Frozen Four Game-Day: Boston College vs. Union College (3pm MT, TSN2)

Gang, it all comes down to this. This afternoon, the Boston College Eagles attempt to advance to the NCAA Championship game on Saturday when they play the Union College Dutchmen. It’ll definitely be the last couple collegiate games for Flames 2010 fourth rounder Bill Arnold, but it may also be the final collegiate appearances for one Johnny Gaudreau.

You may have heard of him.

A win sends Arnold and Gaudreau to the championship game. A loss perhaps sends them NHL contracts and an NHL appearance this weekend.

Either way, the stakes are high as one (or both) of the Calgary Flames top prospects seek to end their NCAA career(s) in style. The game goes at 3pm MT on TSN2.

BOSTON COLLEGE

Lines, via Joe Meloni of College Hockey News. Goals scored in brackets.

J.Gaudreau (35) – Arnold (14) – Hayes (27)
Fitzgerald (12) – Brown (14) – Cangelosi (10)
Smith (2) – Sit (5) – Silk (3)
M.Gaudreau (1) – Gilmour (7) – Cainan (4)

Savage (4) – Matheson (3)
MacLeod (0) – Santini (2)
McCoshen (5) – Doherty (2)

2014 NHL Draft prospect Thatcher Demko starts for the Eagles. He’s 16-4-3, with a 2.16 GAA, .920 SV% and 2 shutouts this year. He started as the back-up and has really taken the reins.

The Eagles were eliminated in their conference playoffs by Notre Dame, then sat home for a week before besting Denver and U-Mass Lowell to punch their ticket to Philadelphia.

Obviously, BC’s team is top-heavy: the top line is SICK, and their defense is promising, but depth is an issue. The big question is if Boston College’s aces have one (or two) more big games left in ’em. Fitzgerald is a bit of a sleeper, and the second line has been decent of late, but this is the Gaudreau & Co. Show.

Seniors: Hayes, Arnold, Brown, MacLeod
Freshmen: Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Gilmour, Savage, McCoshen, Cainan, Santini, M.Gaudreau, Demko
NHL Picks: J.Gaudreau (CGY), Arnold (CGY), Hayes (CHI), Fitzgerald (BOS), Calnan (CHI), Matheson (FLA), McCoshen (FLA), Santini (NJ), MacLeod (SJ), Gilmour (MIN)
Leadership: captain is Patrick Brown; alternates are Isaac MacLeod and Bill Arnold

UNION COLLEGE

Lines, via Joe Meloni of College Hockey News. Goals scored in brackets.

Carr (22) – Vecchione (12) – Ciampini (19)
Hatch (13) – Novak (14) – Sullivan (8)
Wilkins (6) – Lichtenwald (8) – Pontarelli (10)
Ikkala (2) – Coatta (5) – Cruice (6)

Gostisbehere (8) – Taylor (3)
Bodie (6) – Gingras (2)
Henry (0) – Vasaturo (0)

Junior goaltender Colin Stevens starts for the Dutchmen. He’s been superb this year, with a 26-4-2 record, 1.93 GAA, .932 SV% and 6 shutouts. He’s easily the best goalie in the ECAC this year.

Union has a more balanced line-up than BC, relying on offense from everywhere rather than riding one line. Their challenge will be containing the BC top line and making hay offensively when they’re not on the ice. Easier said than done, but the Dutchmen haven’t lost since January (amassing a 14-0-1 stretch). Whatever they’re doing, it’s working.

But can it work just one (or two) more times?

Seniors: Carr, Hatch, Sullivan, Bodie, Ikkala
Freshmen: Taylor, Pontarelli, Lichtenwald, Vecchione, Henry
NHL Picks: Gostisbehere (PHI)
Leadership: captain is Mat Bodie; alternates are Shayne Gostisbehere, Cole Ikkala and Daniel Carr

SUM IT UP

One way or another, Boston College’s season will end this weekend. Will it be via championship glory or the bitter taste of disappointment?

Either way, it’ll be a great chance to watch Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold play ice hockey.

