NCAA Championship: Notre Dame 1, Boston College 4 Final

Posted by: Mike Machnik

7:55 p.m. MDT — And the Eagles soar, for the first time since 2001 and third time in their history. All-Tournament Team: forwards Gerbe, Smith, Deeth, defensemen Lawson and Brennan, goaltender Muse. Most Outstanding Player: Gerbe. Good night from Denver and congratulations to Boston College, 2008 NCAA Champions!

7:39 p.m. MDT — Official quote via the NCAA’s Mark Bedics from video replay official Greg Shepherd: “The puck was kicked in the net by the Notre Dame player’s right skate. The skate was moving toward the goal line. There were sticks in the crease, and we needed to make sure there wasn’t a deflection off the sticks or the defender’s skates after it was kicked.” 4-1 BC now with under 4:00 to play.

7:19 p.m. MDT — The Irish just had a goal waved off that would have cut their deficit to one. This one will be talked about for a while. A pass from Ian Cole to Lawson hit both of Lawson’s skates and went in, but after a five and a half minute delay, referee Todd Anderson waved it off. It could have gone either way, but I think the fact that the replay seems to show Lawson’s right skate moving towards the net was what clinched it for Anderson. And now just after that, Gerbe feeds Smith from behind the net to make it 4-1, so with that two-goal swing, it looks like it’s just about over. I can’t see how any team could bounce back emotionally from that.

7:05 p.m. MDT — Special teams are the story so far (along with Nate Gerbe). BC 2-for-5 on the power play, Notre Dame now 0-for-6 after a Nick Petrecki penalty gave the Irish another opportunity that went by the boards. 16:21 left in the third, 3-1 BC.

6:46 p.m. MDT — End of the second now, still 3-1 BC.

6:39 p.m. MDT — That Irish goal has turned this into a pretty good game. It was looking like BC had it all but wrapped up, but Deeth’s goal gave ND life and they’ve dominated play since.

6:24 p.m. MDT — 10:53 left second, now 3-1 BC. Gerbe set up Smith on the power play for a slapper in the slot to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead, but the Irish responded less than a minute later to keep their hopes alive — Kevin Deeth taking a return pass from Kyle Lawson on a rush across the zone and lifting it over Muse’s glove. Needless to say, a LOT more action this period.

6:14 p.m. MDT — This is Nate Gerbe’s world. We’re just living in it. Gerbe has just scored two goals in 3:14 to give BC a 2-0 lead. First, Ben Smith worked it off the boards behind the net to Gerbe bottom of the left circle for a quick shot that beat Pearce far side. Then on the power play, a shot by Smith went wide, but Gerbe raced to the post and banged in the rebound short side. 14:23 left, 2-0 BC. Gerbe now has five goals in the Frozen Four — most since BU’s Dave Silk in 1977. He also has seven in the tournament, tied for the all time record with three others. Last to do it was Tony Amonte of BU in 1990. But Amonte did it in seven games, while Gerbe has only played four — back then during the 12 team tournament, the first and second rounds were both best-of-three series. BU played three against North Dakota and then three more against Michigan State before falling in the semifinals to eventual NCAA runner-up Colgate.

5:50 p.m. MDT — End of the first, no score. Shots favor BC 7-5 — but it was a very defensive period with few good chances. 

5:38 p.m. MDT — Another ND power play after Matt Greene cross-checks Garrett Regan into the crossbar on a rush and shot by Christian Hanson. Best chance of the period for ND came on that man advantage when Ryan Thang took a feed at the bottom of the left circle from Mark Van Guilder and fired it quickly on net — but Muse made a great right pad save. 3:24 left 1st, 0-0. We’ll keep an eye on BC D Carl Sneep, who went down after blocking a shot and seemed to be in some pain.

5:30 p.m. MDT — First power play of the game goes to Notre Dame, after Kyle Kucharski of BC goes for obstruction holding the stick. But the Irish aren’t able to land even a single shot on net. Still 0-0 with now 7:42 to play in the first.

5:12 p.m. MDT — The Irish have come out hitting. After Gerbe was checked effectvely in the ND zone, Brock Sheahan used the forearm to knock down Brian Gibbons in front of the Irish bench. 15:39 left 1st, 0-0.

5:05 p.m. MDT — We’re just about to get underway in the 61st NCAA Championship Game between Notre Dame and Boston College. Jordan Pearce gets the call in net for the Irish, and it’ll be John Muse for the Eagles. Referee is Todd Anderson from the WCHA. This is the first time the teams have met since Oct. 20, 2006, a 7-1 Irish win at BC. ND is 3-0-1 in its last four against BC, going back to a 4-1 BC win at home on Oct. 26, 2001 — the night BC raised its last NCAA title banner.

4:58 p.m. MDT — Game time is 5:05 p.m. MDT. The Minnesota Wild are here — I passed a load of their bags in the hall on the way to the elevator to the press box. That Stanley Cup series is tied 1-1 and resumes Monday night here at the Pepsi Center.

One Response to “NCAA Championship: Notre Dame 1, Boston College 4 Final”

  1. dmjossel Says:

    Mike, I have to agree with Adam Wodon’s assessment of the call: should’ve been a goal.

    If the NCAA can’t get officials who understand and can apply the rule as written, maybe they need to remove judgment from the equation entirely and either decide that no goal can go in off an offensive player’s skate, or that it doesn’t matter if the puck goes in off a skate at all, no matter the player’s intent.

    The phrase “kicking motion” is problematic. It doesn’t seem to imply contact at all, which from my perspective would seem to be a necessary element. So if the player makes a “kicking motion” but fails to contact the puck, that disallows a goal?

    Lawson did try to kick it, but missed. Even if Lawson’s intent is at issue, rather than his actions, given that his stick was also between his skate and the goal line, it’s conceivable he was trying to kick the puck up to his stick. He tried to use his stick to push the puck into the net, but also missed– but apparently the intent to touch the puck with the stick doesn’t count as much as the intent to kick it into the net, even when neither of those things actually happen.

    The previous motion from his skate was not a “distinctive kicking motion” at all, but merely a deflection. His left skate was perpendicular to the puck, and made no motion towards the goal line whatsoever when it made contact with the puck. Nothing touched the puck at all after that initial contact, so whether Lawson was making a “kicking motion” at all after that point is irrelevant. If the link between the “kicking motion” and the puck crossing the goal line isn’t actual contact, then what is it? Proximity? That’s a slippery slope I’d hope no official would want to go down.

    With all the time and equipment at their disposal in the most important game of the year, the officials can’t get this right– what hope can one have for every other game?