With UMass Lowell falling to Quinnipiac on Sunday evening, just one Hockey East team remains out of the six that made the NCAA tournament, with Boston College advancing to the Frozen Four. Joining the Eagles in Tampa Bay are Quinnipiac, Denver, and North Dakota.
The run for the River Hawks came to an end with a 4-1 loss where the Bobcats of Quinnipiac, a team that has been near the top of the polls all season, were able to figure out Lowell goaltender Kevin Boyle. Lowell was only able to get off 15 shots in the game.
All four other Hockey East clubs other than BC were not able to advance beyond the first round. Boston University was trounced by Denver, 7-2, and the Pioneers eventually reached the Frozen Four themselves. The defending champions, Providence College, was ousted by Minnesota-Dultuh, whom were defeated by Boston College.
Notre Dame fell in the first game in overtime to Michigan, a team that eventually lost to the top-seeded North Dakota. Northeastern, the champions of the conference, and formerly the hottest team in the country, was crushed by North Dakota in its first contest.
Boston College was the team coming out of Hockey East potentially with the most question marks after nearly collapsing against Vermont in the playoffs before being defeated by Northeastern. BC, a team that is 14-1 historically at DCU Center in Worcester, the location of the regional, performed like the top-talent team that they are all tournament.
The Eagles are a team that play best when they are physical, which is exactly how they played against the Bulldogs of Duluth, but are able to stay out of the penalty box. Boston College struggled to do so in the conference tournament, and paid for it especially in the semi final against Northeastern.
Now Boston College returns to Amalie Arena, a stadium where the Eagles saw success four seasons ago as the national champions in 2012. The opponent will be Quinnipiac, the team that just defeated another Hockey East power in UMass Lowell, and the top overall seed in the tournament.
Denver and North Dakota will faceoff in a matchup of teams from the NCHC, and it will be the sixth time that the conference foes have faced each other this season.
This will be the 12th Frozen Four appearance for the Eagles under current head coach Jerry York, who won his 1,000th game with the Eagles earlier on this season.
After half of the conference made the tournament, a far cry from the two teams (Providence and BU, who faced each other in the championship game) that made it last season, just one team remains. It could be argued that Boston College was the most talented of the six, and now the Eagles have used that to get past two tough teams in Harvard and Duluth. The road gets no easier for the Eagles, however, with a matchup against the top seed to make it to Tampa Bay.