  • Burnward

    I am so tired about the whining of where we might draft or that we should have tanked to get a higher draft pick. How did this team that almost all the experts and most of the regulars on this site picked to be 29/30 do better than the expectations.
    1. We had an NHL headcoach who set expectations for his team and held them accountable to these expectations.
    2. We had a captain that bought into the coaches system and who put the team ahead of himself and the rest of the leadership group followed.
    3. Some young players took big step forwards (Backs, Brodie)
    4. We added some surprises to the lineup.(Colborne, Bouma, Byron)
    5. The Kid was as advertised and the goalie eventually was as advertised.
    6.Maybe we underestimated the talent of the prospects and the grit of this team.

    While it appears that the top 5 of the draft class may be ahead of the next group of 10 how sure can we be sure. The Flames will have done their homework and will know which of the others is the best prospect for the organization. I’m not saying that next years team will make the playoffs but I am looking forward to seeing the work ethic continue and the what the prospects will bring in regards to skill.

    • beloch

      At the start of the season I predicted the Flames would be significantly higher in the standings than they are now (but not in the playoffs). By any objective standard, finishing in the bottom six is damned awful. However, the Flames are poised to break the NHL record for most close games in a season and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re close to the record for the most one goal losses in a season too. This is a team that is almost getting it done. That leaves room for optimism.

      Where will the Flames finish next season? If Burke does absolutely nothing I think they’d finish much higher than they did this season. The goal-tending has improved, several players have taken big steps forward, and there are some injured players who will hopefully rebound next season (e.g. Wideman and Smid). If Arnold, Gaudreau, and Baertschi all make the team next season there is potential for a nice upgrade in firepower.

      Burke, however, is highly unlikely to do nothing. He has lots of assets to work with and abundant cap space. He might content himself with signing UFA’s, but I suspect he’ll be making “hockey trades” galore. It remains to be seen if those trades will favor the future or the present more.

      Whatever Burke does, the Flames are unlikely to be picking this high again next season. We fans should probably face facts. Calgary is not the city of lottery picks. If you want that, get onto the QE2 and head North.

  • loudogYYC

    Yeah, ok.

    I don’t concede often, but I get the reasoning. Whatever to get it done. 5 games or 7 games vs 1 game, I’ll grant you that it’s not a big difference.

    Cap issues because of too many good players is a nice problem to have anyways.

    I humbly acquiesce.

  • Rockmorton65

    I’ve just got to say, sometimes I take a look at Oilersnation and Canucksarmy to see how the rest of the west is doing and I can honestly say that I will NEVER cheer for the flames to lose no matter how it affects their draft position. I hope they win as many games as possible and I hope the flames have hired a good scouting department that make the right calls. I can’t help but be disappointed when the flames lose and happy when they win. NO MATTER WHAT!

  • Dear Mr Edwards…If you haven’t already done so please get Ken King and Brian Burke on your private jet and fly them to New Jersey to pick up Johnny’s parents. From there go to the tourney with his parents and have a pen and contract in your hands.

    Ditto for Billy Arnold! Your franchise simply cannot afford another Tim Erixon situation! Enough said on this already!!

    • McRib

      Tim Erixon situation? We actually easily won that trade give me Markus Granlund & Tyler Wotherspoon anyday over Tim Erixon. Not to mention we got 1/2 of Ladislav Smid for Roman Horak (not that I am a huge fan). At this point I think I would take just one of Wotherspoon or Granlund over Erixon. I want Johnny Hockey to sign with us as much as the next person, but imagine what kind of value he would get in return if we traded him. If he said he didn’t want to sign with Calgary this offseason and would sign with a Boston or Philadelphia at this point I think he could get better return than Iggy did. Regardless I think he signs with us after the NCAA Tournament, as his parents seem to be just trolling the media more than anything. Or the media is trolling them which is much more likely setting them up for quotes to make a story.

      • mattyc

        No question we did win that trade as it turned out. But if I was the ownership of the Flames never again would anyone, Glen Sather included, dick around with my draft picks. I would simply not allow it and take it as a learning going forward.

        Like you I am also of the mindset that if it is clear he will not sign with the Flames we would easily get great value in return! His college accomplishments are well documented and his size should not be a determining factor, given the successes of a Martin St. Louis etc.

    • McRib

      “He will sign with the Calgary Flames. Gaudreau will be picked up, along with his senior teammate Bill Arnold, and flown in the Flames’ corporate jet to Vancouver” Report from the Boston Herald.

