B.C. to play Wisconsin in collegiate hockey final
DETROIT – Cam Atkinson scored the first of three goals in a 1:35 stretch midway through the third period, helping Boston College pull away from Miami of Ohio for a 7-1 win Thursday night in the Frozen Four.
The fourth-seeded Eagles will play third-seeded Wisconsin on Saturday night for the NCAA hockey title in a rematch of the 2006 final won by the Badgers.
Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, drew an announced crowd of 34,954 to set a world indoor attendance record for a hockey game. The fans saw two routs: Wisconsin beat Rochester Institute of Technology 8-1 earlier Thursday.
Boston College’s John Muse made 17 saves. Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard gave up seven goals on 30 shots for the top-seeded RedHawks.
It started off being the closely contested game many expected. Ben Smith put Boston College ahead 1-0 by scoring a power-play goal with 1:28 left in the first period.
The Eagles began to pull away with Jimmy Hayes’ power-play goal early in the second – like Smith’s score, from the slot – and Joe Whitney’s goal a minute later.
Knapp was then replaced by Reichard, who made nine saves in the second period to keep the game relatively close.
Joe Hartman gave the RedHawks’ fans something to finally cheer about when he scored 5:19 into the third.
Atkinson, Patch Alber and Paul Carey silenced the red-clad fans, who made the short drive from Ohio, with three goals midway through the third period. Smith netted his second goal late in the game to make it 8-1.
Reichard finished with 17 saves. Knapp had just six.
Boston College coach Jerry York has led the Eagles to their fourth Frozen Four appearance in five years and is a win away from his second national title in three years and the school’s fourth.
The two-game session on Thursday smashed the Frozen Four attendance record of 19,432 set in St. Louis three years ago and hockey’s indoor mark of 21,183 from Tampa Bay’s home game at Tropicana Field against Philadelphia during the 1996 NHL playoffs.
A year ago, Miami almost won its first national championship in any sport.
The RedHawks blew a two-goal lead in the final minute against Boston University and lost in overtime.
They overcame that setback and a loss off the ice this season. Student manager Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, was killed on Feb. 5, in a car crash in Indiana, but the RedHawks were still able to put together a strong season.
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