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Somber in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - Nothing could save UND's season late Thursday night - not a two-goal performance by the captain, not a solid performance by the goaltender. . . . not even the lucky black jerseys.

ST. LOUIS - Nothing could save UND's season late Thursday night - not a two-goal performance by the captain, not a solid performance by the goaltender. . . . not even the lucky black jerseys.

In a similarly familiar game to last season's national semifinal, Boston College solved UND's second-half run with a dazzling offensive performance at the Frozen Four.

Nathan Gerbe broke a 3-3 tie with 4 minutes, 6 seconds left in the third period to give Boston College the lead for good in a 6-4 win over UND in front of 18,857 in the Scottrade Center.

It was the third consecutive season the Sioux suffered an agonizing defeat at the Frozen Four and it was the second straight season it came against Boston College in an atypical semifinal game.

"It's a very difficult way for our season to end," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "It's never easy to lose your last game. After all the emotions clear up a little bit, we'll put things into perspective and certainly look back with pride on what our team has accomplished the last six months."


Boston College won its 13th game in a row and advanced to Saturday's national championship against Michigan State by piling up 45 shots on goal, including 20 in the second period.

UND survived the ugly second period but couldn't get out of the third.

Just 32 seconds after T.J. Oshie (one goal, two assists) tied the game with a shorthanded goal late in the third, Gerbe scored the backbreaker, a power-play tally.

UND's Joe Finley was called for contact to the head elbowing to give the Eagles a second consecutive power play and they didn't take long to capitalize.

Boston College won a draw back to defenseman Brett Motherwell, who dished the puck from the point to Brock Bradford, who was down low along the goal line. Bradford fed Gerbe, who quickly fired a shot past Philippe Lamoureux's blocker for a 4-3 lead with 4:06 left.

The Eagles extended their lead to 5-3 with an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left before Porter scored an extra-attacker goal with 17 seconds left. Gerbe finished it with his second goal and fourth point of the night, an empty-netter at 19:54.

"If there's a second left on the clock, we're playing to get back in the game," Hakstol said. "As a team, you don't fight as hard as we fought all season long and then because there's a tough situation, you back off. That just doesn't happen. Not with this team. We didn't do the things we needed to do in the third period. That's disappointing, however, there is no quit in this hockey team."

UND finished its season with a 24-14-5 mark. The loss to Boston College was the team's first regulation defeat since the World Junior tournament ended in early January and the Eagles were perhaps the only team hotter than the Sioux.


Their recipe for success was a strong offensive attack and a power play that UND couldn't slow down.

Boston College scored three times with the extra man. Its only even-strength goals came on Gerbe's final empty-netter and Ben Smith's short-side wrist shot to put the Eagles up 3-2 with seven minutes left in the third.

That goal marked the first time the Eagles led in the game.

UND jumped to an early lead midway through the first when Chris Porter fired a wrist shot past Boston College goaltender Cory Schneider (25 saves) just as a Sioux power play had expired.

The Eagles evened it up on a power-play goal by Bertram about five minutes later.

In the second, UND took the lead again when Jonathan Toews scored from the doorstep on the power play, but Bertram answered again with another power-play goal.

"We knew what to expect coming into the game," said Porter, who led UND with six shots on goal. "They executed like they wanted to real well. I don't think we were surprised. You just have to give credit to them. The power play was the difference in the game."

Boston College had four players finish with multipoint games - Gerbe (two goals, two assists), Bertram (two goals), Smith (one goal, one assist) and Motherwell (two assists).


The six goals UND gave up was the most since a 6-2 loss at Alaska-Anchorage in mid-November. Still, the Eagles said they didn't feel good until the final buzzer sounded.

"We felt comfortable when Gerbe scored that empty-netter with five seconds left," Boston College's Brian Boyle said. "Before that, it was a nail-biter for us. That's the most explosive team I've ever played against."

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