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Frozen Four 2012: Boston College Shows Why They're Favorites In 6-1 Win Over Minnesota

The Boston College Eagles proved why they're favorite in the 2012 Frozen Four, dominating the Minnesota Golden Gophers 6-1 in the national semifinal.

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Frozen Four 2012 Results: Boston College Eagles Cruise To Title Game With 6-1 Win Over Minnesota

The Boston College Eagles are an absolute monster. We all saw first-hand why they're the favorite in this 2012 Frozen Four on Thursday night as they decimated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 6-1 to advance to the national final against Ferris State on Saturday. It's their 18th straight win.

Paul Carey scored two goals while Steven Whitney, Brian Dumoulin, Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider added tallies of their own as the Eagles quickly made this one a rout. It was just 1-0 after one period, and it actually appeared as though Minnesota had all the momentum entering the first intermission. That didn't change despite an Eagles power play goal 6:35 into the second, and it was up to goaltender Parker Milner to keep the Gophers off the board.

Milner was up to the task. He made several saves in quick succession to preserve the shutout in the first period and was huge in the second period as Minnesota hit the gas. After one particularly large save about 17 minutes into the period, the Eagles were able to capitalize in transition and open the score to 3-0 thanks to a turnover by the Gophers at the blue line.

That sequence was the turning point in the game, and once the Eagles entered the second intermission up 4-0, the third period was just a formality. Even when Minnesota did get on the board on a Jake Hansen goal 1:26 in, it seemed like the Eagles were just toying with them. A lengthy review confirmed the goal and ruined Milner's shutout bid, but it took just 22 seconds for Boston College to get the lead back on Dumoulin's tally.

The Eagles were favorites entering this season, entering this tournament and entering this Frozen Four. They'll no doubt be heavy favorites over the Bulldogs on Saturday night as well.

For more from the Boston College perspective, check in with Eagles blog BC Interruption and SB Nation Boston. For more from the Minnesota perspective, check in with Gophers blog The Daily Gopher and SB Nation Minnesota. Stick with our 2012 Frozen Four StoryStream for complete coverage of the entire tournament.

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Frozen Four 2012, Boston College Vs. Minnesota Score: Gophers Make Too Many Mistakes, Eagles Pounce To Take 4-0 Lead

This is what the Boston College hockey team does. It looked as though Minnesota was ready to make a charge in the second period. Despite the Golden Gophers allowing a power play goal at the 6:35 mark, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead, Minnesota yet again seemed to control much of the play for at least the first 15 minutes of action.

They got chances on the BC defense, which was saved yet again by goaltender Parker Milner, but you had a feeling that at any second the Gophers would break through and get back in the game.

But then, a 20 second span probably erased their hopes of winning the game, let alone a national title. Milner made a huge stop on Minnesota's best chance of the game to that point, and when the play came back to the neutral zone, a rough turnover at the blue line gave Boston College the chance to fully open the game. Chris Kreider accepted a feed from Destry Straight in front of the net and tipped it by Gopher goaltender Kent Patterson to make the score 3-0.

Just two minutes later, Paul Carey scored on a broken transition play to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead. Make a mistake and BC will capitalize. The Gophers made too many mistakes in the second period, and... well, it looks like their season could be over as a result.

For complete coverage of the entire NCAA men's ice hockey tournament, check out our 2012 Frozen Four StoryStream.

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Frozen Four 2012, Boston College Vs. Minnesota Score: Eagles Take Lead In First Period, But Gophers Control Pace

Boston College is really, really good at this hockey thing. The second-best offensive club in the nation made the Minnesota Golden Gophers defense look silly about seven and a half minutes into the first period of their 2012 Frozen Four matchup, dancing around what appeared to be maroon-colored pylons and scoring the first goal of the game.

Steven Whitney was credited with the goal, assisted by both Barry Almeida and Bill Arnold.

But down the stretch of the first period, the Gophers showed up and decided to show that they're pretty good at this game too. Minnesota turned up the energy and frankly took over the game for the latter half of the first period, but BC goalie Parker Milner was phenomenal, making at least two huge stops to preserve the 1-0 score.

The Eagles escaped the first period with the lead, but if they're not able to turn the tide, Milner won't be able to hold off the Gophers on his own much longer.

For complete coverage of the entire NCAA men's ice hockey tournament, check out our 2012 Frozen Four StoryStream.

