Michigan State Wins 2007 Hockey National Championship

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Justin Abdelkader snapped a tie with 18.9 seconds to go, seconds after ringing a shot off the post in Michigan State's 3-1 victory over Boston College in the NCAA hockey championship game Saturday night.
Chris Mueller added an empty-net goal with 1.2 seconds left to clinch it for the Spartans (26-13-3), a lightly regarded No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional when the tournament began. Michigan State, playing in front of a record crowd of 19,402, won its third championship and first since 1986.
Tim Kennedy tied it midway through the third period, and set up the go-ahead goal from behind the net when he spun off his man and passed the puck in front. Abdelkader, the MVP of the finals, beat Cory Schneider for his 15th goal and first in nine games.
Brian Boyle scored in the second period for Boston College (29-11-2), which had won 13 in a row before the final. The Eagles lost in the championship game for the second straight year. They lost 2-1 to Wisconsin in 2006.
Michigan State coach Rick Comley also won it all with Northern Michigan in 1991. He and Boston College's Jerry York are among three coaches to win championships at two schools.
Boston College's success on the power play was a key to its drive to the final, with a 35.6 success rate and three goals in the semifinals against North Dakota. Michigan State held the Eagles to 1-for-4 with the man advantage and was 17-for-18 on the penalty kill in the tournament.
Kennedy tied it at 1 midway through the third period on a power play, breaking in alone after a faceoff just outside the zone and beating Schneider to the stick side. Kennedy has 18 goals, five in the last seven games.
Boyle was credited with his 19th goal when Brock Bradford's shot from the top of the left circle deflected off his leg before beating Michigan State goalie Jeff Lerg at 6:50 of the second. Bradford stole the puck when the Spartans' Jim McKenzie stumbled near the boards in his own end.
Michigan State outshot the Eagles 9-3 the rest of the period, getting most of its chances on three consecutive power plays that began at about the 8 1/2-minute mark. Schneider made several nice saves, stopping Tim Crowder alone in front and denying Mueller on two attempts from close range at the end of the third penalty-kill.
Boston College gave up the only shot on its first power play midway through the first period, with Abdelkader getting a decent short-handed shot for the Spartans. Boston College got warmed up after going without a shot the first five minutes of the game, with a 13-6 advantage in the period.
Michigan State was the second No. 3 seed to make it to the championship game since the bracket was expanded to 16 teams in 2003. Boston College made it last year as a No. 3 seed.


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