BOSTON — Boston University still has Zane McIntyre’s number, but needed solid defense down the stretch to make its offensive production hold up.

BU freshman star Jack Eichel scored two goals and added an assist, Brien Diffley added a pair of assists and Matt O’Connor out-dueled McIntyre — barely — with 36 saves as the Terriers tipped UND 5-3 Thursday in the teams’ Frozen Four semifinal at TD Garden.

Boston University will face Hockey East rival Providence College in the final Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Terriers will be looking for their first national title since 2009, while the Friars will try to win their first-ever national crown.

The win is BU’s second over North Dakota with McIntyre between the pipes. The Terriers have scored seven times and won both games.

Eichel, who along with McIntyre is a Hobey Baker Award finalist, opened the scoring in the first on what appeared to be a broken play on the man advantage. Ahti Oksanen battled in the right corner for the puck and slipped it into the low slot, looking for a Danny O’Regan one-timer. The puck caromed to the low left circle, where Eichel corralled it on the backhand and fired it into a yawning cage for a 1-0 lead.

North Dakota had a chance of its own on the power play and nearly equalized, but O’Connor slammed the door.


The Terriers added another later in the first, again on the power play, when Brandon Hickey blasted a shot from the point past McIntyre.

UND got what it needed to begin the second — a goal. Running out of room in the right corner, Luke Johnson looked like he would curl behind the cage to set up the power play. Instead, he ripped a tough-angle shot short side and beat O’Connor to cut the Terriers’ lead in half just 44 seconds into the frame.

UND carried play for the next 10 minutes, hit the crossbar twice and whizzed a couple more just off target. But it was Boston that found the net again first. A.J. Greer sniped a shot past McIntyre on a feed from Eichel and Diffley at 11:20 to push the Terriers’ lead back to two at 3-1. Doyle Somerby then added another for BU at 13:10 with a soft shot from the left half wall. The puck slipped through a screen and under McIntyre’s pads for a 4-1 advantage.Diffley picked up his second assist on the Somerby strike.

UND pulled back within a pair when Troy Stecher converted a shorthanded bid after O’Connor misplayed the puck behind his net trying to slow it down for his defenseman.

UND pulled within one with 3:42 to play after officials whistled the Terriers for having too many men on the ice. Hickey blocked a shot and stayed down on the ice, but UND kept attacking and Connor Gaarder pounded the puck home at the left post.

Eichel added an empty-netter with 18.5 seconds to play to cap the scoring.

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