Miami couldn't reverse its postseason curse against Boston College on Thursday night, as the Eagles continued to display their dominance over the RedHawks in a commanding 7-1 win in Frozen Four semifinal action.
BC improved to 7-0 in its postseason campaign and is looking to make it eight in a row as it moves on to the title game on Saturday night. The combination of an explosive offense and superb goaltending were the key ingredients to BC's lopsided victory as it inches closer to securing its fourth national title.
The first period was the only one in which Miami managed to keep it close. Both teams came out flying to start the game, playing fast-paced, hard-hitting hockey that featured a lot of back-and-forth action with Miami outshooting BC by a slim margin of 6-5.
With the period winding down, the Eagles got on the board at 18:32 on a beautiful redirection from the point. The Eagles capitalized on their second power-play opportunity of the period when Miami's Joe Hartman was called for holding. In a picture-perfect setup, Steve Whitney sent the puck to blue-line partner Joe Whitney. His blast connected with Ben Smith, who was parked in the slot, and Smith's deflection didn't give RedHawks goaltender Connor Knapp a chance to make the save as the Eagles took a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.
In the second, the Eagles picked up where they left off, tallying two quick goals to start the frame. Jimmy Hayes scored the Eagles' second power-play goal of the game at 2:06, when he took a cross-ice pass from Pat Mullane. The play started on a clean faceoff draw won by Brian Gibbons, who returned the puck to Brian Dumoulin on the point. He dangled around a Miami defender before finding a wide-open Whitney cross-ice in the far right slot. Dumoulin sniped a wristshot just under the crossbar of Knapp's blockerside.
Whitney would strike again at 3:08, firing a laser from the point. After allowing three goals on seven shots, Knapp's night came to an end, and he was replaced by Cody Reichard.
In the third, Miami was finally able to solve Eagles goaltender John Muse. Tommy Wingels showed great patience down low and found an open Joe Hartman on the point; Hartman's wristshot found its way through traffic and ended up in the back of the net at 5:19.
The RedHawks' brief attempt of a comeback came to an abrupt end when BC fought back to score three goals in a two-minute frame.
Cam Atkinson picked up the Eagles' fourth goal of the game at 10:10 on a tricky backhand shot to beat Reichard down low. Just over 30 seconds later, at 10:44, Patch Alber picked the perfect time to notch his first goal of the season, when his slapshot just outside the faceoff circle somehow found the back of the net.
Just over a minute later, at 11:45, the Eagles took advantage of another clean faceoff draw back to Dumoulon. He found Paul Carey down low; Carey's shot deflected off a Miami defender and gave BC a five-goal lead.
Ben Smith effectively put the game out of reach when he tallied BC's seventh goal after driving to the net hard and burying a rebound of Hayes' slapshot from the point.
Muse continued his solid play between the pipes for the Eagles, turning away 17 of the 18 shots he faced.
In a game that appeared like to be a tight battle from the outset, BC's offense caught fire during the second and was too much for Miami to handle. The Eagles continue to impress and somehow manage to continuously raise their play in every game — and they'll look to do the same when they face Wisconsin on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for the national title.
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