Archive for the 'Frozen Four Live Blogging' Category

NCAA Championship: Notre Dame 1, Boston College 4 Final

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

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.

NCAA Semifinal: Notre Dame 5, Michigan 4 Final OT

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

10:23 p.m. MDT — Irish win it on Calle Ridderwall’s goal from high in the slot, 5-4, at 5:44 of overtime. The Cinderella run continues! And for Ridderwall, who entered the game with three goals this year, it’s his second of the evening. You never know who the star will be. Good night from Denver.

10:21 p.m. MDT — Five minutes into OT and nothing decided yet. Both teams have played to win here early on — and Notre Dame has had the better of the play. Nothing to lose.

9:57 p.m. MDT — And we’re headed to overtime. It’s after midnight on the East Coast, but we’ve got all kinds of time here. Can’t really say how this one will go. It seemed as if the Wolverines had all the momentum and it was just a matter of time, but then the Irish got a big one from Deeth to regain the lead, and it had the feeling of them holding on for the win. But then Michigan ties it on a fluke goal and we go to OT. Shots in the third, 9-6 Michigan and 29-21 for the game. On another note, the maintenance guys here come out at every TV timeout and sweep up the snow — turns out it’s something they do at every Avs game and indeed according to the guys, it’s happening at every NHL rink as well. We just haven’t seen it in the college game — at the least, I haven’t seen it in college games played in NHL arenas before now.

9:45 p.m. MDT — Hold the phone! Michigan ties it on one Pearce would certainly like back. Carl Hagelin just throws it towards the net from below the goal line, and it hits the skate of Pearce and goes in with 5:21 left. That makes it 4-4, and it’s been a heck of a game.

9:38 p.m. MDT — Just as we were wondering if Hogan could possibly get the start Saturday if Michigan completes the comeback win, he gives one up as the Irish regain the lead. Nifty move by Kevin Deeth to cut in front on a rush and beat Hogan high stick side. That makes it 4-3 UND with 8:30 to play, and boy did the Irish need that goal. It certainly didn’t look good for them the way Michigan has carried play the last two periods. But Notre Dame just might pull this one out after all.

9:21 p.m. MDT — Wolverines tie it up, 3-3, as Kolarik knocks his own rebound out of the air for a power play marker at 2:16. Looks like Cinderella’s luck has run out.

9:03 p.m. MDT — Looks like we’re ready for a good third period. Michigan certainly did get a lift in that period, and it’s now a one goal game after two (3-2 Irish). Hogan hasn’t really been tested, but he’s done what he has had to do as his team forges the comeback. 

8:39 p.m. MDT — All similarities to Game #1 are over. Michigan strikes for two goals in :13 to cut the lead from 3-0 to 3-2. Chad Kolarik took a feed from Kevin Porter and scored his 29th from the high slot at 8:48. Then off the ensuing draw and a rush up ice, Matt Rust knocked in his own rebound. I’m a little surprised Jeff Jackson didn’t use his time out here, but he probably figures that with the change in tone this game has taken, he’ll need it later.

8:24 p.m. MDT — Sauer is replaced in net by freshman Bryan Hogan (5 GP, 3-1-1, 2.54, .904) for the start of the second. Red’s obviously looking for some sort of a spark and I have a feeling he’ll need to get it in a hurry. They need to turn this around quick. 

8:07 p.m. MDT — Are we watching a replay of the first game? It’s 3-0 Notre Dame after one, as Ryan Thang just scored another short side goal on Sauer. That came with just :34 remaining in the first on the shorthand. In both semifinals, the underdogs have taken a huge lead after one, and in both games, the favorite’s goaltender has not had his best period. If this one holds up too, who does God cheer for in the final? Shots in the first: 11-9 Michigan.

7:49 p.m. MDT — Two goals in :42 have given the underdog Irish a big 2-0 lead over top ranked Michigan. Mark Van Guilder just made it 2-0 at 5:42 when he scored short side on Sauer from the bottom of the left circle. That followed a shot from the slot on a rush by Calle Ridderwall at 5:00 that went over the shoulder of the Wolverine netminder.

7:34 p.m. MDT — Semifinal 2 is just about underway, with CCHA foes Notre Dame and Michigan facing off. Michigan owns a 2-0 record against UND this year. Jordan Pearce in net for the Irish and Billy Sauer for the Wolverines in a battle of the schools with two of the best fight songs in college sports.

NCAA Semifinal: Boston College 6, North Dakota 1 Final

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

6:40 p.m. MDT — Eagles win, 6-1. North Dakota’s Jake Marto broke Muse’s shutout bid with 1:16 to play, firing the puck over the left shoulder of the BC dufflebag. BC goes back to the championship game for the third time in three years, and we will see if that third time is the charm. For the Sioux, possibly the most shocking and frustrating of the three straight semifinal losses to BC, as it didn’t look like any of the UND players had their best game. This will be the second straight year without a WCHA team in the final, following seven straight years with one from 2000-06 (and six titles). And, it will be the second straight matchup between BC and a team from the CCHA. That’ll do it for Semifinal One.