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Frozen Four 2012, Boston College Vs. Minnesota: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Boston College Eagles hockey team may be the favorites at the 2012 Frozen Four, but that doesn't mean they're guaranteed victory. The Minnesota Golden Gophers, a worthy foe, will try to keep down the potent BC attack in their attempt to seal the upset and advance to Saturday's national championship game.

No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. No. 1 Boston College Eagles
Thursday, April 5, 8 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN 2
Tampa Bay Times Forum, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Full Gophers coverage: SB Nation Minnesota, The Daily Gopher
Full Eagles coverage: SB Nation Boston, BC Interruption

Both teams have strong offenses led by incredible depth. The Eagles feature eight forwards who finished the season with 25 points, and the Gophers finished just one behind with seven 25-point scorers.

Boston College hasn't lost in their last 17 attempts, winning both the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles. Minnesota finished atop the WCHA in the regular season, finishing with a 28-13-1 overall record. They beat Alaska-Anchorage in the WCHA tournament before falling to North Dakota in the WCHA Final Five. The winner of Thursday's national semifinal will advance to the national championship against either Ferris State or Union.

For more on the 2012 Frozen Four and full coverage of the entire NCAA hockey tournament, stick with our StoryStream.

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Boston College Hockey A Worthy Favorite At 2012 Frozen Four

Boston College has been the 2012 Frozen Four favorite since the puck dropped on the season in October, but that certainly doesn't mean they're guaranteed the title in Tampa.

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Frozen Four 2012 Preview: Boston College Hockey Hopes To Dictate Offensive Pace Vs. Minnesota

Between a dozen goals and two shutouts, something has to give.

After two shutout wins against Air Force and Minnesota Duluth in the Regional Round of the 2012 NCAA men's ice hockey championship, the Boston College Eagles put their 17-game unbeaten streak on the line against the University of Minnesota in the second of two Frozen Four semifinal matchups Thursday.

The Gophers are a worthy challenger, having scored 12 goals in their two wins over Boston University and North Dakota during the earlier portion of the tournament, but they're going to need to continue their momentum against a team that has the power to exploit their weaknesses.

No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. No. 1 Boston College Eagles
Thursday, April 5, 8 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN 2
Tampa Bay Times Forum, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Up front, both teams have remarkable depth in their front-nine. Boston College features 8 forwards with more than 25 points -- one more than Minnesota -- and their third line could be the top line at many schools. While the Eagles have the slight edge here, it's worth noting that Minnesota's top line of Kyle Rau (Florida Panthers), Nick Bjugstad (Panthers) and Zach Budish (Nashville Predators) scored just two goals in the first two games, one an empty-netter. If that unit can get back on track, Boston College will have a lot to deal with.

The Gophers' defense has been one of the big surprises this season in college hockey. Defensemen Nate Schmidt has gone from a healthy scratch as a freshman to 40 point scorer, and overall, a blue line featuring one upperclassman has held its own. Minnesota's ninth in the nation with 2.21 goals against per game. That's changed in recent games, as the team has allowed 14 goals in their last four outings. That's been masked by offensive output, but it'll be tough to win that way against the potent Eagles.

The Boston College offense, led by Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) and Barry Almeid, scores an average of 3.5 goals per game, and they put up four goals on reigning champion Minnesota Duluth last Sunday.

Minnesota has a first team All-WCHA goaltender in Kent Patterson (Colorado Avalanche) that has the ability to shut teams out (the senior is tied for the national lead with seven) thanks to strong positional play. The Eagles, meanwhile, trot out Parker Milner, who has been just as outstanding over the last two months with a .935 save percentage. Although neither goalie needs to stand on their head to give their team a chance, they are both capable of doing so.

In the end, something has to give. Whether the two high-scoring offenses cancel each other out or this Frozen Four semifinal becomes a shootout, both Boston College and Minnesota are very similar -- talented all over the ice with balanced offensive depth.

The Eagles have consistent play on their side, while the key for the Gophers will be getting on the board first, as they're 22-7-0 when doing so. They can't let Boston College control the game offensively like they did against Minnesota Duluth in the Regional Final. If they can handle the BC attack, this will be a game worthy of a Frozen Four semifinal.

At the very least, my money's on the Maroon and Gold team.

For more on Boston College hockey, check in with Eagles blog BC Interruption. For more on Minnesota hockey, check in with Gophers blog The Daily Gopher. SB Nation Boston and SB Nation Minnesota provide accompanying coverage, and you can stay on top of the entire tournament with our Frozen Four 2012 StoryStream.

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