It's finally here. Tonight at 5 PM, BC takes on Union in the first matchup at this year's Frozen Four. Enjoy the moment - we are spoiled to be watching our team play in yet another Frozen Four. Looking forward to seeing many of you down in Philly.
Demko, who hails from San Diego, began his college career at 17 as the youngest player in the country. On Thursday, he will try to lead the Eagles to a spot in the NCAA championship game when BC faces Union in the Frozen Four semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He is aspiring to become the first freshman to win a title for BC since John Muse in 2008.
Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold would both like to forget about the last time they were on the ice against Union College. The Dutchmen stunned their Boston College team with a 5-1 thrashing in the East Regional semifinals at Providence last March, putting an abrupt end to the Eagles' bid to repeat as national champions. That game was a year ago, but the memory is painfully fresh.
The only person to attract a larger media contingent than junior star Johnny Gaudreau yesterday after Boston College's Frozen Four practice was his kid brother, Matt, a 19-year-old freshman forward. The Gaudreau brothers are familiar figures here as they grew up just 33 miles down the road in Carney's Point, N.J., and played Mite hockey at the Wells Fargo Center as kids.
"Last night I said Shayne wasn't only their best defenseman, he was their best forward," Providence coach Nate Leaman said after Union earned a trip to Philadelphia for this week's Frozen Four. "Tonight he was their best goalie, too. He's just a big-time player. I think people are going to be talking about that kid for a long time."
A lot of the time the teams that get to the Frozen Four are built on stability and experience. They tend to have a decent number of juniors and seniors leading the way. Guys who have been around the college game for a good long while by now. Guys who know the ropes.
Each of the participants in this year's Frozen Four has a class that has already experienced the college hockey's biggest stage. Boston College, Minnesota and Union were in Tampa in 2012, while North Dakota made an appearance in St. Paul in 2011.
As Union came into the Wells Fargo Center for Wednesday's practice, it learned that coach Rick Bennett had another honor to add to his list - the Penrose Award as national Coach of the Year in Division I.