Capsule: Boston College
by Scott McLaughlin/CHN Writer
A look at Boston College, which reached the Frozen Four after winning the Hockey East regular season and tournament championship. It then defeated Air Force and Minnesota-Duluth in the Northeast Regional.
Players to Watch
Chris Kreider, Jr. F (22-21-43)
After a bit of an up-and-down second half, the New York Rangers first-round pick has come to life with two goals and three assists over the last two weekends. Kreider's elite speed and 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame make him a difficult matchup for anyone. Kreider is the anchor of BC's second line, which features Kevin Hayes at center and Destry Straight on the other wing.
Johnny Gaudreau, Fr. F (20-21-41)
Gaudreau has been BC's best forward since the start of February, tallying 11 goals and 12 assists in the Eagles' last 15 games. The 5-foot-7 winger is incredibly shifty and can seemingly spin off defenders at will. His puck protection has improved drastically as the season has gone on. Led by Gaudreau, BC's third line has put out first-line production over the last two months.
Barry Almeida, Sr. F (22-16-38)
Almeida has always been a good defensive forward for the Eagles, but this year he added some offensive pop, tying for the team lead in goals and earning Hockey East First Team honors. With Kreider and Gaudreau pacing the second and third lines, it's Almeida who serves as the leader on the top line. The assistant captain has hit a mini-slump in the playoffs, though, registering just two points in six games.
Brian Dumoulin, Jr. D (6-20-26)
For the third straight year, Dumoulin has put together an outstanding season. He was named Hockey East's best defensive defenseman and a first-team all-star for the second consecutive season, and he was also one of the 10 Hobey Baker finalists. At 6-foot-4, Dumoulin is a rock in his own end as well as a mobile puck-mover who can make things happen offensively.
Parker Milner, Jr. G (27-5-0, 1.70 GAA, .935 save%)
Milner was the heir apparent to four-year starter John Muse, but he lost his hold on the starting job following a tough stretch from mid-November to early December. Milner reclaimed the job in late January, though, and has been sensational ever since. He has started every game of BC's 17-game winning streak, posting a 1.12 goals against average and .960 save percentage during that stretch.
The Start of the Streak
On the weekend of Jan. 20-21, the Eagles were swept by Maine, dropping them to 5-8-1 since mid-November. Coach Jerry York and his players have pointed to that weekend as the one that finally woke them up and forced them to take a long, hard look at the way they were playing. They swept New Hampshire the next weekend and looked like a whole new team from then on. They went on to win their next 15 games as well, and they haven't allowed more than two goals since that first win over UNH.
A Hockey East Three-Peat
After playing surprisingly close games against Massachusetts in the quarterfinals and Providence in the semifinals, the Eagles beat Maine 4-1 in the Hockey East championship game to become the first team in league history to claim three straight tournament titles. Gaudreau registered two goals and an assist in that game to cap off a run that earned him tournament MVP honors.
Back to the Frozen Four
The Eagles made sure there wasn't a repeat of last year's disappointing first-round loss to Colorado College, as they shut out both Air Force and Minnesota-Duluth to earn their 10th Frozen Four appearance in the last 15 years. Kreider scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Air Force, while Gaudreau and Patrick Wey each registered a goal and an assist in the 4-0 win over UMD. Milner stopped all 53 shots he faced to earn what were essentially his fourth and fifth shutouts of the winning streak (three technically aren't shutouts since he was given some rest in the final minutes).
Jerry York is just the fourth Boston College coach since 1946 ... and Steve Cedorchuk only coached 2 of those years.
Legendary "Snooks" Kelly also coached the Eagles in a previous stint from 1932-42. Len Ceglarski coached from 1972-92 before retiring.
Did you know Mike Milbury was initially named BC coach in 1994, but quit without coaching a game. BC went to Plan B - Jerry York.
York needs 12 wins to catch Ron Mason for most all-time in Division I.
If Boston College wins the championship this year, York will catch Denver's Murray Armstrong for second place on the all-time list of most titles. Armstrong won all of his from 1958-69. First on the list is Michigan's Vic Heyliger. The Wolverines, under Heyliger, won six of the first nine NCAA championships, between 1948 and 1956.