The Boston College men’s hockey team will take on St. Cloud State on Sunday in the Northeast Regional final with a trip to Pittsburgh and the Frozen Four on the line. The Eagles haven’t played in about a week and a half, and they’ll jump right back into action against a St. Cloud team that looked fantastic in the first game of their NCAA Tournament. This will be BC’s first action in the NCAA Tournament since 2016, when they made a run to the Frozen Four before eventually falling to Quinnipiac.
TEAM STATS - Boston College
Goals Scored/Game: 3.9
Goals Against/Game: 2.3
Power Play Percentage: 16.9%
Penalty Kill Percentage: 87.1%
TEAM STATS - St. Cloud State
Goals Scored/Game: 3.2
Goals Against/Game: 2.7
Power Play Percentage: 22.5%
Penalty Kill Percentage: 84.7%
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Boston College advanced when their first round opponent, Notre Dame, withdrew from the tournament because of positive Covid tests.
St. Cloud State faced off with Boston University on Saturday afternoon, skating to an impressive 6-2 victory. BU jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the second period before the two teams combined for four quick goals that saw St. Cloud State take a 3-2 lead. St. Cloud added three more goals in a dominant performance to put the Terriers away and advance to face BC.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Veeti Miettinen - Miettinen leads St. Cloud State in scoring as a freshman, with 11 goals and 24 points in 28 games. Miettinen was a sixth round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2020 NHL draft, and his third period goal against BU on Saturday ended a brief three game pointless streak
Nick Perbix - Perbix lead all St. Cloud defensemen in scoring with 21 points in 28 games, including a goal against BU in St. Cloud’s first round matchup. Perbix has seven goals on the season (all at even strength) and is third on the team with 71 shots on goal.
Easton Brodzinski - Brodzinski had a big game on Saturday, scoring two goals to bump his team leading total to 13. Unsurprisingly Brodzinski leads the team in shots on goal with 81, and his multi-goal performance against BU was his third on the season and his second in just over a month.
Zach Okabe - Okabe, a sophomore is near the top of St. Cloud with 20 points in 27 games, including three goals in his past six games. Okabe has more than doubled his point totals from his freshman season.
David Hrenak - Hrenak is the expected starter in net for St. Cloud State, with a 15-9 record on the season. Hrenak has two shutouts in his senior season to go with a .906 save percentage.
St Cloud State looked awfully impressive in their 6-2 win over BU on Saturday, and BC will certainly have their hands full against a team that has already played some of the best teams in the country over the course of their regular season. BC is the top seed in this regional for a good reason, but they won’t be able to get away with taking a period off like they’ve done at times this year. This is a matchup of two skilled teams, and there should be some really enjoyable hockey to watch. As a BC fan, the main hope has to be that Spencer Knight bounces back from a subpar performance in his last outing and that the big guns continue to show up. If that happens, the Eagles will have a real chance to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four.