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New York — So many North Dakota fans traveled to the Big Apple for the inaugural College Hockey Showdown that Madison Square Garden felt like Ralph Engelstad Arena East on Saturday night.
All those screaming, green-clad folks turned the event into a Fighting Hawks home game as No. 9 UND defeated No. 3 Boston College, 4-3, in its first appearance at MSG. North Dakota coach Brad Berry appreciated the magnitude of both the setting and the matchup.
“We’re very grateful for our following, for all the people who spend the time and money, not only to come to the Ralph, but to travel on the road,” Berry said. “When we came to the rink today and we saw the sea of green here, it was pretty sentimental and emotional for our guys – I think there are a lot of first-year players who didn’t really know the impact of our following until they got into this building, and I think that will stay in the back of their minds.”
“It was a fast-paced first period, and with two great teams really going after it,” Berry said. “It had the feeling of a Frozen Four game, with a lot of good, skilled, and fast players.”
UND (8-5-3) scored four goals in the final two periods to hold off the Eagles. Trevor Olson snapped a personal 56-game drought by intercepting a pass in the slot and firing a shot over the shoulder of Eagles goalie Joe Wall at 17:59 of the third period to give the Fighting Hawks a 4-2 lead.
“It’s been almost two years since I scored my last goal,” Olson said. “It’s not my role to score goals every game, but it’s nice to get one, especially in a venue like this. It was a bobbling puck and I just wanted to get it on net, and it fell in for me.”
Tyson Jost opened the scoring with goals at 8:57 and 14:02 of the second period, the first off passes from Austin Poganski and Andrew Peski and the second with assists from Shane Gersich and Christian Wolanin. After Boston College (12-5-1) responded to tie the score at 2-2 at 4:34 of the third, Joel Janatuinen scored off assists from Johnny Simonson and Chris Wilkie at 9:06 to give the Fighting Hawks a 3-2 lead.
Skating with an extra attacker, the Eagles cut the lead to 4-3 with 8.7 seconds remaining.
Elsewhere in the NCHC
Cornell 2, Miami 1
Carson Meyer scored the Redhawks only goal off assists from Grant Frederic and Josh Melnick as the Big Red finished a two-game sweep at Lynah Rink. Ryan Larkin had 18 saves for Miami.
No. 2 Denver 3, Colorado College 1
Dylan Gambrell, Evan Janssen, and Logan O’Connor scored to help the Pioneers come from behind and sweep the Tigers to capture the “Gold Pan” at Colorado Springs World Arena. Alex Leclerc had 33 saves and Westin Michaud scored the only goal for Colorado College.
No. 17 St. Cloud State 5, No. 16 Western Michigan 5 (OT)
Jacob Benson had two power play goals for St. Cloud State and Mike McKee scored for Western Michigan to tie the score at 14:41 of the third period and force overtime at Lawson Ice Arena. Zach Driscoll made 29 saves for the Huskies in a seesaw match that neither team led by more than two goals.
Omaha 7, Wisconsin 4
Austin Ortega had a hat trick and an assist, scoring the final two goals as the Mavericks overcame a 4-3 deficit in the final eight minutes at Kohl Center. Kris Oldham made 40 saves for Omaha and Luke Kunin scored twice for the Badgers.