Saturday: Boston College vs. Air
Force, 4 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNU)
Saturday: Minnesota Duluth vs. Maine, 7:30 p.m. (TV ESPN Syndication;
ESPNU tape delay at 11:30 p.m. ET)
Sunday: Regional Final, 8 p.m. (TV: ESPNU)
NO. 1 SEED BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Record: 29-10-1 overall (19-7-1 Hockey
Qualified: Hockey East tournament champions
NCAA Championships: Four (1949, 2001, 2008,
NCAA Appearance: 31st (most recent, 2011)
Head Coach: Jerry York
Key Players: Chris Kreider, F, Jr. (40
GP, 20-21—41); Johnny Gaudreau, F, Fr. (40 GP, 19-20—39);
Brian Dumoulin, D, Jr. (40 GP, 6-20—26); Parker Milner,
G, Jr. (25-5-0, 1.82, .931)
What You Need to Know:
The Eagles are the unquestioned favorites to advance to
Tampa, entering the NCAA Tournament with 15 straight wins,
the longest win streak of the Jerry York era. The Eagles
seem to head into the postseason on a tear every year, but
this year’s bunch has been unstoppable since late
How They'll Advance:
During Boston College’s current 15-game winning streak,
the play of Parker Milner has been critical to the Eagles’
success. Milner has a 1.20 goals-against average and a .954
save percentage during that run and stopped 68 of the 71
shots he faced last weekend at the TD Garden. His emergence
ended a revolving door in goal and his continued dominance
will make the Eagles very tough to beat.
What Might Trip Them Up:
Realistically, Boston College could be its own worst enemy;
regardless of what’s been thrown their way, be it
power-play goals, coming from behind, hot goaltenders, whatever,
the Eagles have had an answer over the past two months.
Overconfidence could be Boston College’s biggest hurdle.
If the Eagles don’t beat themselves, it’s going
to take a really special performance to do them in.
Recent Boston College Line Chart
||Kreider, the heralded Ranger
pick, is at his best with speed on the wing. He also
plays the point on the power play.
||Dumoulin is the most heralded
of the D but it's a balanced group with size and willingness
to block shots.
NO. 2 SEED MINNESOTA DULUTH BULLDOGS
Record: 24-9-6 overall (16-7-5 WCHA, fourth)
Qualified: At-large berth
NCAA Championships: One (2011)
NCAA Appearance: Eighth (most recent, 2011)
Head Coach: Scott Sandelin
Key Players: Jack Connolly, F, Sr. (39
GP, 19-39—58); Travis Oleksuk, F, Sr. (39 GP, 21-30—51);
Brady Lamb, D, Sr. (9-21—30); Kenny Reiter, G, Sr.
(22-8-6, 2.40, .912)
What You Need to Know: Some
Bulldog fans who had hotel rooms booked for Green Bay took
it as a slight that, for the second year in a row, their
team is getting sent east and will likely need to get past
the No. 1 overall seed to get to the Frozen Four. And unlike
last season’s playoff run, the guys with championship
rings won’t fly under anyone’s radar.
How They'll Advance: In Jack
Connolly, J.T. Brown, and Travis Oleksuk, the Bulldogs have
three of the speediest and most creative offensive players
in the nation spread over the top two lines. Rolling two
units with offensive punch has been the team’s formula
for success for the past two seasons as they double the
amount of offense opponents need to stop.
What Might Trip Them Up:
While the Bulldogs’ power play is very, very dangerous,
their penalty kill is a mess, ranking among the worst in
college hockey. Playing a long way away from home against
officials they likely haven’t seen before, penalty
trouble could spell immediate doom for Scott Sandelin and
Recent Minnesota Duluth Line Chart
||Flaherty leads UMD in short-handed
goals ... with one. Nobody else has scored one this
||Kishel was a part-time player
for his first three years but stepped in and played
a bigger role as a senior.
NO. 3 SEED MAINE BLACK BEARS
Record: 23-13-3 (15-10-2 Hockey East, fourth)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: Two (1993, 1999)
NCAA Appearance: 19th (most recent, 2008)
Head Coach: Tim Whitehead
Key Players: Spencer Abbott, F, Sr. (38
GP, 20-41—61); Joey Diamond, F, Jr. (36 GP, 25-22—47);
Will O'Neill, D, Sr. (39 GP, 3-28—31); Dan Sullivan,
G, So. (22-10-3, 2.54, .910)
What You Need To Know:
Maine is back in the tournament for the first time since
2007 thanks in large part to an outstanding second-half
run. After standing just 3-6-2 at Thanksgiving, the Black
Bears went on a 14-3-1 run to boost their postseason chances.
How They’ll Advance:
Maine’s top line of Spencer Abbott, Brian Flynn, and
Joey Diamond combined for 155 of the 365 points scored by
the Black Bears this season and is good as any combination
in the country. At the other end of the ice, goaltender
Dan Sullivan made 67 saves in Boston last weekend, many
of the spectacular variety. Abbott missed the Hockey East
championship game due to injury, but with him in the lineup,
Maine has the offensive firepower and goaltending needed
to succeed in March.
What Might Trip Them Up: The
concern with Maine is that they’re too dependent on
that potent first line. If the Abbott-Flynn-Diamond trio
doesn’t produce (or if Abbott can't go in the regional),
the Black Bears will need to get production from somewhere
else in the lineup.
Recent Maine Line Chart
||Mangene is a bit of a wildcard, able to
play forward or defense - often in the same game.
||Sullivan began the season splitting starts,
but has played every game since Nov. 11.
NO. 4 SEED AIR FORCE FALCONS