Boston College’s journey toward an NCAA hockey championship ended Thursday night when the Eagles lost 5-4 to Union in the first of two Frozen Four matchups in Philadelphia.
Union now has 11 consecutive wins and its first trip to the Division I men’s hockey national championship game. The Dutchmen, who also ended BC’s NCAA tournament run last season, will play Minnesota, a 2-1 winner over North Dakota, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Union fell behind early in the first period when BC forward and Hobey Baker Award finalist Johnny Gaudreau scored a goal off a rebound just over two minutes into the game. Matt Bodie’s and Daniel Ciampini’s second-period goals gave Union a 2-1 lead before Steve Santini scored the equalizer for BC heading into the second intermission.
After Union took a 3-2 lead in the final period, a costly defensive zone turnover created a scoring chance, and Mike Vecchione capitalized to give the Dutchmen a two-goal advantage.
Boston Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald made a nice play to trim the Union lead to 4-3 off an intentionally wide shot that bounced off the end boards with 1:45 left in the third period. Thirty-six seconds later, Ciampini completed a hat trick with an empty-net goal to give Union a 5-3 lead, which lasted for only 1:04 when Patrick Brown scored to make it 5-4 with five seconds remaining. BC won the ensuing faceoff as time ran out.
The Eagles’ loss means the national title game will not include a Hockey East school for just the fourth time in the last 15 years.
GIF via Twitter/@PeteBlackburn