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Frozen Four Preview: Men's Hockey vs. Union

Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold have 15 NCAA Tournament games of experience under their belts combined

Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold have 15 NCAA Tournament games of experience under their belts combined

April 7, 2014

No. 3 Boston College (28-7-4, 16-2-2) vs. No. 2 Union (30-6-4, 18-3-1)
Date & Time Thur., April 10 at 5 p.m.
Location Wells Fargo Center
NCAA Tournament Boston College Tournament Central
Television ESPN 2 (John Buccigross | Barry Melrose | Quint Kessenich)
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Opponent Info Union Notes | Minnesota Notes | UND Notes
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- Johnny Gaudreau is up for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award, marking his second-consecutive nomination for college hockey's top individual prize.

- If Johnny Gaudreau wins the Hobey Baker Award, he will have conquered the clean sweep of individual honors this season, including: Hockey East Player of the Year (back-to-back), Walter Brown Award, Leonard Fowle Award (top player in New England), Herb Gallagher Award (top forward in New England).

- Jerry York York is four victories away from his 500th win as head coach at Boston College. His 963 wins are the benchmark of college hockey.

- If the Eagles win the national title, Jerry York will have coached three clubs to 30 or more victories.

- The last time BC had a 70-point getter (Gaudreau - 77) and a 60-point getter (Kevin Hayes - 63) on the same team was the 1997-98 campaign when Marty Reasons (73) and Brian Gionta (62) turned the trick.

- All four Boston College titles started its NCAA Tournament run in Worcester, Mass. -- the site of BC's Northeast regional bracket.

- Boston College is now tied with Michigan for the most Frozen Four berths all-time (24).

- Since Johnny Gaudreau (LW), Bill Arnold (C) and Kevin Hayes (RW) were assembled as a line on Dec. 6, the Eagles have gone 20-3-2. The trio has accounted for 128 points (53-75-128) with a combined plus/minus rating of +86. Since Dec. 6, Gaudreau-Arnold-Hayes have accounted for 45.7 percent of the Eagles' offense.

Union can easily be classified as the hottest team in college hockey at this point, gliding into the Frozen Four with an NCAA-best 15-game unbeaten streak (14-0-1) that started on Feb. 1, 2014. The Dutchmen are the only club in college hockey with 30 wins to their name as that mark stands as a school record. Union earned its first No. 1 ranking in the program's 23 years of Division I existence on March 24, 2014. The 2014 Frozen Four counts as Union's second appearance while the Dutchmen have earned a spot in the last four NCAA Tournaments (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). After capturing its third-consecutive ECAC Tournament title, junior blue liner Shayne Gostisbehere was tabbed co-Player of the Year and co-Best Defensive Defenseman while Colin Stevens picked up ECAC Goaltender of the Year honrs in his first season as starter. Senior forward Daniel Carr leads Union offensively and is currently eighth in the country in points per game with 1.30 ppg (22-26-48). Alongside Gostisbehere, Mat Bodie is contributing offensively from the blue line and is third in the NCAA amongst defensemen in scoring (0.92 ppg - 6-29-35). Stevens, in his third season, is ranked fourth in the country in both goals against average (1.93) and save percentage (.932) and leads the nation in winning percentage (.844) with his 26-4-2 mark. The Dutchmen possess a balanced attack with their second-ranked offense (3.70 gpg - 0.40 goals per game behind Boston College) and fourth-ranked defense (2.05 gpg). Union has not given up more than two goals in a game in its last 10 outings.

Thursday's national semifinal marks only the second meeting all-time between Union and Boston College. The Dutchmen left a bitter taste in BC's mouth last season, cutting the Eagles' NCAA Tournament run short in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Providence, 5-1. Union broke the game open early in the second period and the Eagles could never recover. Johnny Gaudreau scored BC's lone goal at 16:02 of the third period as the Eagles faced a 5-0 deficit.

