April 6, 2006
2006 NCAA Frozen Four Semifinal
Collins Gets Tricky
BC gets to title game behind three goals from its leader

By Jess Myers

Boston College 6,
North Dakota 5
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-BC Brett Motherwell (4) EV
7:43 A. Orpik, P. Gannon
2-BC Chris Collins (32) SH
12:34 M. Brennan
3-BC Chris Collins (33) EV
18:08 B. Bradford

Second Period

1-ND Rastislav Spirko (11) SH
4:23 T. Zajac
2-ND Rylan Kaip (3) EV
13:25 M. Watkins, C. Porter
4-BC Anthony Aiello (1) EV
15:38 Unassisted
5-BC Chris Collins (34) PP
19:38 B. Ferriero, C. Schneider
Third Period
3-ND Joanthan Toews (22) PP
8:11 Unassisted
6-BC Nathan Gerbe (11) EV
10:33 T. Filangeri
4-ND Travis Zajac (18) SH
15:42 D. Stafford, B. Lee
5-ND Brian Lee (4) EA
19:48 T. Zajac
BC: Cory Schneider, 60:00, 36 saves, 5 GA
ND: Jordan Parise, 57:57, 25 saves, 6 GA
Penalties: BC 11/22; ND 9/18
Power Plays: BC 1-6; ND 1-8
Attendance: 17,637
More Coverage
Comprehensive Notebook
Some keys to the Eagle win, our three stars and much more.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Perhaps this is what’s meant by the term “Hobey Hat Trick.”

Boston College forward Chris Collins is widely regarded as the least-likely of the three remaining Hobey finalists to be hoisting a trophy on Friday. But in the first Frozen Four semifinal, Collins greatly increased his chances of hoisting a trophy on Saturday.

Collins recorded his third hat trick of the season Thursday afternoon as Boston College never trailed, staking a not-as-close-as-the-score-indicates 6-5 win over North Dakota and earning a trip to the NCAA title game.

Held to just one goal in the Eagles’ regional wins over Miami and Boston University, Collins exploded on the game’s biggest stage, scoring twice in the opening period as BC built a 3-0 lead, then providing the virtual coup de grace in the final minute of the second period.

North Dakota had battled back to within a goal at 3-2 as Rastislav Spirko and Rylan Kaip scored for the Fighting Sioux. But Anthony Aiello’s first collegiate goal gave the Eagles a 4-2 advantage, and Collins may have slammed the door hard on whatever comeback hopes North Dakota was harboring.

With less than 30 seconds to play in the middle period, Eagles goaltender Cory Schneider fired a long pass to Benn Ferriero, who was waiting at the far blue line. Ferriero zipped a centering pass to Collins, who had gotten behind the North Dakota defense and was crashing hard for the net. Taking the puck in full stride, Collins fired a waist-high wrist shot, beating Sioux goaltender Jordan Parise on the stick side, for a 5-2 lead.

That would’ve been an appropriate game-winner, but North Dakota mounted a rally in the third, getting goals from Jonathan Toews, Travis Zajac and Brian Lee. That offense forced another SportsCenter-quality highlight out of the Eagles. Third-line center Nathan Gerbe scored the actual game-winner midway through the final period, deking Sioux defenseman Matt Smaby to the ice at the blue line to get a clear path to the net, then tucking the puck past Parise low on the stick side.

More than a year later, the Eagles felt they had finally avenged their 6-3 loss to the Sioux in the regional final last year.

“It was definitely in our minds,” said Schneider of last year’s loss. “They ended our season last year, so it’s always nice to return the favor.”

Chris Collins' first goal gave Boston College a 2-0 lead. (Photo by Larry Radloff)

Collins' heroics were just one part of a miserable afternoon for Parise, who allowed six goals on 31 shots. BC scored their three opening period goals on just five shots, beating Parise high on all three, as the goalie had his worst outing since a 7-3 loss at Denver on Feb. 25.

“I think I’ve had a pretty strong season up to this point, so no way did I think I’d give up six goals in this game,” Parise said. “They knew when to jump and knew when to get in position. I kind of expected that because they’ve got guys that know when to jump into the play.”

The first period was indicative of the trouble Parise had, as Brett Motherwall scored once and Collins twice, all with shots that went over Parise’s shoulders. Collins said the high shots were fortunate, and not part of any scouting report on the Sioux goalie.

frozen four chris collins
Chris Collins finishes off his hat trick. (Photo by Larry Radloff; click for a full-sized image)

“Actually, the scouting report was to shoot low, so I don’t know what I was doing there,” he said with a smirk. “A few times last year he got us low blocker. If anything, we just wanted to keep it at his pads and look for rebounds.”

By Schneider’s standards, it was a miserable game for him too, despite getting his 24th win of the season and the first assist of his college career. Schneider, who had gotten the Eagles to Milwaukee via two shutouts, stopped 36 shots but had his worst goals-against game since a 5-2 loss at New Hampshire on March 4.

“I’ve said all along it doesn’t matter if we win 1-0 or 6-5, just win and advance,” Schneider said. “That’s probably the most dangerous offensive team we’ll face all year, and there were probably a couple I could’ve handled better, but a win is a win.”

As for his teammate's chances to win the Hobey on Friday, Schneider said he wished the voters could take Thursday’s game into account.

“I’m sure the votes are already in, but I think they should have to reconsider after the way Chris played today,” Schneider said.