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GERBE EARNS PRAISE IN FROZEN FOUR

Friday, 04.18.2008 / 2:04 PM / Features
NHL.com
The Boston College Eagles defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4-1 to win the 2007-08 NCAA title in Denver, Colorado.
Fans of the college frozen sheet traveled from east and west -- and north and south -- of the Rockies for the 61st Frozen Four to witness last Saturday night's Boston College 4-1 thumping of Notre Dame in Denver.

Before the game, a plethora of puck prognosticators from across the compass points weighed in with their championship choice.

After BC's win, led by Nathan Gerbe's two goals and two assists, Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson and BC's Jerry York offered their insights about the game.

Here are the fans and the Frozen Four coaches' comment.

Frozen Four fan poll


No fan on either side of the many BC and Notre Dame predictions pegged the exact 4-1 outcome. Congrats, however, for some close guesses to the following fans with their scores -- and comments.

"BC, 3-1," said Mike Evans from Denver via Boston. "Power plays will be the key."

"BC, 4-2," offered Mary Soya, also from Denver. "They're aggressive and don't want second three years in a row."

"BC, 4-2," said Anthony Giuliano from Boston. "They have pure speed."

"BC, 4-2," said one brother, Dan Newman, from Eagan, Minn., at the Frozen Four with his dad and brother Eric who was going with Notre Dame. "Too fast and quick for Notre Dame," said Dan.

“BC, 5-2," predicted the dad, Jeff Newman. "Because Gerbe is the most outstanding player on the ice and the depth is much better for Boston College."

“BC, 5-3," guessed Evan Cohn from Los Angeles. "Nathan Gerbe -- he's like a little Paul Kariya."

"BC, 4-3," said 12-year-old Jon Saucier from Simsbury, Conn. "Their goalie is too good for Notre Dame."
 
"BC, 4-3," announced Dean Price with his family from New Hampton, NH, after participating in the free public skate at the Pepsi Center before the championship game. Sponsored by the Metro Denver Sports Commission, Price and children, Ingrid and David, and wife Elizabeth were among some 500 skaters taking advantage. "BC has an even better team than last year when they should have won it," he analyzed.

"BC 3-2, no OT," said Tyler Roy at his first Frozen Four, and from Bonnyville, Alberta. "Because they beat North Dakota easily; they're on a high streak."

"BC, 2-3 in OT," laughed Megan Collins from Baltimore when asked if that score was the same as 3-2. "It is.I just love hockey either way and no matter who wins."

Ten-year-old Chris Karlsin from nearby Elizabeth, Colorado, picked BC, 2-1. "BC is just a better team."

Indeed, they were, Chris.

Coaches comment

Notre Dame's Jeff Jackson: "I thought they had us on our heels early on with their speed. ... Our team played a little too cautious. ... I think the advantage was their’s as far as the experience factor. ... Bottom line is that these kids gave us everything they could in the last couple weeks, and I'm proud of them. ... I think (the disallowed goal) was the turning point for us. ... I thought we had something going at that time. ... I talked to our guys about showing some poise with the puck because I sensed a level of panic at times with the puck. Not like they were afraid, but more afraid they would make a mistake. ... (Gerbe's) a dynamic player.  As much respect that I have for Kevin Porter, if they named the Hobey Baker after this weekend they may have changed their mind. ... God bless the small guy because he plays fearless. ... He plays with a lot of jam and skill and has good instincts. ...  He reminds me of (Brian Gionta); he might even be quicker than Brian."

Boston College's Jerry York: "Notre Dame and Jeff Jackson remind me a lot of our team in 1998. We were just starting to pick up the pieces and all of a sudden we're in the Frozen Four playing University of Michigan. They're going to be one of those brand name schools. ... Right after the regional, one of our players said: 'In nine days, our season is over.’ But we stress the fact that when you win a national championship, you're season never ends because you refer back to your teams. ... The defining moment (in our season) was the last game of our regular season.  We were traveling to Northeastern. The winner gets home ice.  If we lose that game, we would travel.  We won that game and haven't lost a game since. ... We don't really have a strategy other than how we were OK all year. ... It's just execution."

On Campus Clips -- Michigan's Red Berenson has been chosen winner of the 2008 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men's Coach of the Year. Michigan went 33-6-4, ending the regular season ranked as the No. 1 team in the country, and making another record-setting appearance in both the NCAA Tournament and the Frozen Four. … Hobey Baker Award winner Kevin Porter is the second Wolverine to garner the award since Brendan Morrison in 1997. ...The two other Hobey finalists were Miami senior Ryan Jones and Gerbe. ...The Hockey Humanitarian Award, which recognizes the player with outstanding service to their community, went to Williams College senior Will Bruce. ... Princeton senior Landis Stankievech was named the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner at the Frozen Four to college hockey's outstanding Division I senior student-athlete. "CLASS" stands for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School." Stankievech was also named a Rhodes Scholar last fall, the most prestigious scholarship in the world. ...The Frozen Four All-Tournament Team included BC forwards Gerbe and Ben Smith, defenseman Mike Brennan and goaltender John Muse; and Notre Dame forward Kevin Deeth and defenseman Kyle Lawson. ... Gerbe was Most Outstanding Player.

NHL.com's final top 10

1.    Boston College  (25-11-8)
2.    Notre Dame (27-16-4)
3.    Michigan  (33-6-4)
4.    North Dakota  (28-11-4)
5.    Miami (33-8-1)
6.    Michigan State (25-12-5)
7.    Wisconsin (16-16-7)
8.    Denver  (26-14-1)
9.    Clarkson  (22-13-4)
10.  Colorado College (28-12-1)

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