The Boston College Eagles earned a hard-fought 4-1 win over Ferris State to claim their fifth National Championship title in front of a crowd of 18,818 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday night. Boston College finishes the season having won an unprecedented 19 consecutive games.
"For me, it's the same feeling, but it's also a little different because we're a little different team too," junior Chris Kreider (NYR) said in comparing this year's National Championship title to the one in 2010 that he was also a part of.
"I don't think it ever gets old," junior defenseman Patrick Wey (WSH) said of winning another National Championship. "I'm so happy for our seniors because they get to go out on top with that 19-game winning streak. It was everything that they deserved and I'm just real proud of this team. This is something that we want to do every year."
While many felt that Ferris State were the overwhelming underdogs, they played anything like that with a tremendously valiant effort. The Bulldogs were relentless on the forecheck all evening and did a good job of keeping Boston College's speed in check throughout much of the game.
Boston College drew first blood at the 3:18 mark of the opening period when senior Barry Almeida corralled a pin-balling puck before junior Steven Whitney was able to put it home on the open side of the Bulldogs' net with senior netminder Taylor Nelson out of position.
Ferris State would tie the score at the 5:19 mark when sophomore Garrett Thompson banged home the rebound given up by Boston College junior goaltender Parker Milner. The play began off of a Boston College turnover at the blueline. Sophomore Andy Huff took it to the net and tried to sweep it by Milner, who had stopped the initial attempt before Thompson put home the rebound.
Boston College would regain the lead once again at the 10:33 mark when junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin's shot from inside the blueline was deflected in front of the Ferris State net. Senior Paul Carey (COL) was credited with the power play goal, which would also prove to be the game-winner, after the puck had bounced off of his glove and into the net.
"Mulley (Pat Mullane) gave me a good pass from the corner and there was only a little bit of time left on the power play, "Dumoulin said in describing Carey's goal. "People have been yelling at me all year to put shots on net, so I shot it and it paid off. The shot deflected off of Paul and past their goalie."
While the middle period didn't feature any goals, it did feature some spectacular saves made by both netminders – Boston College's Parker Milner and Ferris State's Taylor Nelson.
Ferris State was given several opportunities in the second period to tie the game with Boston College taking several unnecessary penalties. But Milner and the Eagles' penalty killers successfully held the Bulldogs off the board.
Both teams did an excellent job throughout the game of blocking shots. Boston College held the advantage on face-offs (46-33).
Ferris State began the third period on power play with sophomore Bill Arnold (CGY) serving the remainder of his roughing minor near the end of the second period.
As the period progressed, the Eagles began winning all the battles to loose pucks and we're quicker to rebounds.
At the 16:58 mark, freshman John Gaudreau (CGY) extended Boston College's lead to 3-1 on an absolutely brilliant individual effort, going around one Ferris State defenseman then faking a forehand on the other defenseman. He then went to backhand, flipping a shot over Nelson for the goal. The tally, which was Gaudreau's 21st of the season, also gave the freshman sensation the national rookie scoring title with his 44th point of the year, edging out Minnesota's Kyle Rau (FLA), who finished with 43 points.
"Well, I definitely have to thank my teammates for that," Gaudreau said after the game in speaking about accomplishing such a feat. "I played with Pat Mullane all season long. Since the first day that I got here to BC, he took me under his wing and taught me everything that I've been able to do so far as well as how important it is to play well in the defensive zone. I think a lot of my goals this season came from just trying to get the puck out of the defensive zone and come in offensive rushes."
Junior Steven Whitney would seal the victory for the Eagles with an empty-netter at the 18:57 mark.
Milner, who stopped 27 of 28 shots in Boston College's win, many of which were of the grade "A" variety, was named the Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player.
"I think one of our defining moments of the season was when Milsey got his confidence going and began playing so well," Wey said of his goaltender. "He's my best friend and he deserves all of the praises that he's been given."
For Ferris State, just reaching the National Championship game was a monumental accomplishment. As head coach Bob Daniels explains, the experience of playing in a National Championship game will only make the team better going forward.
"There's nothing that I'm disappointed in whatsoever. I think the team itself did break some new ground for us. And I think it will give us confidence moving forward that we can be successful on a national stage, and with that hopefully we'll continue to grow."
2012 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team