Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Terriers and Gophers renew rivalry

Saturday’s BU-Minnesota regional NCAA game will be the 25th meeting between the schools and the eighth in NCAA tournament play.
● Daily Free Press preview
Jack Parker’s comments from the Hockey East Coaches’ Conference Call
● TV coverage: NESN and Fox Sports North Plus
● Online coverage: ESPN3
● Western Regional Central

We begin our look back at previous BU vs. Minnesota NCAA matchups with the 1971 NCAA Championship Game.

Terriers and Gophers faced off for the national title in Syracuse, N.Y., 41 years ago yesterday. The teams had only met twice before: a Minnesota win at Boston Arena in 1963 and a BU victory at Madison Square Garden three years later.

BU had originally been scheduled to host the 1971 Final Four, but when a labor strike delayed completion of Walter Brown Arena, the venue was moved to the ancient War Memorial Coliseum in Syracuse.

The final was the second meeting of the teams that season. BU had hosted the Gophers at Boston Arena in its seventh game of the season. Terriers manhandled the visitors, 6-0, as they roared out to a 13-0-1 record (and finished at 28-2-1).

The rematch in final game—after BU doubled up Denver in one semifinal and Minny edged Harvard in the other—was somewhat closer. All-American and team captain Steve Stirling (photo) opened the scoring on the power play and Bob Gryp doubled the lead midway through the first period. Stirling’s unassisted goal in the middle period extended the lead—and proved to be the game-winner—before Minnesota finally got on the board at 13:07 of the third. Ron Anderson’s goal at 17:45 put the game out of reach, although the Gophers added a late goal by (current Nebraska-Omaha coach) Dean Blais. Dan Brady made 30 saves to earn Most Outstanding Player Honors.
●Sports Illustrated recap of 1971 championship game
●Video highlights

Editor's Note: The Daily Free Press student reporters, who cover Terrier hockey throughout the season and who provide the live in-game blogs that many BU fans follow, are reaching out to the BU Hockey community for support to fund their transportation St. Paul for this weekend's regional NCAA games. Further details are here.

Looking ahead
2013 recruit
Brendan Collier, who led Malden Catholic to a second consecutive Massachusetts Super 8 championship, has been named ESPN/Boston’s Mr. Hockey. The Charlestown, Mass., native led all Division 1 scorers this season with a 26-39-65 line.

Looking back
Former Terrier captain and Blues d-man
Kevin Shattenkirk, in his second NHL season, ranks sixth among NHL blueliners in plus-minus with +23. He’s 17th in points with 37 (9-28).

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