On Saturday night in Tampa, Florida, the #1 Boston College Eagles men’s ice hockey team recaptured the national championship trophy by defeating Ferris State, 4-1. It is the Eagles’ fifth all-time title, fourth under Jerry York, and third in the last five seasons. Boston College ends the season with a record of 33-10-1 and will enter the 2012-13 title-defense campaign on a 19-game winning streak.
The Eagles got the scoring started in the first period relatively early as Steven Whitney, just like in the semifinal against Minnesota, got his team on the board. This goal at 3:18 put BC ahead, 1-0 (Almeida assisted).
Ferris State put some doubt into the minds of Eagles fans with something BC had not seen in this NCAA Tournament: a response. Garrett Thompson notched the Bulldogs’ score two minutes and one second after the Eagles went ahead, tying the game, 1-1 (Huff and Oullette assisted).
Boston College would get that goal back on a bit of luck as Paul Carey’s stick deflected a soft goal past Ferris State’s Taylor Nelson, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead (Dumoulin and Mullane assisted).
From there, both teams had enormous opportunities, but both Nelson and BC’s Parker Milner held strong. For much of the contest, the Eagles appeared to be frustrated by Ferris State’s tenacious defense which managed to keep the game at a slow tempo which was more favorable to the Bulldogs. It’s not as though the Eagles didn’t hold their ground, however, as the defense, especially Milner and Patrick Wey, did what they had to do.
As the tension mounted and the Eagles still sat on a tenuous 2-1 lead, a little guy with a flair for big games stepped up. Johnny Gaudreau secured the puck on a breakaway, put on a number of moves, and slipped the Eagles’ third goal past Nelson with 3:02 to go (Hayes and Wey assisted).
Boston College and its fans were able to breathe a little easier from then on, but Steven Whitney scored his second goal of the game on an empty-netter at 18:57 to put the cherry on top at 4-1 (Arnold assisted).
Ferris State played a tremendous game and they should be proud of how they conducted themselves both on Saturday night and this season. We knew going in that their defense was one of the best in the country, and they showed the world that this was not a mistake. For large portions of the game, they disrupted the Eagles’ offensive flow, but when you have the tournament’s most outstanding player, Parker Milner, you might not need a lot of goals to win.
Milner was again sensational and he deserves a great deal of credit for not only this national championship win, but the other eighteen victories that directly preceded it. The way he and this team came on late in the season is nothing short of extraordinary.
Further, what else can we say about Jerry York? Not only is he the best coach in college hockey history and a very classy individual, he is also the most successful coach we have ever had at Boston College, period. Four national championships for York at his alma mater is an incredible accomplishment and he has built this program into an elite national power. We are fortunate to have him, and it will be a delight to watch him break the wins record early next season.
Celebrate, Eagles fans.