Junior forwards Andrew Orpik and Nathan Gerbe have spent three seasons together at Boston College. Their first two seasons saw BC reach the NCAA finals, losing to Wisconsin and Michigan State. The Eagles have again clawed their way into the title game this season after Thursday's stunning 6-1 victory over North Dakota. Gerbe showed why he's one of the elite amateur players in the world, posting a hat trick and an assist in the big win over the Sioux. His shorthanded goal was the eventual game winner after Orpik put BC on the board early. The pair of 2005 picks will look for their first trophy skate tonight in Denver against upstart Notre Dame. The Irish come into tonight smoking hot after an upset win over Michigan. Take a gander at these articles, one on Gerbe followed by two on Orpik, to ramp-up into tonight's 7:00 start (Eastern). Gerbe Lifts Eagles High
“Our team went through a tough stretch, and myself I went through a tough stretch, and that’s when you have to look in the mirror and see if you’re being an honest player,” said Gerbe. “The coaches did a great job with keeping me from not trying not to cheat the game and just play hard and smart and it will come to you. That’s what’s happening right now. I’ve got great linemates, Ben Smith and Brian Gibbons, so that definitely helps out.” For the Sioux, seeing Gerbe play well against them has become a familiar pattern. Gerbe had two goals and two assists in last year’s 6-4 semifinal win over the Sioux. “He played well,” said Sioux coach Dave Hakstol. “Certainly we had some matchups in mind and tonight Nate Gerbe did a great job. Certainly he was the difference-maker in the hockey game.”BC's fourth liners also show-stoppers
York called Kucharski and Orpik, both 6 feet 3 inches, bookends around the 5-11 Lombardi. All three like to hit hard. "They use their bodies very well," said York. "We're all pretty big," said Kucharski. "We cycle the puck and maintain control of the puck in the offensive zone and just wear teams down. Orps got a big goal early there and all three guys were hitting guys and playing a good defensive game and that's what we need to do." Anything can shake loose with a well-timed hit. Orpik scored BC's first goal in its 6-1 semifinal victory over North Dakota Thursday, set up by Kucharski, before the natural scorers - Gerbe, Ben Smith, and Dan Bertram - took over. "The older you get, you understand your star players are going to get the most attention, and we understand that," said Orpik, who is tied for ninth in team scoring with 13 points (seven goals). "The older you get, the more you understand what a role player is. Nate's role on this team is to score goals. Our job is to get the puck down low, be physical on the ice, not get scored on, be a good defensive line, and try and throw some bodies around. The way we play, we know we're not going to be in the spotlight, and that's fine with us."'What's The Big deal?'
Like his brother before him, Andrew (6-3, 215) provides a physical dimension to a team dominated by small, quick, highly skilled players. He plays on a line with Matt Lombardi and the only other Eagle forward to top six feet, Kyle Kucharski (6-3, 200). “You look at BC and stereotypically we’re a small team,” Orpik says. “What our coaches like our line to do is to get the puck down low, cycle, and wear down their defensemen so when our top lines get out there they’ll be tired from dealing with us down low. “The coaches don’t look for us to score goals. If you’re a hockey player, you want to score goals, but the older you get, the more you understand what your role is on the team. Anytime we get a goal, it’s a bonus.” After scoring a “bonus” of six goals coming into the Frozen Four, Orpik picked a terrific time to add a seventh. He drew first blood against the Sioux, setting the table for Nathan Gerbe’s subsequent hat trick explosion.