I had forgotten the last Gophers vs. Boston College game and I was there. It was my first year on the Gophers' beat and they were shipped off to Worcester, Mass., for the Northeast Regional.
BC won the game 5-2, but it was a competitive game, with the Eagles leading only 2-1 after two periods and an interesting twist at the end I forgot with goals being added and taken away.
What do I remember? An old arena in an old Massachusetts town. Walking several blocks to the rink. A nice spread of food for the media. Getting hit with a T-shirt -- I was looking down -- somebody shot way, way up with one of those air guns into the crowd. Everyone around me laughed. I didn't.
BC went on to win the NCAA title that year, the Gophers went home.
Here is my game story ...
With 45 seconds left to play and Boston College holding an
apparent four-goal lead Saturday, the Gophers needed a miracle to
keep their season going.
As it turned out, Minnesota had a better chance of winning than
The final score was 5- 2 Boston College in this first-round game
of the Northeast Regional, so this bizarre finish needs explaining.
Forty-five seconds after a BC empty-net goal, the game was
stopped for about 10 minutes as officials tried to decide whether
the Gophers' Ben Gordon had scored a power-play goal with 3:27 left.
Eventually they ruled Gordon's shot went into the net from 25
The review had to wait until a stoppage in play, and the
officials also erased Boston College's last goal. Booing was
minimal, even in front a partisan BC crowd, because many of the
7,357 fans had left the DCU Center.
Not only did the score change from 5-1 to 4- 2 BC, the clock was
reset to the time of Gordon's goal. The smaller lead gave the
Gophers hope, and they pulled goalie Alex Kangas for an extra skater.
"We were all pretty sure it went in," Gordon said. "And it kind
of gave us a chance and we had some chances after it. Who knows, if
we could have popped in another quick one, it might have gone down
to the wire."
This was a Gophers team known more for its defense than scoring.
Remember the 10 goals in eight games in midseason? "It has not been
easy for this team to score all season," Gophers coach Don Lucia
BC coach Jerry York admitted the review could have changed the game.
"That was an interesting scenario at the end of the game," York
said, "when they erased our goal and went back to the previous
time. If they score a goal then, all the momentum switches to them."
But the Gophers could not get a third goal to make the Eagles
sweat more. Instead, York won for the 800th time in his career and
his team will play Miami (Ohio) for the regional title today.
York is 800-515-84 in 36 seasons at three colleges, including BC
"They're an opportunistic team," Lucia said of the Eagles. "We
could not get into a shootout with them. We just could not hold
them to two.
"They are really good around the net, they really swarm to the
blue paint. I knew this would be a difficult matchup. There is a
reason they have played for the national title the past two years."
Boston College (22-11-8) took a 1-0 lead on Ben Smith's
power-play goal at 6:33 of the first period. The Gophers' Mike Howe
tied it at 3:01 of the second period on a backhander.
Five minutes later, the teams took turns with odd-man rushes. A
Boston College defenseman deflected a pass on the Gophers' chance.
Then it was BC's turn on a 2-on-1. A backpedaling Fischer committed
to his left to stop Joe Whitney with the puck.
Seeing that, Whitney passed to Benn Ferriero, who scored from the
left hash marks at 7:58 to make it 2-1 Eagles.
"I felt being down 2-1 going into the third period was
manageable," Lucia said.
But the Eagles soon increased their lead after an early power
play in the third period seemed to recharge them. Pat Gannon scored
at 4:25 from the edge of the crease and Whitney at 8:46 on a nifty
spin-and-fire move to make it 4-1.