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Burish Assists Badgers To NCAA Title

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawk prospect Adam Burish assisted on both of Wisconsin's goals Saturday night to give the Badgers their sixth NCAA hockey title and first since 1990 with a 2-1 win over Boston College before a sellout crowd at the Bradley Center. Burish, the Badgers' senior captain and third-leading scorer, joined sister Nikki as NCAA hockey champions, as Wisconsin became the first school to win men's and women's NCAA hockey titles in same year.

Boston College tallied the first goal of the contest when 2005 2nd round draft pick Dan Bertram assisted on Pat Gannon's goal at 9:01 of the first period. Gannon's first goal of the tournament escaped past Badger goalie Brian Elliott, who finished with 21 saves. The goal silenced the Badger-friendly crowd at the Bradley Center. Boston College withstood its own penalties in the first period, as Wisconsin's pressure and speed caused the Eagles to hook and grab quite often in the opening frame.

Bertram's hooking penalty at 18:03 of the first led to the Badgers' third power play of the contest, but the Badgers could not capitalize on the man-advantage. BC goalie Cory Schneider turned away 17 shots in the first period, as Wisconsin outshot BC 17-9, and had a 9-3 advantage in scoring chances.

Down 1-0, the Badgers opened the second period with more zest and aggression than the Eagles. After recovering from a hip check by BC's Hobey Baker finalist Chris Collins (34-29-63), the Badgers' Robbie Earl tied the game at 1 at 1:17 of the second with his 6th goal of the tournament. Madison-native Burish sent a perfect pass in front of the net that Earl was able to tip in past Schneider.

Wisconsin continued to create more scoring chances than the Eagles throughout the second period and skated more often in the attacking zone, but BC withstood the traffic to move into the third knotted up at 1. Wisconsin's power play, including Jack Skille working hard around the net, looked crisp, but could not convert on its chances.

Bertram made a nice centering pass on a rush with less than a minute remaining in the period, but the Eagles could not connect. BC's senior captain Peter Harrold battled an ankle injury throughout the contest, yet helped a young defensive corps keep the game tied at 1.

With 20 minutes remaining in the final of the Frozen Four, the next goal would severely alter the momentum of the contest. Adam Burish assisted on Tom Gilbert's power play goal at 9:32 to give the Badgers a 2-1 lead. The pro-Badger crowd would not let the momentum shift.

Boston College was not able to muster a shot in four power play opportunities, while Wisconsin was 1-for-8 with the man advantage. The Badgers finished the season by killing off its last 36 penalties.

2005 first round pick Skille, another Madison native, nearly made it 3-1 just a minute later on a 2-on-1 but was stymied by Schneider, who finished with 37 saves. BC made a late charge with less than a minute remaining, but the Badgers would not wilt. Chris Collins went off the post with under 2 seconds left that would have tied the game, but the Badgers hung on for the victory as Blackhawk prospects Burish, Skille, Jake Dowell and Matt Ford are NCAA champions.

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