By: Jake Reiser
In one of the best college hockey games played this season by far, the No. 2 Boston University Terriers defeated the No. 3 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks in double overtime, 4-3.
This game has everything to make it a classic in the minds of Terriers fans. BU let up the first goal for the tenth game in a row, and came back to make it a 3-1 game early in the third period.
From a game delay in the middle of the frame due to a hit that shattered a pane of glass, UND poured it on to send the game into overtime, where everyone believed they had the game winner. A review proved to turn the goal over, and in the next overtime, the Terriers found the back of the net.
Both teams played a solid first period, until Rhett Gardner potted the first goal past Jake Oettinger. Joel Janatuinen grabbed the puck while Brock Boeser held Doyle Somerby against the boards, made a smooth backhand pass to Gardner in front of the net, and the sophomore held to drag Oettinger out of position to deposit a goal.
Early in the second period, Charlie McAvoy grabbed the puck and shot it to a crashing Doyle Somerby, whose short-angle shot sailed past a diving Cam Johnson to make it a 1-1 game. Only 28 seconds into the third, Clayton Keller won a puck battle below Johnson, and centered it to Bobo Carpenter, one-timing it to give BU its first lead of the night.
Four minutes later, Patrick Harper sprung Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, going backhand-forehand and extending the Terrier lead. Mike Gornall delivered a bone-rattling check to Kieffer Bellows, shattering a pane of glass in the BU end and delaying the game. From there, goal scoring shifted all the Fighting Hawk’s way.
On a set play on a draw to the right of Oettinger, Ludvig Hoff roofed a snapper to cut the BU lead in half. A nice pass just 3:20 later, and Christian Wolanin backhanded one glove-side past Oettinger to tie the game. Oettinger made 56 saves on 145 shot attempts by the Fighting Hawks.
In overtime, Wolanin wrapped the puck around Oettinger, and Dixon Bowen cashed it home, or so it seemed. After a lengthy review, the incoming rush was deemed offside, and the goal was waived off.
“When you thought they ended it, you’re obviously upset, but you see them go look at it and obviously, it took a long time so we knew that we might get another shot at it. I think we took advantage of the opportunity we were given,” said Oettinger.
A late power play for the Fighting Hawks spelled trouble in the first overtime, but the Terrier penalty kill was up to the task. The shorthanded unit killed all six power plays North Dakota had in the game. In double overtime, Clayton Keller spun at the point and worked his way back down the wall. On the other side, McAvoy pinched with Keller and one pass led to a one-time snapper that beat Johnson, ending a marathon game in favor of Boston University.
“I kind of stood up at the blue line and waited for Clayton to come up that wall there, I know he’s a dynamic player, if you put it in his hands there’s always a chance something good is going to happen,” McAvoy said. “I watched the play and observed and saw a lane going to the net and I figured he would find me if I was open, that’s exactly what he did and it happened pretty quick but I’m glad it went in.”
“If you want to win national championships, you’ve got to beat great teams like North Dakota and that’s a great team,” said Quinn. “I’m sure they’re looking at shot totals and scratching their heads, how do you lose a game like this, but our guys competed hard and stuck with it and didn’t get rattled and just a great win.
BU plays in the West regional final on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the winner of No.1 Minnesota Duluth and No. 4 Ohio State.