6:10 p.m. MDT — 14:17 left now and still 6-0 Eagles. A high-stick called on BC’s Carl Sneep gives the Sioux their sixth power play of the game. 

5:45 p.m. MDT — End of two now, BC ahead 6-0. In the department of “Stat of the night that doesn’t mean anything”, shots in the game are now 21-17 Eagles after an 8-5 edge in the second. This is only the second time all year that Lamoreux has given up five or more goals (UNH, 7-4 loss w/two empty-netters on Dec. 29) and just the third time he has even been beaten three times. I have to think even the most ardent Eagle followers didn’t see this coming. By the way, the Notre Dame-Michigan semifinal will start a half hour later than expected, at 7:30 p.m. local time (8:30 Central, 9:30 Eastern). This one should end around 6:45 and they’ll need about 40-45 minutes for the second game warmups and then to make ice. 

5:39 p.m. MDT — Not letting up, BC has gone up 6-0 now as Gerbe fed Ben Smith on a 2-on-1 for Smith’s 24th of the year. That came at 11:58, and we now have 2:05 left in the second. We’ve been poring over the record books, and the last time a team won by six or more goals in the semifinals was 25 years ago — ironically, BC lost to Denver, 10-4, in Boston on March 17, 1973.

5:19 p.m. MDT — It’s the Nathan Gerbe show. Mr. Hobey Hat Trick has seemingly dashed any hopes of a Sioux comeback by scoring his third of the game, a power play goal at 6:37, to make it 5-0. Gerbe lifted a backhander over Lamoreux’s stacked pads from the side of the crease for his 33rd of the year. He has a goal of each type in this game — shorthanded, even strength and power play. Of note, the Sioux lost junior D Taylor Chorney to a leg injury early in the period following a collision with an Eagle.

4:54 p.m. MDT — Mercifully for the Sioux and Lamoreux, the first period comes to an end with BC ahead by a commanding 4-0 lead. North Dakota had not allowed more than one goal in the first period all season. And, four goals is the magic number for the Eagles — scoring four or more, BC is 22-0 this year and 88-0-1 since Oct. 17, 2003. The last time BC lost when putting up four goals, the team that beat them was…you guessed it, North Dakota. 6-4 was the score. Shots in the first were 13-12 BC. 

4:51 p.m. MDT — Holy cow! Two more BC goals and it’s a one-sided game just like that. Lamoreux has had probably his worst period of the season. First it was Gerbe scoring again with a shot from the goal line extended that snuck through Lamoreux’s pads at 15:13 — the Hobey nominee tallied his second in less than two minutes. That came after a shot off the wing that hit Lamoreux in the shoulder, seeming to catch him by surprise. (Should have been a 4-on-4 situation — with the teams skating 5-on-5 but each with two players in the box, referee Shegos then sent off a player for each team at 14:59, but manpower didn’t change.) Then with just :15 remaining in the period, the Eagles’ Pat Gannon stole the puck behind the Sioux net and sent it out to Dan Bertram high in the slot for a quick one-timer that made it 4-0. 

4:37 p.m. MDT — BC has struck for two goals to take a 2-0 lead. Andrew Orpik converted a 2-on-1 feed from Kyle Kucharski at 7:08 to make it 1-0. Then Hobey Hat Trick honoree Nathan Gerbe scored on a shorthanded breakaway for a 2-0 lead at 13:14. That goal came just after some good chances on a Sioux power play — North Dakota’s power play has been very good this period, but they’ve hit a post and John Muse has been strong for BC.

3:53 p.m. MDT — We’re just about ready for the first semifinal here in Denver. John Muse gets the start in net for BC, while it’ll be Jean-Philippe Lamoreux for North Dakota. BC will start its second line with Dan Bertram centering Matt Price and Pat Gannon, and Nick Petrecki with Carl Sneep on defense. For the Sioux, it’ll be their second line as well, Rylan Kaip between Matt Watkins and Matt Frattin, and Joe Finley and Chay Genoway are the defensive pair. Matt Shegos of the CCHA will be the referee.

Live from Denver

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

The CHN crew has arrived in Denver, and everyone had the same question: Where are the mountains? It’s been overcast although somewhat warm, but snow is expected tomorrow and possibly Friday. It feels like it’s been following some of us. This morning I left Manchester, N.H., where the all-time record for snow came close to falling this year. Maybe it’s me.

Michigan has won seven of its nine NCAA titles in Colorado — although the first six came in the opening ten years of the tournament when it resided each year down the road in Colorado Springs. Michigan also won in 1964 in Denver over the hometown favorite Pioneers.

It should be an interesting week. Even though Michigan is the favorite on paper, I can see any of the four teams winning it. North Dakota and BC have done just about everything but win another title since 2000 & 2001, when they faced off two consecutive years in the final with each school winning once. And with the way they have flown under the radar this season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Notre Dame finally win its first championship. Yet Michigan has been so consistent and so good. Looking forward to three pretty good games.