardless of what happens.”

If the Terriers get their legs going in the Saturday night regional final, they obviously could wield a dangerous combination of talent and resiliency.

2. Unheralded Hawks key both Friday night and going forward

The offseason begins earlier than UND has been accustomed to in the past handful of years, and the questions abound about next year’s team.

Once again, many of UND’s top players are candidates to leave school early. Everybody in Grand Forks dreads this time of year, wondering what will be left in Brad Berry’s cupboard for next year’s team.

Friday night was at some level an indication that the core of the team cannot be overlooked, with standout performances from undrafted players such as Christian Wolanin and Ludvig Hoff, who had missed the NCHC Frozen Faceoff with an injury.

Berry will have to rely on Wolanin to put up more nights like the sophomore had Friday (game-tying goal and four shots on goal) to shore up a blue line that relies on senior Gage Ausmus and Tucker Poolman, who many expect to sign early.

Friday night was too early for the Hawks to think about next year, but the game showed that UND has some pieces on which it can build. First-round draft picks Brock Boeser and Tyson Jost combined for just one assist Friday, but the Hawks managed to find scoring from other places in its lineup. That might have to be the recipe in 2017-18.

3. Now they get one more

Terriers coach David Quinn was asked after the game if he thought fatigue was going to be a factor in Saturday night’s West Regional final. Quinn responded with the obvious: “Yes.”

A game with nearly 32 minutes of overtime sounds exhausting enough, but make no mistake — it was emotionally and physically debilitating for everybody involved, maybe even more than the total time would indicate.

It certainly will be a tough hill to climb for the Terriers. Since the NCAA tournament went to the 16-team format, no team has won a night after winning in more than one overtime (0-4).

The Terriers can’t do much about that now, of course, and Quinn said he doesn’t plan on changing their planned routine. Friday night’s curfew is probably safe.

“I won’t need to sing them lullabies,” he said.

1 COMMENT

  1. Overall, a great day for the NCHC —- other than not getting an explanation as to why Colorado College with their strength of schedule wasn’t in the tournament. I was truly impressed by the way our NCHC teams just steamrolled the competition.

    As always our UND fan base made the long drive to see our boys in Green and Black deliver numerous quality shots on goals against an overmatched BU team. We broke some windows and cut up some onlookers — could be any Friday night in Grand Furks. Moreover, our fans showed how much they love college hockey by filling the Fargo Dome for the UMD / OSU game as well.

    Fargo — which in Nurth Dikotan means this is as far as you go!

      • The NCHC 4th place team just lost in 2OT to the Hockey East 1st place team (3 way tie for first). BU was #7 to UND’s #10 and got outshot (on goal) by 30 shots. The possession and territorial advantage was embarrassing for BU. The NCHC 3rd place team just lost by 1 goal to a conference champion by 1 goal. The NCHC 2nd place team won in OT. The NCHC 1st place team will won on Saturday, guaranteed. Troll again but be smarter.

        • Your NCHC 4th placed team was home vs. a team that tied for the season’s title but has underachieved all year. BU had to travel, North Dakota didn’t. SIX power plays for UND to two for BU? Dominating w/o putting the puck in the net proves nothing. Kind of poetic justice that two lower seeds with home ice advantage lost…….

          • UND is always a home game. We travel better than any team in college hockey. Duluth had a pathetic showing of support for their team last night, 240 miles from home.

            BU did not underachieve. They were a first place team that had 30 more SOGs put on them from the opposing team. They ARE that good. BU can always apply to be a host school and then have their home game 80 miles away from BU’s campus and stay at a hotel AND play at a rink they never played at.

            Powerplays? BU took the penalties and earned their man-shorts while whining after EVERY penalty. UND was disciplined. Dominating w/o putting the puck in the net proves we were lousy at finishing and BU got a good performance from the goaltender. We screwed up defensively a couple of times and it cost us big.

            Find a lake and troll.

          • Of course fighting hawk fans travel well. They can’t wat to jump on an opportunity to get out of North Dakota. Can you blame them? The fighting hawks also lead the game, (like most games), in diving.

          • Yes, at UND we never whine after we take a penalty, we just look for another opposing player to injure.

        • Yes the NCHC was completely awesome. We showed why the NCHC tournament should just be renamed the national tournament. It was embarrassing they let these teams from other conferences in the tournament when its clear they had not business being in it. It was amazing how well our teams played in defeat!

  2. The Fighting Hawks played great in all but 2 phases of the game. One, they could not finish, i.e. score after dominating possession and territory. Two, they couldn’t defend against a long break-out pass to save their lives. On the game-winning goal, the UND defense just ignored a wide open BU player on the doorstep, just in time to lose the game and end the season. BU is not that good a team despite all their draft picks in the line-up.

  3. Ya undrafted Wolanin is actually drafted by the Senators. Writing articles that haven’t been proofread or fact checked seems to happen too often on this website.

  4. Not sure BU actually won when UND won the “popular vote” of shots on goal and shot attempts and possession time etc, etc.

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