Frozen Four: Quinnipiac beats BC, advances to NCAA championship


Frozen Four: Quinnipiac beats BC, advances to NCAA championship

TAMPA, Fla. — Michael Garteig made 34 saves and No. 1 overall seed Quinnipiac held off Boston College 3-2 on Thursday night to reach the NCAA hockey championship game for the second time in four seasons.

Kevin McKernan and Andrew Taverner scored in the opening period and Landon Smith added a power-play goal that made it 3-1 in the second period, setting the stage for Garteig to shine when the Bobcats needed him.

Ryan Fitzgerald's power-play goal trimmed Boston College's deficit to 3-2 with 4:16 remaining. Garteig had four more saves, including a glove deflection on Ian McCoshen's shot from the high slot in the closing seconds.

Quinnipiac (32-3-7) will try to win its first national championship Saturday night, facing the winner of Thursday night's other semifinal between North Dakota and Denver.

The Bobcats lost to Yale in their only previous appearance in the title game in 2013.

This was the first meeting between the Eagles and Bobcats, who are in the Frozen Four for just the second time. Quinnipiac didn't start its program until 1975 and made the transition from Division II to Division I 18 years ago.

Boston College, meanwhile, has one of the most-accomplished programs in college hockey with a record 25 appearances in the national semifinals, 12 under coach Jerry York.

The Eagles won the most recent of their five NCAA championships in Tampa four years ago, though none of that rich tradition mattered toQuinnipiac — generally regarded an underdog in the Frozen Four, even though the Bobcats have the nation's best record and are the top seed in the tournament.

McKernan gave Quinnipiac some early momentum, scoring from the slot less than three minutes into the game. Taverner made it 2-0, and the Bobcats hardly blinked when Alex Tuch scored for Boston College to trim the Eagles' deficit to goal in the opening minute of the second period.

Smith countered four minutes later, restoring a two-goal cushion for Garteig, who made it stand. BC got off 14 shots in the third period, most of them in one-man advantage situations, including the final 1:37 when the Eagles pulled goalie Thatcher Demko, who had 27 saves.

Boston College (28-8-5) finished 1 for 5 on the power play.

Morning Skate: Bruins troll Felger for lack of confidence

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Morning Skate: Bruins troll Felger for lack of confidence

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the Bruins are going into troll mode.

*Here is the aforementioned “troll mode” for the Bruins now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth. They came out with a marketing campaign where they’re dragging FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Felger for his early season take that the Bruins season is over. He also ripped the young players at the beginning of the year as well, so they used the sound from “Felger and Mazz” with video clips of David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy dominating for the Black and Gold, and shots of the young players mean mugging at the camera. It definitely shows that the Bruins perhaps care a little too much about what the media thinks about them, but it’s also a fair bit of clap-back toward a take that was a little too harsh on the B’s early in the season.

*What a great piece on the Stoneman Douglas hockey team as they embark on a national hockey tournament after winning at the state level in the weeks after the Parkland shooting.

*Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says the Hawks aren’t shaken even as they’ll be missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time. What a disappointing season.

*Despite a great season, Taylor Hall may end up missing the playoffs with the New Jersey Devils amidst his Hart Trophy-type season.

*Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Auston Matthews is returning from injury ahead of the playoffs

*For something completely different: This new, updated version of the Karate Kid web series looks awesome with Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio.



Cassidy eyeing possible Bergeron return this weekend

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Cassidy eyeing possible Bergeron return this weekend

Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.

Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.

MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues​

The Bruins currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.

If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.