"It was a bizarre game," Boston University coach Jack Parker said after the Terriers lost to the Gophers 7-3 on Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in the West Regional semifinals. "At times, both teams had good territorial advantages and both teams looked OK. I thought Minnesota had the best of it as the night progressed.
"I really liked the Minnesota goaltender," Parker said "I thought he had a nice night for them."
Kent Patterson of the Gophers made 31 saves and gave up only one even-strength goal -- after a bad turnover by defenseman Jake Parenteau.
In the second period, Evan Rodrigues had two close-range chance for BU on the power play and Patterson robbed him both times.
"We know they had a real good power play and we gave them too many opportunities," Parker said.
The Gophers scored the game's first goal on a power play -- Kyle Rau at 5:55 of the first period -- and the game-winner on a power play -- Jake Hansen at 15:38 of the second period. But they were only two for eight and only had eight shots with a man-advantage. The power play hardly looked scary.
"There were other times when we did a good job killing our penalties," Parker said. "I told my team I was proud of them because of what they went through and how they worked. Even tonight, when things were not going their way, they kept fighting. We gave up some goals we would like to have back."
What BU went through was losing three keys players. Two left before the holidays, one because of sexual assault, the other, Wild prospect Charlie Coyle, to play major junior hockey in Quebec. The third left a month ago, again because of sexual assault accusations.
"There were a lot of good efforts on this team," said Parker, at the end of his 39th season at BU. "It was a good run for an under-manned club. This was a team that stuck together. In the second half of the season when everyone throughtwe would take a big dive, we played pretty well. The better team won [Saturday]."
Because of the player losses, Parker said that he had to use seven players who came to BU as walk-ons.
BU tied for second place in Hockey East, but finished the season 2-4 in its last six games.
PARKER: OFFICIALS GOOD
There were 18 penalties called in the BU-Gophers game, nine on both teams. Penalty minutes were29 minutes for BU because Justin Courtnall of the Terriers got a five minute major for contact to the head late in the second period and a 10-minute game misconduct.
The Gophers were two-for-eight on the power play, BU two-for-seven.
"I thought the game was well-refereed, to tell you the truth," Parker said. "I did not think there were too many penalties that were not penalties. The emotions sometimes takes kids into the penalty box.
"We took three penalties in the offensive zone [Saturday] -- 180 feet away from your net, you should not be taking penalties. It was something that was a problem with us all year long.."
A crew from the ECAC worked the game. The referees were Chip McDonald and Peter Feola, the linesmen Rich Patry and Glen Cooke.
The crew from the first game on Saturday also was from the ECAC. Either one of those crews could work Sunday's game between two WCHA teams, North Dakota and the Gophers.
* "We have a saying when we are recruiting kids, 'Make sure you talk to the parents,' " Parker said, "because kids don't grow up like their neighbors. If you don't like the parents, you probably are not going to like the kid. If you met Mr. and Mrs. Connolly, you know why Jack and Chris are the type of kids they are."
Chris Connolly of Duluth was BU's captain. His brother, Jack, is the captain of UMD's team which plays Boston College on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four.
* Parker said the Xcel in St. Paul was one of the great places in the country to have the NCAA tournament. "we have had success in this town in the past in their tournament," Parker said. "We didn't have the success we would like [Saturday], but I'd come back here any day of the week."