Frozen in time: BC's top moments in Frozen Four

April 08, 2010 - 7:50 am

After a disappointing 2009 campaign, Boston College is back in the Frozen Four. The Eagles will be facing a very familiar opponent Thursday night: Miami (Ohio). The Eagles bounced the RedHawks three straight years, from 2006-08, once in the Northeast Regional semifinals and twice in the regional final. Miami probably is less than thrilled to see the Eagles once again, but this will be a team on a mission after last year's heartbreaking loss to Boston University in the championship game. In that one, Miami saw its 3-1 lead evaporate in the last minute of the third period, and the Terriers stunned Enrico Blasi's club in overtime, 4-3. But this year, Blasi's team was the top overall seed in the tournament and is the top-ranked team in the nation, and that will make the Eagles an underdog Thursday. But BC has a storied history at the Frozen Four and will be gunning for its second national title in three years. The 2008 national championship is just one of the highlights from BC's past trips to college hockey's biggest stage. Here are some of the most memorable moments that BC has had in the Frozen Four. 1949 Thanks to a game-winning goal from Jim Fitzgerald, legendary coach John "Snooks" Kelley leads the Eagles to their first national championship, a 4-3 victory over Dartmouth, in just the second national title game played in NCAA history. Kelley, the namesake of the rink at Conte Forum, helped BC become the first Eastern team to win a tournament traditionally dominated by the western schools, and his teams would earn nine NCAA berths, including a runner-up finish in 1965. 1978 BC was back in the title game for the first time since 1965, and back in Providence, where the Eagles had lost to Michigan Tech 8-2 in that appearance. This time, however, the opponent was a familiar one: Jack Parker and BU. The two teams made the championship game a battle of local rivals. The Eagles had won the ECAC conference title after BU, ranked No. 2 nationally, was upset by Providence in the semifinals. The Terriers clawed their way into the tournament by beating the Friars in an unprecedented playoff for the second Eastern team. The first period was high-scoring, with BU emerging with a 3-2 lead. But a close contest turned into an easy 5-3 win for the Terriers, as BU emerged with the bragging rights. BC was second-best in the "Battle of Comm. Ave." 1998 The late '90s marked the beginning of the rise of BC hockey to a lasting national power. And in 1998, the Eagles met arguably the best school in college hockey history, Michigan, in a familiar setting: the FleetCenter. The game went to overtime knotted at 2, but it was the Wolverines who emerged with their second national title in three years. Wolverines freshman Josh Langfield played the hero, scoring the game-winner. 2000 This was the start of BC's rivalry with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. The Eagles made it back to Providence and the national title game, and looked like they would win their first title since '49 when they entered the third period with a 3-1 lead. But North Dakota's offense turned it on in the final 20 minutes, scoring three goals, with two coming off the stick of Lee Goren, and the Sioux earned their seventh national title. 2001 A rematch for the title. In the fourth straight appearance for the Eagles in the Frozen Four, they made it back to the national championship and got a chance for revenge against North Dakota. The Eagles, led by a pair of seniors in captain Brian Gionta up front and Scott Clemmensen in net, took this one to overtime at 2-2. But it was an unlikely hero who helped BC win its first championship in 52 years: Krys Kolanos. The sophomore skated past two defenders and potted the winner past goalie Karl Goehring 4:43 into OT to give BC the 3-2 victory. 2006 In the semifinals, BC beat North Dakota 6-5 thanks to a hat trick from senior forward Chris Collins. That set up a matchup with Wisconsin in the final. BC netminder Corey Scheider was peppered with 39 shots. The Badgers had eight power plays. And BC still almost came through with its third national title. But the onslaught proved to be too much, as Wisconsin scored on the power play in the third period to take a 2-1 lead, which would be the final margin. 2007 Once again, North Dakota was BC's victim in the semifinals. But this time, the Eagles were hoping to get out of the runner-up spot, and were riding a 13-game win streak heading into the final. It was not meant to be, however, because the Michigan State Spartans had other ideas. Justin Abdelkader snapped a tie with 18.9 seconds remaining in the game, and BC once again just missed out on its third championship. The Spartans scored three goals in the third and kept BC's offense in check to win the title. 2008 All the frustrations. All the close chances. It all culminated in this: the Eagles' third national title, and the team's first since 2001. The opponent was an unlikely one in Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish came in as a 4 seed but upset Hockey East regular-season champ New Hampshire to make the Frozen Four and then beat Michigan. The Eagles, once again, bested North Dakota in the semis 6-1 behind a hat trick from Nate Gerbe. With the Holy War moving from the football field to the ice, the Fighting Irish were looking to provide their own upset special. But Gerbe played the hero once again, scoring twice and adding a pair of assists in a 4-1 win. The victory culminated a dominant year for the Eagles that featured a Beanpot trophy and a Hockey East championship along with the capper in the national title.