When Union and Boston College meet in the Frozen Four, it will be for the second time in history. The first meeting came last year, when the Dutchmen defeated the Eagles, 5-1, in the first round of the East Regional. Few are expecting that kind of blowout result this year. Then again, few expected it last year. But Boston College is on another roll, the kind that it seems to ride every other year - the Eagles have won the national championship in the last three even-numbered years.
Denver head coach Jim Montgomery on Johnny Gaudreau: "I have always said this: John Gaudreau is the kind of player that anyone should pay money to come see. He's worth the price of a ticket. He's so creative, he's like Pavel Datsyuk, he does things you've never seen before. He doesn't end up on breakaways like he does on flukes. His timing is impeccable. I've been trying to show our players that when you realize a turnover has happened, he's already two strides ahead of you and behind you "Johnny Gaudreau. He's the one. He's the straw that stirs the drink."
"BC's forwards are going to create and probably put some points on the board. Gostisbehere and the Union defense will transition the puck and do their thing. The question is whether the Union forwards can dictate the pace and tempo against BC's defense, and make them spend an inordinate amount of time in their zone. ... Union moves the puck out of the zone real well with their D, not that BC doesn't."
"In a perfect world you want all four lines contributing to offense, you want your defensemen to contribute to the offense. You're never quite sure how the game is going to play out," said York. "We've got players capable of scoring goals on all four lines. They're allowed to score. It just happens [in the regional] to be John's line. But we'd like to get offense from more people. Certainly the blue line would help us a lot."
Of the four teams, only Boston College has a first-year goalie. It will be interesting to see how Thatcher Demko reacts to the big stage. He has played beyond his years at times this season but has struggled lately, giving up 18 goals in the past five games. The last time a freshman goalie led his team to a championship title? That was 2008, when John Muse saved 20 Notre Dame shots in the title game. Oh, by the way, Muse played for Boston College.
"The fans of college hockey are thinking Minnesota, North Dakota, Boston College, you've got historical strong college hockey programs," said Jerry York. "But the person that really follows [college hockey] closely thinks Union might be the favorite of all of us. They've had such a great run here."
Pattyn on Thursday's matchup with Minnesota: "No team really wants to play us - we know that. That's what we want. We want to be the biggest pain to play against for every team... They're a good team. They're going to be playing their game. I think if we play our game, it'll be a good matchup."
Boston College: BC picks up its third straight win to start the season after beating USC and the athletic department, terrified that someone will try to steal Steve Addazio, extends his contract for 200 years. Addazio is so overwhelmed that he mistakenly believes the administration has given him 200 years of immortality and then insists on coaching every game in an old-timey ringmaster's costume with his head inside a lion's mouth.
"I think our diversity in our run game will help us, so I think all those things will factor in," Addazio said. "You're never exactly the same, but you just keep tweaking things, and all that matters is what the output is in the end. It doesn't matter how you get there."
Maryland assistant coach Scott Spinelli is currently engaged in "serious talks" to serve in the same capacity at Boston College, Coach Mark Turgeon said Monday afternoon, though the agreement has not been completed.
While new Boston College basketball coach Jim Christian will be officially introduced at a press conference tomorrow on campus, his best player, Olivier Hanlan, is busy deciding his own future. And one of Hanlan's teammates, Ryan Anderson, has already made his decision. Tonight on Twitter, Anderson revealed that he's transferring from The Heights.