Minnesota skates into the 2014 Frozen Four by outscoring its first two opponents by a combined score, 11-3. The Golden Gophers whacked Robert Morris, 7-3, before shutting out St. Cloud State, 4-0. With its participation, Minnesota ties Michigan for the most NCAA Tournament appearances with 35. The Golden Gophers were ranked the No. 1 team in the country for a good duration of the season and ended up posting a 14-3-3 mark in the inaugural season of Big Ten hockey. Minnesota is tied with Boston University for the second-most Frozen Four appearances with 21 and tied with the Eagles in the national championships department. Minnesota captured the NCAA championship in 1974, 1976, 1979, 2002 and 2003. Head coach Don Lucia makes his 16th NCAA appearances and led Minnesota to two titles (2002, 2003) and seven Frozen Fours. Minnesota was upset in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament by Ohio State on March 21, 2014, by a final score of 3-1. The Gophers' leading scorer this season is junior forward Kyle Rau with his 0.95 points per game (14-23-37), good for 58th in the country. Sophomore Mike Reilly is seventh amongst defensemen in national scoring (0.82 ppg - 9-23-32). UM touts the second-ranked defense in college hockey, surrendering only 2.00 goals a game, and goaltender Adam Wilcox plays a significant role. Wilcox has assembled the nation's second-best save percentage (.934%) and third-lowest goal against average (1.89 gaa). Wilcox's also sports the third-best winning percentage (.778%).

If Boston College and Minnesota meet to play for the national championship on April 12, it will indicate the 11th times the Eagles and Golden Gophers have faced off in the NCAA Tournament. Boston College holds the slight advantage in those games, 6-4. Despite the 11 postseason meetings, BC and Minnesota have never skated for the national championship. The Eagles paid a visit to Minneapolis this season and skated to a 3-3 tie before losing, 6-1, in late October.

North Dakota will round out the 2014 Frozen Four lineup of heavy hitters, lugging its 20 Frozen Four appearances to Philadelphia. UND's 20 Frozen Fours brings this year's total to 66, combined, amongst the four teams. UND has 21 all-time wins in the Frozen Four, a number topped only by Michigan's 25. However, all 21 of UND's wins have come since 1958, the most of any school in that time North Dakota has won seven national titles (1959, 1963, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1997, 2000), tied with Denver for second-most in the NCAA behind only by Michigan's nine. UND's postseason success is further echoed by owning the best winning percentage in the history of the NCAA Tournament at .667 (46-23). Along with the best NCAA Tournament mark, UND has made 12-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the longest active streak in the nation and the third-longest in history behind only Michigan (22, 1991-2012) and Minnesota (13, 1985-97). UND made its way into the Frozen Four after s double-overtime win over Ferris State that lasted 81 minutes, 28 seconds, and was the longestNCAA tournament game in UND men's hockey history. Sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi directs UND's offense with 0.95 points per game (17-22-39) and is tied for 51st in the country in scoring. First-year goaltender Zane Gothberg has made an early impression with the NCAA's sixth-best goals against average (1.99) and 14th-best save percentage (.926). Gothberg is one of 10 netminders with 20 wins under his belt this season.

Boston College and North Dakota are dead even against one another in the overall series, 11-11-1. Of those 23 all-time meetings, nine of those have come in NCAA Tournament play. BC owns a significant margin in postseason play against UND, winning 6-of-9 decisions, including Jerry York's first national championship at BC on April 7, 2001, in Albany, N.Y. Krys Kolanos clinched BC's second national title in school history by dialing up the overtime winner at 4:43 from Chuck Kobasew and Tony Voce.

The 2014 tournament marks the 33rd time the Eagles have earned an NCAA Tournament berth. It is the team's 15th appearance in the last 17 years. Boston College sports a 47-39 all-time record in the national tournament. Head coaches Snooks Kelley and Len Ceglarski both led BC to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, while Jerry York has led the Eagles to 15 NCAA Tournaments in the last 18 seasons. Boston College has skated in the last five-consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

Head coach Jerry York has led his teams to 21 NCAA Tournament berths - six at Bowling Green and 15 at Boston College (out of 20 seasons). York has a 39-20-1 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament and owns a 34-10 mark at Boston College. York's 39 victories are the highest total in NCAA Division I history. Thirteen York-led squads have advanced to the tournament's semifinal/championship round, including 11 at Boston College.

Fourteen of the 27 current Eagles have skated in an NCAA Tournament game. Ten of those members helped the Eagles capture their fifth national title in 2012 when Boston College knocked off Ferris State in the title game. Johnny Gaudreau is the Eagles current point leaders in NCAA Tournament play, having totaled six goals and eight assists in seven games played.