      They listened to you!!!! Hahaha. Apparently it has also leaked that he has won the Hobey Baker!!!

  • ChinookArchYYC

    @JulieRobenhymer: CGY plays VAN Sunday. Word is the Flames have a charter in Philly ready to take Gaudreau (& Arnold, although not expected to play) ASAP.

      • McRib

        Rodger Millions was saying something similar (i.e. just as bold along the lines of “he will be in Vancouver to play”). That sounds so certain to me its had to ignore. If they said he will sign tomorrow that might seem like a pot shot, but they are saying he will be in the lineup asap, thats kind of bold.

  • McRib

    Rodger Millions on twitter saying he thinks a Johnny Gadreau deal is coming soon. Kenny Agostino’s recent play with the Flames also a NJ product and childhood rival/friend could help with signing Johnny Hockey. Not just Bill Arnold helping us out wonder if that was a factor when we got Agostino in Iggy deal.

    • McRib

      In last years development camp Johnny raved about Kenny and there lifelong friendship. I’m guessing Weisbrod/Feaster factored this in the trade with Pittsburgh!

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Roger (I know it all) Millions is only guessing like the rest of us. I guess I would expect him to provide facts as he is closer to the team than most fans. In his twitter comments he admits to guessing that there is a plane waiting to take Johnny and Billy to Vancouver! Total BS reporting!

      • McRib

        I don’t know it sounded fairly certain from a few people following the team it was the kind of quote you wouldn’t say if you weren’t 90%+. It sounds like something got done during the NJ game and everyone knows around the team. Everyone involved with the Flames was tweeting non stop about Johnny Gaudreau during the game. If he had spurned management I don’t think they would have made as big of a deal to be honest. I remember when Justin Schultz told Anaheim he wasn’t going to any more Rookie Camps he was like dead to the franchise.

        Lets put it this way the Flames are going to have two of his best friends in the world in Bill Arnold & Kenny Agostino. He just made a mockery of the NCAA and has nothing left to prove there. I honestly think its a matter of time even if I like you don’t necessarily agree with him jumping on a plane right away to sneak in a NHL Game being certain.

        I think the biggest thing is even though he put up great points and won a USHL title his draft year only three teams were even considering drafting him. We took him much higher than most were expecting and he remembers that.

  • Burnward

    @coachedpotatoe Agree with everything. That’s exactly why Flames fans are excited/optimistic about this team. Jay Feaster deserves ALL the credit for the assembly of this team and its philosophy. He reminds me of Bill Clinton… Managed the country well but made 1 critical mistake and got impeached. Only to be proceeded by an imbecile who ruined everything…but hopefully the second part doesn’t happen.

  • prendrefeu

    Correction: 5-4 Union. It was almost ridiculous, Gaudreau managed to get a shot off in less than 4 seconds from the last center faceoff after BC scored one to draw closer.

  • GriffinJeff

    “Thanks everyone for all the support over my last 4 years at BC. It was an incredible experience that i won’t forget. I will miss all of you,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.

  • Rockmorton65

    It’d be mistake to put him in against Van. The game means nothing. He’ll have no chance to practise. How prepared can he be if all he gets in is a morning skate? Just so we can see him in a uniform? Especially when we’re playing a hated rival who is still blaming us for their lost season. I wouldn’t expose him to a potential cheap shot. Not to mention, burning a year of his ELC for 5-10 mins of one game. Sorry for being a wet blanket, but I can’t find a good reason to have him in the lineup.

    • piscera.infada

      I agree it’s somewhat pointless to play him against Vancouver. However, the ELC, NHL money, signing bonus, and chance to play in an NHL game right away are the reasons he’d make a decision to sign right away. If that’s how it goes down, then so be it. From his camp’s perspective the “one year closer” to a second contract probably makes the most economic sense, and is likely the biggest reason he signs now. I’m sure from an organizational standpoint, if they can get pen to paper, they don’t care too much about the ELC aspect.

    • Rockmorton65

      burning a year of his ELC could be incentive for him to sign. It means he’ll get his payday sooner. Plus the PR of having him play would be good for the flames.

      • Rockmorton65

        Yeah, the burning of a year of ELC should be a big draw for JG. Ideally I’d prefer to have him play for the Heat in their playoff run instead, but if he wants to try the NHL, he should absolutely be given the opportunity.