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Frozen Four Preview: Boston College vs. Union

Thursday, 10.04.2014 / 8:27 AM / Future Watch
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Frozen Four Preview: Boston College vs. Union
Preview: Boston College will face off against Union on Apr. 10 at the Frozen Four

BROADCAST INFO

Today's game will be on TSN2 at 3:00 PM MST.

THE MATCH-UP

BOSTON COLLEGE

Overall Record: 28-7-4

Overall Goals For-Goals Against: 160-89

Conference Record: 16-2-2

Conference Goals For-Goals Against: 75-40

2013-14 Conference Standing: First in Hockey East

Leading Scorers: Junior Johnny Gaudreau (35-42-77), Senior Kevin Hayes (27-36-63), Senior Bill Arnold (14-38-52)

Starting Goaltender: Freshman Thatcher Demko, who holds a 16-4-2 record with a 2.16 GAA and a .920 save percentage.

Head Coach: Jerry York

UNION

Overall Record: 30-6-4

Overall Goals For-Goals Against: 148-82

Conference Record: 18-3-1

Conference Goals For-Goals Against: 83-42

2013-14 Conference Standing: First in ECAC

Leading Scorers: Senior Daniel Carr (22-26-48), Junior Daniel Ciampini (19-17-36), Senior Kevin Sullivan (8-27-35)

Starting Goaltender: Junior Colin Stevens, who holds a 26-4-2 record with a 1.93 GAA and a .932 save percentage.

Head Coach: Rick Bennett

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BOSTON COLLEGE

Johnny Gaudreau: The Calgary Flames prospect leads the nation in scoring with 35 goals and 77 points through 39 games and is one of the 2014 Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists.

In two games in the Northeast Regional, the 20-year-old rattled off three goals and eight points, and his six-point outing against Denver on Mar. 29 was one point shy of the NCAA Tournment single-game record. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of Northeast Regional.

"He's just been getting better every year," York said. "He had an outstanding freshman year for us, capped off by a national championship. But his sophomore year was even better. I think he's improved in his strength on the ice, he's improved on his defensive play, and this particular year, his third year with us, he's become a dominant, dominant player in our level.

"It's been really fun to watch him play and compete every day. I think his consistency now is better than it was early in his career. But he was an outstanding player when he first put on a game uniform and nothing has changed about that. He's just a little more consistent, game-in and game-out."

There is no doubt Union will key on him as soon as the puck drops in Philadelphia but that isn't anything new for Gaudreau.

"It's not easy playing when every team circles your name and checks you and pays particular attention to you," York stated. "He kind of fights through that and it's been an incredible journey for us to watch him develop."

Gaudreau is now 12th all-time in career scoring at Boston College with 172 points (77-95-172) in 118 games played. His 77 points this season is fourth-best all-time and is six points away from tying Craig Janney's record of 83 points during the 1986-87 season.

UNION

Colin Stevens: The netminder has been a pillar of strength for the Dutchmen in the 2013-14 campaign and hasn't allowed more than two goals in a game since Feb. 21. He boasts a 1.93 GAA and a .932 save percentage through 34 games played, making 858 saves on 921 shots.

The Eagles know they're going to have put a lot of shots on the Niskayuna, NY product if they want to punch their ticket to the NCAA Championship game on Apr. 12.

"I think we kind of had the same situation when we played against Notre Dame and Summerhays, a talented goalie who has a great d-core in front of him," Gaudreau explained. "We've got to make sure we're getting shots. Coach and the coaching staff here say that no shot's a bad shot in playoffs so we've got to make sure we're getting a lot of shots on Stevens and making sure we test him early.

"Hopefully we can get a few quick ones in the net and hopefully try and get him off his game, early in the game."

QUOTABLE

"I think a fan of college hockey is thinking, 'Hey, Minnesota, North Dakota, Boston College ... we've got historically strong hockey programs,' but the person who really follows closely knows Union might be the favourite of all of us. They've had such a great run here. Hat's off to Rick for the job he has done. We know firsthand because we played them last year and quite frankly, I never thought they would be that strong of a team. We watched them play and we broke the film down afterwards, we ran into an excellent hockey team in Union last year. We surely have a great deal of respect for them and I think the national coaches are now starting to recognize that Union is legit." - York on Union head coach Rick Bennett and his program

TOURNAMENT NOTES

- This is Boston College's 24th Frozen Four in program history, tying the University of Michigan for the most all-time.

- Head coach Jerry York has led Boston College to 11 NCAA Tournament Frozen Four berths - 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. York's 39 NCAA Tournament triumphs are the most in college hockey history. Under York, the Eagles are 34-10 in NCAA Tournament action.

- Boston College's last three national titles have occurred on consecutive even years: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

2014 FLAMES PICKS
SAM BENNETT
CENTRE - CGY
Round 1 - 4th Overall
MASON MCDONALD
GOALTENDER - CGY
Round 2 - 34th Overall
HUNTER SMITH
RIGHT WING - CGY
Round 2 - 54th Overall
BRANDON HICKEY
DEFENCE - CGY
Round 3 - 64th Overall
ADAM OLLAS-MATTSSON
DEFENCE - CGY
Round 6 - 175th Overall
AUSTIN CARROLL
LEFT WING - CGY
Round 7 - 184th Overall