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NCAA Championship at Pepsi Center

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Gerbe Leads Boston College to National Championship

Junior forward notches two goals in 4-1 win over Notre Dame

DENVER – Boston College’s Nathan Gerbe didn’t win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award on Friday night at the Frozen Four, but he helped his team take home an even more importance piece of hardware on Saturday.

Gerbe scored two goals and added two assists to lead the Eagles to their first national championship since 2001 and third in school history with a 4-1 win over the University of Notre Dame in front of a sellout crowd of 18,632 at Pepsi Center.

The junior forward was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four after totaling five goals and three assists.

“Right after the regional, one of our players said ‘in nine days, our season is over,’” Boston College head coach Jerry York said. “But we stress the fact that when you win a national championship, your season never ends because you refer back to your teams.”

Both goaltenders were up to the task in the first period, with Notre Dame’s Jordan Pearce stopping all seven shots he faced and Boston College’s John Muse making saves on all five of the Fighting Irish’s attempts.

However, Gerbe put the Eagles on the board early in the second frame with his 34th goal of the season and fourth of the Frozen Four. The forward took a feed from linemate Brian Gibbons and deposited a shot past Pearce from the left faceoff dot at 2:23.

Gerbe made it a 2-0 contest at 5:37 on his second goal of the night and fifth of the Frozen Four. With the Eagles on a power play, Ben Smith missed the net with a shot attempt, but a diving Gerbe knocked home the rebound.

It was Gerbe’s seventh goal of the NCAA Tournament, tying him with three other players (the last being Boston University’s Tony Amonte in 1990) for the most in a single tournament.

The Eagles extended their lead to three goals with a power-play tally by Joe Whitney at 8:11, but Notre Dame’s Kevin Deeth answered back following a give-and-go with Kyle Lawson at 9:07 to make it a 3-1 game heading into the third period.

Lawson appeared to bring the Irish within a goal at 4:56 of the third, but after a lengthy review it was ruled the defenseman had kicked the puck into the net.

It took only 35 seconds for the Eagles to swing the momentum back in their favor on Smith’s 25th goal of the year. Stationed behind the net, Gerbe made a between-the-legs feed to Smith, who fluttered a shot over Pearce from the slot to account for the final score.

Muse finished with 20 saves for the Eagles, while Pearce stopped 19 shots for the Fighting Irish.

Boston College placed four players on the All-Tournament Team: Gerbe and Smith at forward, Mike Brennan on defense and Muse in goal. Also named to the squad were Notre Dame’s Deeth at forward and Lawson on defense.

Notes: Gerbe finished the 2007-08 campaign as the nation’s leading point-getter with 68 points (35g/33a)…The last player to score five goals at the Frozen Four was Dave Silk of Boston University in 1977…Tonight’s game was only the fourth National Championship Game in history to feature a scoreless first period. The other instances came in 1968, 2001 and 2007… The sellout crowd of 18,632 was the eighth largest in Frozen Four history.
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