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BC Women's Hockey In The Frozen Four: A History Of Heartbreak

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These still sting.

Arthur Bailin, BC Heights

Friday night in Minneapolis, BC will take on Harvard in the Frozen Four semifinals, with the winner advancing to the national championship game on Sunday against either Wisconsin or Minnesota.

A victory in the semifinals would be the first ever for the Eagles. Despite good success in the NCAA quarterfinals, BC has never advanced to the title game in four previous tries.

Let's take a reflective look back at each time the Eagles advanced to the Frozen Four.

2007 Frozen Four: Lake Placid, NY
#7 Minnesota-Duluth vs. #8 Boston College

UMD 4, BC 3 -- 2OT

It was a Cinderella season that was cut abruptly short. BC advanced to its first NCAA tournament ever on the strength of what was, at the time, its best season in program history.

The quarterfinal was the stuff of legends. Future Olympian Kelli Stack was just a freshman, and she and the rest of the Eagles went up to Dartmouth as the last team into the NCAA tournament facing the #3 seed Dartmouth. It was a huge mismatch, but the Eagles took the game in double overtime, securing their spot in the first Frozen Four for the first time.

Duluth had its own upset in the first round, knocking off the #2 seed, Mercyhurst, in overtime, setting up a battle between the bottom two teams in the field for the right to get slaughtered in the final against #1 Wisconsin.

BC took a quick 1-0 lead, and the teams alternated goals after for the rest of the game. With just over 4 minutes remaining and BC holding onto a 3-2 lead, Duluth tied the game to force overtime. It took 34 extra minutes, but Duluth scored a controversial goal in double overtime after running into BC's then-freshman goalie and future Olympian Molly Schaus. The goal would stand, ending BC's magical run into tournament.

2011 Frozen Four: Erie, PA
#1 Wisconsin vs. #4 Boston College

UW 3, BC 2

BC's second Frozen Four appearance came after another legendary quarterfinal. BC was given a home game as the 4 seed against #5 Minnesota, as the winner of a three-way tie for the #4 spot in the Pairwise. The Eagles had never beaten the Gophers, and they showed up in a big way for the game, scoring the first four goals, all in the first period, to roll into Erie for the Frozen Four.

Unfortunately it was more heartbreak for BC. The Eagles fell behind 2-0 in the first period, but clawed their way back to tie the game with just over 8 minutes remaining.

BC was incredibly overmatched by the top-seeded Badgers, getting outshot 46-25, but the Eagles almost pulled out the victory.

It was a utterly frantic final minute. Just as the PA announcer called for one minute to play, BC's Danielle Welch broke in all alone on Wisconsin goalie Alex Rigsby with a chance to effectively win the game. Welch rang the puck off the post, and Wisconsin took the puck the other way, took a shot and and scored the winning goal on the ensuing rebound with 48 seconds on the clock, ending another Cinderella run for BC.

2012 Frozen Four: Duluth, MN
#1 Wisconsin vs. #4 Boston College

UW 6, BC 2

The silver lining to getting blown out is that it dulls the pain. But it doesn't make it any more fun. That was the case in 2012, with Wisconsin handing BC its only multiple goal Frozen Four loss.

BC advanced to the semifinal after a thrilling come-from-behind home win against St. Lawrence, one of the toughest defensive teams in the country. The Saints held a 3-1 lead early in the 2nd period, but BC would score the next 5 to send the party west to Duluth.

The #1 vs #4 rematch from the previous year of the Badgers and Eagles had a much different start to it. BC's Emily Field scored the game's first goal before the first minute went by, and it looked like BC might actually have a shot. But Wisconsin gave BC a taste of their own medicine, ripping off 5 straight goals to put the game on ice and send the Eagles home without a finals appearance once again.

2013 Frozen Four: Minneapolis, MN
#1 Minnesota vs. #4 Boston College

UM 3, BC 2 -- OT

The heartbreak to end all heartbreaks.

BC advanced to the Frozen Four over Harvard in a defensive battle in the quarterfinals to set up a date with the Gophers.

This wasn't just any Gopher team. Minnesota was a perfect 39-0-0 and was comprised of what was essentially an all-star team of Olympians and all-WCHA superstars. The Gophers had all three of the Patty Kazmaier Award finalists that year: a goalie, a forward, and a defenseman. It was Minnesota's season.

But the Eagles had other plans. BC actually outshot the Gophers in the first period and held serve with a scoreless first frame. Then the Eagles drew first blood with just 1:47 left in the second period to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

BC couldn't hold. The Gophers came out and tied the score almost right away, and took their first lead of the game with 7 minutes and change to go on the clock, and it felt like the Eagles were done. But they found new life and tied the game two minutes later to force overtime against the best women's college hockey team ever assembled—in the Gophers' own house, no less.

But it was all for naught. Minnesota found the goal to once again eliminate BC to advance to the championship game, where they would defeat Boston University to complete their perfect season.

BC enters the Frozen Four ranked higher than its opponent for the first time, ranked #2 in the Pairwise and #1 in the USCHO poll. They will face a Harvard team that was one of just two teams to record a win against the Eagles this season, taking the Beanpot along with it.

Neither team will be lacking for motivation, with BC pasting Harvard 10-2 early in the season and the Crimson ending BC's undefeated run to start the year. But as the top team in the nation for most of the season, this could be BC's best chance to break through to the final, and hopefully, to win it all.