Boston College beats Quinnipiac in overtime to reach Frozen Four

College Sports

The 5-4 overtime win sends BC to St. Paul, Minn. to face Michigan in the second national semifinal on April 11.

Quinnipiac goaltender Vinny Duplessis let the puck get away from him in overtime, which Jack Malone capitalized on to eliminate the defending national champions and get BC into its first Frozen Four since 2016.

PROVIDENCE — The Boston College men’s hockey team’s prospects for reaching the Frozen Four were looking bleak Sunday.

The top-ranked Eagles had not led in their regional final against Quinnipiac at Amica Mutual Pavillion with time winding down in the third period, and trailed the defending national champions by a goal. In 15-plus minutes, they had just three shots.

But freshman defenseman Aram Minnetian breathed new life into his team, taking a pass from Cutter Gauthier and sending a wrister past Bobcats goalie Vinny Duplessis with 4:44 remaining. That got the game to overtime, where BC didn’t wait long to extend its season.

Graduate senior Jack Malone’s putback at 3:06 of overtime lifted BC to a 5-4 win, and had the Eagles heading over the boards to swarm the Cornell transfer.

The win sent the program to its 26th Frozen Four appearance and first since 2016.

Freshman defenseman Drew Fortescue sent a shot from the blue line that Colby Ambrosio tipped on Duplessis (27 saves). Quinnipiac forward Cristophe Tellier could not control the loose rebound, and Malone swooped in to knock the puck past the former Boston University goalie.

“Something that we wanted to do more of was get some more traffic to the net, put more pucks on net,” said Malone. “I thought Fort did a great job of creating a lane and getting to the net. Colby obviously did a great job of getting a piece of it and creating some chaos in front. I just tried to funnel through the net and pick up the change. The shot came out, I saw it, ripped it, and luckily it went in.”

BC (33-5-1) will face Michigan in the second national semifinal on April 11 in St. Paul, Minn. Rival Boston University will take on Denver at 5 p.m. in the first, with the winners meeting April 13 for the national title.

It was an uphill battle for BC the entire game. After a scoreless first period, the Eagles fell into a 2-0 hole when Quinnipiac (27-10-2) scored twice in the opening two minutes of the second period.

On the power play after Will Smith was called for a cross check at 19:39 of the first, the Bobcats capitalized. Jacob Quillan re-directed a Travis Treloar shot through Jacob Fowler (26 saves), five-hole, 1:19 in. The lead was doubled 35 seconds later when Iivari Rasanen’s wrister from inside the blue line eluded Fowler.

BC answered quickly on the power play, when Ryan Leonard re-directed Gauthier’s shot past Duplessis at 2:20. The Eagles would eventually pull even thanks to the work of a couple of Bruins draft picks, when Andre Gasseau one-timed a feed from Oskar Jellvik past Duplessis at 11:35.

“It’s always hard to play a team that’s won because they know what it takes. They don’t beat themselves and you’ve got to do a lot of things right,” said BC coach Greg Brown. “Tonight, Quinnipiac kept taking the lead on us. I thought our guys did a great job of not getting down and staying very positive on the bench.”

Quinnipiac again jumped in front when Charles-Alexis Legault’s shot from the point was blocked in front of the net, but Christophe Fillion was able to get to the loose puck and flip it in at 15:59.

Ryan Leonard was sent sprawling by Quinnipiac’s Collin Graf, but that didn’t keep the freshman from a pair of critical goals, including one just 55 seconds of play time after this hit.

With three minutes left in the second, BC went on the power play when Leonard was sent to the ice on an indirect hit to the head from Lincoln native Collin Graf. Leonard struck 55 seconds later, setting a BC freshman record with his 31st goal when he beat Duplessis on a wraparound to even the score at 3-3 heading to the third.

But once again, Quinnipiac took the lead, taking advantage of a BC penalty. Quillan’s second put the Bobcats back on top 16 seconds into the third as BC was trying to kill off a Fortescue cross checking at 18:18 of the second. Graf shot wide of the net, but the carom came along the goal line to Quillan, who fired it stick side past Fowler.

“Obviously, that’s not the way you want to start the third, giving that one up early,” said Brown. “We barely had any shots in the third, but the bench kept talking, ‘keep going, keep going,’ and they were able to break through with Aram’s goal. It got us jumping again and finished up the third very solidly.

“Overtime we had our legs, we had some good jump, got a few pucks to the net and Jack was able to finish it off here.

“All in all, we beat a very good team and our guys played hard right from the start. … We’re pretty excited to be going to St. Paul.”

Aram Minnetian’s game-tying goal came on one of just four Boston College shots in the third period.

. . .

Two goals 12 seconds apart in the third period, including one destined for the highlight reels, granted Michigan revenge on Michigan State and sent the Wolverines to their third straight Frozen Four via a 5-2 win in the regional final at Maryland Heights, Mo.

The Wolverines (23-14-3) lost the Big Ten championship to the Spartans (25-10-3) in overtime last Saturday night, allowing Michigan State to earn the top seed in its regional. The teams were tied, 2-2, Sunday after MSU’s Joey Larson scored on the power play at 10:26 of the third, but Michigan took control from there.

Dylan Duke made it 3-2 at 12:42, racing with the puck from center ice and putting it past goalie Trey Augustine after sweeping across the slot. The best was yet to come, however. Michigan won the ensuing faceoff, collected itself in the defensive zone, and managed to set up a two-on-one.

Carrying into the circle, Frank Nazar III put the puck between his legs and sent it cross-ice to Gavin Brindley, who slammed it past Augustine for a 4-2 lead.

Duke added a second on the power play with 2:19 left to seal it.

Source link


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *