Thursday, March 31, 2016

Frozen Four Preview: Boston College

Quinnipiac's opponent in the first semifinal is the Boston College Eagles.  The Eagles are back in the Frozen Four for what seems like the 100th time.  In reality, the last time Boston College or BC, as they are commonly referred to as, was in the Frozen Four in 2014.  They were beaten by the eventual champion, Union (NY).  The last time BC won the title was 2012, when they beat Ferris State 4-1.  Funny thing, the tournament that year was also held in Tampa Bay.  The only difference was the stadium went by the Tampa Bay Times Forum and now it's known as Amalia Arena.  Amalia Arena is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning and hosted the Stanley Cup Final last year.

Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  It is a private, Jesuit Catholic University that was founded in 1863.  The college was actually founded in Boston and later moved to its current location on Chestnut Hill.  BC has 14,100 students, 9,100 undergrads and almost 5,000 post-grads.  While the hockey team has won 5 national championships, BC might be best known for Doug Flutie's Hail Mary throw in a win over Miami (FL).  They also have a rather intense rivalry with Notre Dame, known as the "Battle of the Catholics."

The Eagles play their home hockey games at the Conte Forum.  The Forum opened in 1988, and unlike Quinnipiac, the venue is on the campus of Boston College.  The capacity of the Conte Forum is 8,606.  That might not seem like a large number but it is almost the same number of people that go to Quinnipiac as a whole.  The hockey teams also share the venue with the Eagles basketball programs.  The rink itself is known as "Kelley Rink" honor of long time BC coach John "Snooks" Kelley. 

Boston College opened the 2015-16 season with a game against Army at West Point.  The Eagles won the game 5-1.  Their second game was not so easy as they lost 2-1 against Rensselaer in another away game.  They had a nice bounce back victory against Wisconsin, 6-0 at home.
Boston College vs. Army

Success continued for BC, this time on the road at Colorado College with a sweep.  The Eagles won 3-0 and 5-0.  They played another NCHC opponent Denver, at home.  They won 4-3, Denver is also in the Frozen Four. 

BC played their first Hockey East opponent of the season, UMass and whipped them 7-0.  They followed that up with a sweep of Maine, another Hockey East foe (3-0, 2-0).  Sandwiched in between conference games was a 6-4 win over the Spartans of Michigan State at home.

The Eagles continued Hockey East play with a couple of victories over New Hampshire and UConn.  Both of the wins were on the road.  BC headed back home for a game against RIT.  RIT was no match for the Eagles, 6-2 win for BC. 

Boston College moved back into conference play with a couple games against Northeastern.  The first game was a 3-3 OT tie, and the second was a 4-3 winner for the Eagles.  After that, BC welcomed Notre Dame to Chestnut Hill.  The Eagles lost 4-3 to the Irish.

After the Notre Dame game, the Eagles headed south to the Florida College Classic.  The trip did not go so well.  After being up 2-0 on the Ohio State Buckeyes, BC blew the lead and lost 3-2.  The next game was not much better, the Eagles lost 2-1 to Providence.

BC got some revenge after getting back to the northeast.  They welcome Providence to Chestnut Hill, and beat them 7-3 to get back on track.  The second game of the home and home, played in Providence was skated to a 4-4 OT tie.

The competition was very high when the Eagles faced their rivals Boston University.  In the first game, Boston College won 5-3 at home.  The second game ended in a 1-1 OT tie.

The next three games on the schedule were completions of home and home series.  First, BC beat UMass 8-0 on the road.  That was followed up by a 3-3 OT tie against UConn at home.  The final game in this stretch was a 4-0 victory for BC in South Bend against the Irish. 

Next, the Eagles played Harvard in the annual Beanpot.  The Beanpot played at the TD Gardens in Boston, is a yearly tournament of the schools in the Boston area.  BC won the game 2-1.  In between games for the Beanpot Championship, the Eagles beat New Hampshire 4-3 at Chestnut Hill.  BC won the Beanpot Championship with a 1-0 victory over their rival Boston University.

Boston College finished up the regular season with three home and home series.  First, the Eagles played against Merrimack.  They won the first game 6-3 and the second was a 5-5 OT tie.  Next up was the Vermont Catamounts.  The Eagles swept the Catamounts 3-1 and 4-1.  To close out the season, BC split the series with UMass Lowell.  Both teams won a game at home 3-1.

The Eagles entered the Hockey East tournament with a series against Vermont at home.  BC won the first game 3-0 but dropped the second game 4-2.  The Eagles won the final game in OT 4-3.  BC was bounced from the tournament in the semifinals by Northeastern.  The Eagles lost 5-4 to the eventual champions of the tournament.

BC's going to the Frozen Four!

BC opened the NCAA tournament against a familiar foe, in a familiar place.  They played Harvard, which they had beat 3-2 in the Beanpot, in Worcester, Massachusetts.  The Eagles beat Harvard again, this time 4-1.  BC followed up the win with a win against Minnesota Duluth, 3-2.  The Eagles were up 3-0 and Duluth made it really interesting at the end.  Though, at the end, BC held on, and punched their ticket to Tampa.
Again, Boston College will play Quinnipiac April 7th at 5 PM.  We will have a preview of the matchup and predictions coming out next week! 

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