Since the 1997-98 season, BC has won nine Hockey East Tournament titles (1998, '99, 2001, '05,'07, '08, '10, '11 and '12), advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Frozen Four 11 times (1998, '99, 2000, '01, '04, '06, '07, '08, '10, '12, `14) and has captured four national titles (2001, 2008, 2010 and 2012). During this stretch run, BC is 84-21 (.800) in 105 playoff games.

Johnny Gaudreau has been named one of three Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalists according to the committee's announcement on April 2. This marks the second consecutive year Gaudreau has earned this distinction as the junior forward was runner-up for the Hobey Baker Award in 2013. Kevin Hayes was a top 10 Hobey Baker finalist, as well, giving BC the distinction of the only school with two skaters. The other two Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists are Greg Carey (St. Lawrence) and Nic Dowd from (St. Cloud State). The winner is announced Friday, April 11, 2014, from the Loews Hotel Millennium Ballroom in Philadelphia, Pa., during the NCAA Frozen Four.

Boston College was heavily decorated at the 2014 Hockey East postseason banquet at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, most notably Jerry York and Johnny Gaudreau. York was tabbed Hockey East Coach of the Year and Johnny Gaudreau earned his second-consecutive Player of the Year honor. Only two other Hockey East skaters have won the Player of the Year award consecutively. The last to accomplish the feat was Boston University's Chris Drury (1996-97 and 1997-98). The first to do it was current associate head coach Greg Brown (1988-89 and 1989-90). Gaudreau is the 10th Eagle to earn Player of the Year distinction and Boston College has enjoyed the award on 12 occasions. York collected his third Hockey East Coach of the Year honor, adding to his crowns from 2003-04 and 2010-11. BC has won Coach of the Year four times. Len Ceglarski was voted Coach of the Year in Hockey East's inaugural season in 1984-85.

In addition to some of the league's top merits, Kevin Hayes, Bill Arnold, Michael Matheson, Steven Santini and Thatcher Demko were all honored upon season's end by Hockey East. Hayes and Matheson joined Gaudreau as Hockey East First-Team All Stars while Demko and Santini procured spots on the All-Rookie Team. Demko was also a Hockey East honorable mention along with Arnold. Demko picked up the `Goaltending Champion' award, tendering the conference's lowest goals against average in league play (1.35). Arnold wrapped things up by earning a co-Best Defensive Forward decoration.

Johnny Gaudreau won the Leonard Fowle Award as New England's most valuable player along with the Herb Gallagher Award as its best forward and Jerry York was tabbed the Clark Hodder Award winner as the region's Division I Coach of the Year. Gaudreau becomes the sixth player to capture the Fowle Award in back-to-back seasons in New England Hockey Writers (NEHW) history. Gaudreau was joined by senior Kevin Hayes (forward) and sophomore Michael Matheson (defense) as a New England Men's Division I All-Star while senior Bill Arnold won the Frank Jones Award as New England's top defensive forward.

Boston College has won 25 games in a season for the fourth time in five years and nine of the last 11. Under head coach Jerry York's tenure, the Eagles have racked up 25 victories or more in 14-of-20 seasons. BC managed to win its 20th game this season in just its 27th outing, tying for second quickest under York. In 2010-11 and 2003-04, Boston College won 20 games in 26 tilts, marking the fastest under York. This year's team matched the 2000-01 Eagles' squad that emerged victoriously in 20-of-27 contests. Boston College was also the first team of the 2013-14 season to reach 20 victories this year. In all, York has coached 25 of his 42 clubs to 20 wins or more throughout his coaching career. If the Eagles capture the national championship, it will mark York's sixth 30-th win club he has coached.

