BC Eagles are Frozen Four Bound
The Boston College Eagles have earned a trip to the Frozen Four where they will look to ice down the competition in the Tampa Bay heat in hopes of winning two more games and being crowned NCAA champion.
The Eagles’ first opponent was a Boston-area team and one they were oh so familiar with in Harvard University. Last weekend’s Northeast Regional match was the 124th contest between the two schools, but the first time the two had faced each other in the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles jumped on top early 3-0 and it proved to be too much as the Crimson were never able to mount a comeback in a 4-1 loss. Sophomore forward Alex Tuch and junior forward Austin Cangelosi both scored twice for the Eagles. Boston College now leads the all-time series matchup against Harvard 74-45-5.
BC’s win over the Crimson gave them a quarterfinal date with Minnesota Duluth. In the third matchup between these two teams in tournament play, Boston College survived a late comeback attempt and advanced to the Frozen Four with a 3-2 victory.
Senior defenseman Teddy Doherty scored his first career tournament goal 14 minutes into the first period and added to his total finding the back of the net again in the second period. Junior forward Ryan Fitzgerald extended the Eagles’ lead to 3-0 in the third. Minnesota Duluth did not give up, however. The Bulldogs scored two goals within three minutes of each other to cut the lead to 3-2. With the help of junior goaltender Thatcher Demko and his 28 saves for the game, the Eagles were able to hold on and secure the victory.
Boston College advances to their 25th Frozen Four and 12th under current head coach Jerry York. Their 25 appearances are the most by a single team in NCAA history. With their two wins this weekend, the Eagles are now 14-1 at the DCU Center in Worcester during tournament play.
Other Boston-area teams were hoping for a similar outcome elsewhere throughout the tournament.
UMass-Lowell advanced to the East Regional finals after beating the Yale Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime. Unfortunately, the River Hawks’ journey would end in the East Region finals against the overall number-one ranked team, the CT based Quinnipiac Bobcats, in a 4-1 loss.
The Boston University Terriers came up short in their 7-2 loss to the Denver University Pioneers in the West Regional. Denver amassed a 6-0 lead early in the third period and proved to be too much for the Terriers.
The Northeastern Huskies were possibly the hottest team coming into the tournament fresh off a Hockey East championship and 13-game winning streak. North Dakota was able to cool that streak and end the Huskies run with a 6-2 victory in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
Boston College will look to light the lamps at the Frozen Four when they take on Quinnipiac on Thursday, April 7, at 5 p.m. in the Amalie Arena. Following the Eagles game, North Dakota will play Denver University for a trip to the championship game on April 9, at 8 p.m.
The Eagles and Bobcats will play for the first time ever when they meet in the national semifinal. The Bobcats are 5-1-2 against Hockey East schools this season while the Eagles are 2-1 against ECAC Hockey teams. Boston College won the championship the last and only time the Frozen Four came to Tampa Bay.
The Eagles are a very balanced team and have a lot of future NHL firepower. To become the best, they are going to have to beat the best in Quinnipiac. This could be a very close game that comes down to the net minders and the Eagles have one of the best in the country in Demko. Sometimes goalies can steal a game with a spectacular save here or there and be the difference in securing a championship.
For more information on the Frozen Four and tickets, visit http://www.ncaa.com/championships/icehockey-men/d1.