The Eagles (28-7-5) are back and determined to show their 2012 title, when they beat Ferris State, wasn’t an Amalie anomaly.
“Thinking back, it’s probably one of the best Frozen Fours I’ve attended, not just because we won,” coach Jerry York, who’s been in 13 Frozen Fours with BC, said Wednesday. “With that anticipation coming down this time, we understand how good the field is. When you put those win-loss records up for four teams (115-25-22), it's clearly well-deserved entries to to the Frozen Four.”
While it’s their first time in Tampa, several Eagles have been to the Frozen Four.
“It’s really cool stepping on the ice in Tampa for the first time,” Teddy Doherty said, “but both of us have been in this moment. We’ve played in the Frozen Four in Philadelphia (BC lost to Union, 5-4, in the 2014 semifinals). ... Can’t take that for granted.”
Especially facing No. 1 Quinnipiac (31-3-7) in Thursday’s first semifinal. “It's just staying with what you've been doing all year,” Doherty said about preparing for the Bobcats. "We don't prepare for Quinnipiac any different that we prepare for any other game. ... Just do what we've been doing all year and that will take care of itself.”
This is BC’s 25th Frozen Four overall, most of any program, and the Eagles seek their fifth national title since 2001.
“I think this team has a pretty good feel for what’s in front of them because of 2014. They know how difficult it is,“ York said. “We don’t feel there’s any pressure. But you have to get used to the expanded role the media plays, the building, the TV ... Mental strength is so important in all sports. But especially at this level.
“You can be down 3-1 and you can come back and win. You could be ahead 4-1 and you can almost lose a game because your attitude, ‘Hey, we’ve won the game,’ and all of a sudden the other team comes on strong.”
BC finished strong, going 7-3 in their last 10 games, and are fourth in the latest PairWise rankings.
Four more BC fast facts:
- York-led BC teams are 12-7 in the Frozen Four — 8-3 in the national semifinal and 4-4 in the national championship game.
- BC’s 55.2 winning percentage in the faceoff circle leads all Frozen Four teams.
- Goalie Thatcher Demko leads the nation with 10 shutouts and is one of a trio of Hobey Baker Award finalists. He is also a finalist for the Mike Richter Award for the college hockey's top goalie.
- Ryan Fitzgerald leads BC with 23 goals and 46 points. Austin Cangelosi is second on the team with 20 goals while Colin White is second with 42 points (19 goals, 23 assists).
Contributing: Dave Dondoneau
Above: Thatcher Demko, making a save during warmups before the Northeast Region championship game against Minnesota Duluth at the DCU Center on March 26 in Worcester, Mass., leads the nation with 10 shutouts this season. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)