Frozen Four semi-finals recap: Providence, BU win
College Contributor Network
Thursday, April 9 semifinals (TD Garden, Boston, Mass.)
Providence 4, Nebraska-Omaha 1
First Period- None
Second Period- Noel Acciari 11:02, assisted by Nick Saracino, Brian Pinho (1-0 Providence)
Mark Jankowski 14:58, assisted by Nick Saracino, Jake Walman (2-0 Providence)
Third Period- Jake Guentzel 10:46, assisted by Tyler Vesel (2-1 Providence)
Trevor Mingoia- 11:10, assisted by Mark Jankowski and Ross Mauermann (3-1 Providence)
Nick Saracino-19:29 empty netter (4-1 Providence)
Jon Gillies (Providence)- 25 saves on 26 shots, Ryan Massa (Nebraska-Omaha), 44 saves on 47 shots.
This one was simply all Providence. The Friars came out of the gate with a spark, holding on to a 16-9 shot advantage after one frame. As the game progressed, Providence was able to thread passes with more ease, getting plenty of opportunities. A lot of that can be credited to their outstanding play along the walls. For what seemed to be the full 60-minutes, the Friars were winning scrums along the boards and turning them into transition opportunities.
Nebraska-Omaha was largely a disappointment, much to the chagrin of the large Mavericks fan base, who took the trip out to the TD Garden. They had a tough time breaking pucks out into their offensive zone, and the few chances they did get were not nearly enough to consistently challenge Gillies. Passing was an issue all night long, in what was a lackluster effort against the stifling Providence defense.
Boston University 5, North Dakota 3
First Period- Jack Eichel 4:59, assisted by Danny O'Reagan and Ahti Oksanen (1-0 Boston University)
Brandon Hickey 19:12, assisted by Cason Homann, Robbie Baillargeon (2-0 Boston University)
Second Period- Luke Johnson :44, assisted by Tucker Poolman and Jordan Schmaltz (2-1 Boston University)
A.j. Greer 11:20, assisted by Jack Eichel and Brien Diffley (3-1 Boston University)
Third Period- Doyle Somerby 13:10, assisted by Brien Diffley (4-1 Boston University)
Troy Stecher 12:10, unassisted (4-2 Boston University)
Connor Gaarder 16:17 , assisted by Nick Mattson and Brendan O'Donnell (4-3 Boston University)
Jack Eichel 19:41 (empty-net), assisted by Cason Hohmann and Matt Grzelcyk (5-3 Boston University)
Boston University started off the game uncharacteristically hot to open the game. After starting slow out of the gates their past couple games, the Terriers established themselves as the more physical team from the get-go, while also using their speed to get out and run on North Dakota. Jack Eichel, the consensus No. 2 pick in this year's NHL Draft from North Chelmsford, set the tempo scoring just 4:59 into the game, finding a puck on his stick from the slot and backhanding it into the back-of-the-net.
North Dakota would get a goal just 44 seconds into the second period and controlled the pace of play for a large portion of the frame. Unfortunately for North Dakota, Boston's defense limited a lot of quality scoring chances, breaking down the play before North Dakota could get the puck into the offensive zone. Despite a furious North Dakota rally late in the third, in which they got the last four grade-A scoring opportunities pulling the score within one, the Terriers showed a resiliency they have all season long stopping the comeback in its tracks and holding on for the win.
Matt O'Connor and Evan Rodrigues both had mental lapses, with O'Connor misplaying a puck off the wall, allowing North Dakota to tap in an easy goal. Rodrigues, the No. 2 scorer in the nation, took a bad penalty late in the game raising his stick into the throat area of Stephane Pattyn, resulting in matching unsportsmanlike conduct, after Pattyn tried to retaliate. The young Terrriers squad will need to keep their discipline in place against the veteran Friars.
Joshua Brown is a sports correspondent for the Boston Globe. He is a color commentator for Northeastern University basketball and hockey and also writes for USCHO and College Hoops Daily. Follow him on twitter @josh_brown31