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Gophers want a Frozen Four trip to St. Paul. Boson U. wants revenge.

SIOUX FALLS — On their way to an NCAA men's hockey runner-up finish last year, the Gophers beat Boston University 6-2 in the national semifinals in Tampa, Fla. Minnesota scored the final four goals, including two into an empty net, in a decisive victory.

The Gophers and Terriers will meet again at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the NCAA Sioux Falls Regional final. At stake is a spot in the Frozen Four, and as much incentive as there is for Minnesota — trying to earn a chance to play in its back yard at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center — Boston University wants payback.

"We have a lot of guys who haven't forgotten last year, with them ending our season," Terriers senior forward Nick Zabaneh said Friday. "We wanted this matchup. It leaves a sour taste in our mouth."

Added BU senior forward Dylan Peterson, "We've all seen 'Miracle' and know the historic rivalry between these two programs. … We can't wait for tomorrow."

The Gophers and Terriers have met nine times in NCAA tournament play, with Minnesota holding a 6-3 record. Saturday, the second-seeded Gophers will be underdogs to the top-seeded Terriers, though what's expected to be a largely Minnesota-focused crowd will have the Denny Sanford Premier Center wearing a maroon tint.

Minnesota brings a wealth of NCAA experience to the matchup with six Gophers having played in their fourth NCAA tournament Thursday and 18 Gophers having logged at least one NCAA game before this week. That paid off against Nebraska Omaha in the semifinals when a trio of fifth-year seniors led a rally for a 3-2 win. Center Jaxon Nelson scored the tying and winning goals in the third period, both off feeds from winger Bryce Brodzinski. Goalie Justen Close made 34 saves, several of the five-alarm variety.

"Our experience came through last night," Gophers coach Bob Motzko said, "and we're banking on it again."

While experience and depth have been the Gophers' calling cards this season, Boston U. has excelled with an offense that ranks fourth nationally at 4.11 goals per game and a power play that's third at 28.1%.

The Terriers, the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament, have one of the nation's top offensive players in freshman center Macklin Celebrini, a 32-goal, 61-point producer who's projected by many as the No. 1 overall selection in the NHL draft this June. The 6-1, 190-pounder had a goal and an assist in the 6-3 first-round win over Rochester Institute of Technology. He has nine goals and 10 assists in an active nine-game scoring streak.

Celebrini is not alone, though. Defenseman Lane Hutson, a first-team All-America selection last year, is a second-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens and has 14 goals and 34 assists. In total, the Terriers have nine players with 20 or more points and five with 30 or more.

All that firepower has Motzko concerned.

"Watching their power play on film, we can't take penalties, guys," Motzko said, referring to defensemen Carl Fish and Ryan Chesley sitting to his right during Friday's news conference. "They're dangerous."

Boston University admittedly wasn't at its best against RIT, being outshot in the first period but still leading 2-1. Goalie Mathieu Caron denied the Tigers on a couple of breakaways before the Terriers could find their footing.

"Not having our best and still coming out with a regional win is huge," Zabaneh said. "We know that, but we're not going to lean on that at all. We've got to play a better game."

The Gophers also know the recipe in March and April is survive and advance.

"We go back to Yale as the last team in [2013], Providence as the last team in [2015] – anybody can win," Motzko said, pointing to a pair of No. 4 regional seeds that won the national championship. "And then you want to be playing your best hockey at the end of the year. We survived [Thursday] night, and we've got an opportunity to get back to a Frozen Four."