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.

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    Completely immersing myself in hockey. Watching my Royals in tough with the Winterhalwks, as much NhL as I can (2 awesome games on TSN last night) and now Frozen 4. What a friggin awesome time of year. Think I’m gonna quit my job. Hey, Mat Bodie is pretty impressive for Union. He’s doing his thesis on the valuation of draft picks in the NHL. That’s pretty awesome. That’s my kind of university education.

  • 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.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I am just as impressed with Bill Arnold. Real hardworking centre, nice size and NHL speed. Solid on his skates and nice balance. Apparently a strong face-off guy. Can fill many gaps for the Flames.

  • 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

      “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!!!

    • 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.