Five minutes into that game Goehring found his team two men down. "That was our plan: Test him early," Sandelin says with a laugh. The Black Bears pelted the little man from a variety of angles, knocking him flat on his back with the puck in his glove. He went on to shut out Maine 2-0.
The rematch with Boston College was now in place. The Eagles were led by defenseman Mottau and two other Hobey Baker finalists, senior forward Jeff Farkas and junior forward Brian Gionta. After falling behind in the fourth minute, BC recovered to take a 2-1 lead in the second period. Four minutes after the Eagles' go-ahead goal, Blais was frightened by the sight of Goehring's helmet being torn off by the stick of Ales Dolinar as the BC forward lost his footing in front of the net.
"I think it looked worse than it felt," Goehring, who sat on the ice for a minute before getting up, said later. Nothing could rattle the Sioux goalie. "I was disappointed by their second goal, but it was almost a positive thing for us," said Goehring. "I told myself, That's it. If they score another goal, it's going to be a great one. My teammates rallied around me, and I knew our speed was going to catch up with BC sooner or later."
With 17:17 left North Dakota tied the game on a slap shot by 6'3" senior wing Lee Goren, one of the few players remaining from the old Bunyanesque days. The Sioux went ahead with 5:38 to go when a shot by Goren rebounded off the stick of BC's 6'2" goaltender, Scott Clemmensen, to North Dakota senior center Jason Ulmer, who slapped it into the net. With less than a minute to play, Goren, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, stole the puck near center ice and wristed his nation's-best 34th goal of the season into BC's empty net with Mottau pursuing in vain.
That play marked the sad conclusion to Mottau's brilliant four-year career, in which he led the Eagles to three consecutive Frozen Fours but failed to end BC's national-title drought, which goes back to 1949. Eagles fans may be chagrined by the future presence in Boston of Goren, who was drafted by the Bruins in the third round in 1997 and is expected to begin contract negotiations soon. But worst of all for the Eagles faithful was the sight of the unwanted little goaltender dancing away from his net in celebration, along with the realization that their team had been beaten, in the worst of all Boston College ironies, by none other than the Doug Flutie of hockey.