Johnny Gaudreau capped one of the most memorable point streaks in modern history. The Carneys Point, N.J., native scored at least one point over the course of 31-consecutive games, spanning from Nov. 1, 2013, to March 15, 2013. Gaudreau's streak was curbed on March 16. Gaudreau's point streak matched Paul Kariya's (Maine) single-season Hockey East record set during the 1992-93 season (Oct. 23, 1992 to March 2, 1993). Gaudreau has also scored a point in ALL 20-consecutive conference games, three short of Kariya's 23-game streak. This season, there were only 20 league games. In all, Gaudreau has been held scoreless only twice this season. Here are the figures from the #TheStreak:
- 29 goals
- 32 assists
- 61 points
- 1.91 points per game
- 17 multi-point performances
- +33 plus/minus rating
- 8 power play goals
- 1 short-handed goal
- 5 game-winning goals
- Shooting percentage of 23.2 (29-of-125)
- 24-5-3 record

Johnny Gaudreau is averaging nearly two points per game (1.97 ppg) after becoming the first skater in college hockey to hit the 40-point, 50-point, 60-point and 70-point plateaus this season. Gaudreau's 32 goals and 37 assists in 37 games puts Gaudreau in the driver's seat as the country's leader in points scored. Gaudreau is also leading the country in goals per game (0.90 gpg) and assists per game with 1.08 apg. Gaudreau's seven game-winning goals are tied for best in the land. His 21 multi-point games is the standard in college hockey, as are his nine three-point games and three four-point showings.

Johnny Gaudreau still has the Frozen Four left on the schedule and is already 26 points ahead of last year's points total with 77. Gaudreau tied Minnesota's Erik Haula for the most points totaled in 2012-13. Gaudreau posted a line of 21-30-51 (1.46 ppg) while Haula finished 16-35-51 (1.38 ppg). The last skater in college hockey to accrue more points than Gaudreau was Minnesota's John Pohl during the 2001-02 season. Pohl scored 79 points that year.

Johnny Gaudreau was been named the winner of the 62nd Walter Brown Award on March 26, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Gaudreau is the 24th Eagle to earn the Walter Brown Award and is the third BC player in the last four years to pick up the distinction, joining Steve Whitney (2013) and John Muse (2011).

For a career, Johnny Gaudreau has surpassed all three BC coaches on the career records chart. Gaudreau passed Greg Brown (120), Jerry York (134) and Marty McInnis (142) and is now 12th all-time at Boston College with 172 points (77-95-172) in 118 games played. Gaudreau's 172 total points are also second most amongst current college skaters in career points. Of the 15 top skaters in that career list, Gaudreau is the only junior listed. Everyone else is a senior.

In the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament against Denver on March 29, Johnny Gaudreau scored that elusive first-career hat trick in his 117th game as an Eagle. Along with that, Gaudreau doled out three assists for a six-point performance. That figure tied him for the second-best performance since the tournament's history. The six-point flash counts as his second-career six-point showing (March 9, 2013 at Vermont) and is only the second player in college hockey with one this season (Matthew Peca -- 2-4-6 on Feb. 28, 2014, against St. Lawrence).

The trio of Johnny Gaudreau - Bill Arnold - Kevin Hayes has put forth unprecedented numbers since joining forces as a line on Dec. 6. Not only has BC amassed a 20-3-2 mark since these three paired as a forward line, the trio has combined for 53 goals and 75 assists (128 points) and a +86 plus/minus rating. Since the combination of these three, they have ALL scored at least one point per game in EIGHTEEN of their last 25 outings. On two occassions, `The Big Three' have combined for 13 points in a game, most recently against Denver on March 29 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (6-7-13). Th triumvirate turned the trick against Maine, as well, on Jan. 18 (4-9-13). They are college hockey's most lethal line as the three comprises half of the country's top six scorers (Gaudreau - 1st - 1.97 | Hayes - 2nd - 1.62 | Arnold - 6th - 1.33). Since skating as a line together, BC's three has constituted 45.7 percent of the Eagles' offense since Dec. 6 (128-of-280 points).

One of the most famous lines to skate through The Heights was the "HEM Line" that consisted of Steve Heinze, David Emma and Marty McInnis from 1988 to 1990. In two seasons together, the HEM Line totaled 363 points in 82 games played. On average, the HEM line generated 4.43 points per game. Comparably, the Gaudreau-Arnold-Hayes line averages 5.12 points per game.

Freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko has emerged as one of the country's sturdiest goaltender and has the numbers to back it up. The San Diego, Calif., native owns the country's 12th-best goals against average (2.16 GAA) and fifth-best winning percentage of .761 (16-4-3). Demko's save percentage rests at .920, 26th best in college hockey.

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