Survive and advance.
That was Boston College’s goal on Saturday afternoon, and survival was a large part of their game. At the DCU Center in the Northeast Regional Semifinal of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the #1 Eagles defeated Air Force, 2-0, in a game that was close throughout. On Sunday night, BC will face the winner of the Minnesota-Duluth vs. Maine game for a chance to go to the Frozen Four.
With the win, Boston College took their 30th game of the season and have now won sixteen games in a row. They remain undefeated against Air Force Academy, now sporting a 6-0 record and they continue their typical winning ways at the DCU Center in regional action.
Boston College’s scoring came from one man and one man only: Chris Kreider. He put the Eagles’ first goal past Jason Torf at 7:39 of the first period, and the last at 18:39 of the third on the power play (Hayes and Straight assisted on goal one; Wey assisted on goal two).
Otherwise, this contest was very much a defensive battle. Air Force faced a number of shots on goal from the Eagles (34) but did a fine job in clogging shooting lanes, disrupting BC’s puck movement, and getting some big stops in the process. Holding a very good offensive team like Boston College to just two goals is a solid performance, but when the dust settled, the Eagles were better.
Air Force did not have as many opportunities to create offense as BC did, and the Eagles were very successful defensively. In particular, goalie Parker Milner came up with several big saves and otherwise shut the Falcons down. While the Eagles had trouble generating offense themselves, despite a number of quality opportunities, Milner held up his end of the bargain and made what was for most of the game a one-goal lead hold together.
It is difficult to say that it was a sluggish offensive performance given the fact that BC put the puck on the net enough times, but they simply did not have much to show for their efforts. Credit is due to Torf and his defense for quieting a potent group of goal-scorers.
Still, Boston College has proven time and time again this season that they can find ways to win games even when they don’t play like an unstoppable juggernaut. Tomorrow is another day, and all that will matter then is that they play well enough to win.