There is approximately a week and a half until the start of the 2014 Frozen Four, and your Boston College Eagles will be in it. Along with two other one-seeds and a hot North Dakota squad, sans mascot, the Eagles will converge on Philadelphia with a chance to come away with their sixth national championship.
That’s plenty of time to kill before Boston College’s (hopefully two) last game(s) of the season. We’ll begin with a cursory glance at the four teams to face off in Cheesesteak Heaven, one of whom will be this year’s national champion.
2014 Frozen Four: Boston College Eagles
The Eagles won the Northeast Region from Saturday to Sunday, defeating the Denver Pioneers in a 6-2 walkover and then clawing their way to a tight 4-3 win over fellow Hockey Easters UMass-Lowell. With Sunday’s win, Boston College tied an NCAA record with their 24th berth in the Frozen Four.
Boston College is seeking championship number six, and their fifth under greatest-of-all-time coach Jerry York. Should the Eagles pull it off, it would also be their fourth title since 2008, which seems awfully dynastic to me.
No mention, even if cursory, of this Eagles team would be complete without discussion of their top line. Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau has outscored a number of teams’ lines by himself, rolling into Philly with 77 points (two touchdowns in front of his linemate, Kevin Hayes). Whether or not Gaudreau leaves Philadelphia with his second national title, he will almost certainly take home a Hobey Baker Award. One could make a legitimate case that Gaudreau and Hayes are the two best players in the country right now, and that will make the Eagles tough to beat.
2014 Frozen Four: Union Dutchmen
Union won the ECAC Tournament for the third year in a row, and they are in the Frozen Four for the second time in program history. The first time was two years ago, and we all know what happened in 2012.
They won the East Region and got to the 2014 Frozen Four by defeating two Hockey East teams: Vermont, 5-2, and Providence, 3-1. To make the title game, they’ll have to dispense with a third.
The Dutchmen have made the NCAA Tournament four times, and those have been the last four years in a row. (Union only jumped to Division I in 1991.) A national hockey power has been assembled in Schenectady, and this time, they are a major threat to go back home with a trophy.
They will face Boston College in the national semifinal, a team they shellacked in their only all-time meeting: the first round of the tournament last year in Providence.
See the other two combatants on the next page