ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Boston College Eagles finally got it right. And of course, it wasn't easy.
Krys Kolanos scored at 4:43 of overtime as Boston College beat defending champion North Dakota 3-2 on Saturday night for the Eagles' second NCAA hockey championship and first in 52 years. It was BC's first title in any sport since the Eagles won their first hockey championship in 1949.
The victory erased a mountain of frustration that had built over the last three years for the Eagles (33-8-2). This was their fourth straight trip to the Frozen Four, but the first three had ended in defeat.
The heartbreak began in 1998 with an overtime loss in the title game to Michigan, then there was an overtime loss to Maine in the 1999 semifinals, and last year's 4-2 loss to the Fighting Sioux in the title game. BC got the ultimate revenge by beating those three teams in succession in the playoffs this year.
North Dakota (29-8-9) was seeking to become the first repeat champion since Boston University in 1971-72. Instead, the Fighting Sioux saw their five-game winning streak in title games end.
The victory also was a milestone for BC coach Jerry York, who has resurrected the Eagles since taking over in 1994. York, who coached Bowling Green to the national championship in 1984 at Lake Placid, joins Ned Harkness as the only Division I coaches to have won a national title with two schools. Harkness guided RPI to the 1954 title and Cornell to titles in 1967 and 1970.
Freshman Chuck Kobasew and senior Mike Lephart each scored in the second period to give BC what seemed like a commanding lead the way its defense and senior goalie Scott Clemmensen were playing.
Kobasew, a freshman who nearly chose to attend North Dakota, sent his long-suffering senior teammates on the road to victory with a power-play goal at 5:26. With Aaron Schneekloth off for hooking, Kobasew took a feed in front of the goal from Jeff Giuliano and poked it past North Dakota goalie Karl Goehring, who had been caught out of position.
Goehring, who shut out top-ranked Michigan State 2-0 in the semifinals, tried to clear a loose puck behind his net, but Giuliano stopped it and fed Kobasew for his 27th goal of the season before Goehring could get back in position.
Lephart, who grew up in nearby Niskayuna, made it 2-0 at 8:50 on a harmless-looking play. He took possession of a loose puck at center ice and skated in on Goehring from the right side, but his shot deflected off defenseman Chris Leinweber's stick and sailed over the stunned Goehring's left shoulder.
The BC defense and Clemmensen, who made 34 saves, shut down North Dakota's deadly front line of Jeff Panzer, Ryan Bayda and Bryan Lundbohm until Lundbohm helped set up two dramatic goals in the final minutes of regulation.
North Dakota began its 11th-hour comeback after BC was penalized for having too many men on the ice with just over four minutes left in regulation.
With nothing to lose, North Dakota coach Dean Blais pulled Goehring, who had 29 saves, to give the Fighting Sioux a two-man advantage, and the move paid off when Tim Skarperud deflected Travis Roche's slap shot from the top of the slot past Clemmensen with 3:42 left.
Clemmensen kept the Fighting Sioux at bay with a tremendous pad save on Bayda from point-blank range with 1:23 remaining and the North Dakota goal unguarded again. But nothing ever has come easy for the Eagles, and this game would be no different.
With Blais still in a gambling mood in the final minute, keeping Goehring on the bench, Lundbohm won a crucial faceoff in the BC end and got the puck back to the point to Schneekloth. His shot through a maze of players was deflected in by Wes Dorey with 36 seconds left and forced overtime.
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