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North Dakota, Boston University Skate to 3-3 Tie in Series Finale

North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol was happy with his team's compete level in Saturday's 3-3 tie.

BU freshman Nick Roberto had a goal in Saturday's 3-3 tie with North Dakota.
BU freshman Nick Roberto had a goal in Saturday's 3-3 tie with North Dakota.
Jeff Cox

Boston, Mass. -- Matt O'Connor stopped 55 North Dakota shots to help Boston University preserve a 3-3 tie at Agganis Arena in front of 4,378 fans on Saturday night.

O'Connor faced more shots than any BU goaltender since Kieran Milan stopped 68 of 72 in a double overtime victory over New Hampshire on March 11, 2012 in the Hockey East Quarterfinals.

"I think maybe once in juniors," said O'Connor when asked if he had ever faced this many shots before. "Definitely getting the shots early gets the mental flow down. It allowed me to stay focused. I think there were a few times when my rebound control might have been off which is why there were so many shots," added the sophomore from Toronto, Ontario.

"It's huge knowing if you make a bad turnover he has our back," said freshman forward Nick Roberto.

North Dakota came out with a lot of intensity to try to set the tempo in the first period.

"We wanted to come out and compete tonight. That was our issue last night. We didn't compete at the level we expect to play at through a 60 minute game. We didn't have a lot of comfortable guys in our locker room today and I think we played that way. Our team got a little better and now it's a matter of holding that level," said North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol.

"[UND] tried getting us off our game. There was a lot of stuff after the whistle, and I thought we did a good job not retaliating with them. Michigan was pretty tough physically. The teams from out west are usually more physical than out here that's more finesse," added Roberto.

"I thought North Dakota played very well tonight. Early on we were unable to match their intensity and desperation," said BU head coach David Quinn.

Garrett Noonan started the scoring with a power play goal at the 6:57 mark of the first period. The senior stepped around a North Dakota defender and wristed the puck into the top corner.

Bryn Chyzyk, on a delayed penalty, evened the score less than two minutes later when his wrist shot squirted under the arm of O'Connor.

Roberto's pinpoint shot from the right circle gave the Terriers a 2-1 lead at the 6:59 mark of the second period. The Kimball Union alum was set up by a nice feed from in back of the goal line by Danny O'Regan.

"It was a quick one-timer. I knew I had to get it off quick, especially down low. Any shot is good. I felt the goalie was a little out of place, and I tried to go far post," said Roberto.

Just 14 seconds later North Dakota responded with a goal line feed of its own. Michael Parks gave a centering feed to Stephane Pattyn who found the top corner past O'Connor.

North Dakota took its first lead of the game 6:45 into the third period when Adam Tambellini deposited the puck into a virtually open net on a cross-slot pass from Brendan O'Donnell.

The Terriers tied the score midway through the period on a transition play. Robbie Baillargeon gave a centering pass to Evan Rodrigues whose pass attempt was deflected and left on the doorstep for Baillargeon to tip into an open net.

Boston University (6-6-1) is unbeaten in its last three outings heading into next Saturday's Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden in New York City against Cornell. North Dakota, winless in its last three games, is now 4-6-2 and will host St. Lawrence next weekend at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.

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Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.