March 16, 2012

BC women make return trip to Frozen Four

By Scott Sudikoff

The Boston College women are making a return trip to the NCAA Frozen Four, and their third appearance in six seasons.  They join defending champion Wisconsin, Minnesota and Cornell at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn., this weekend.

Boston College secured its second consecutive national semifinal appearance after its 6-3 victory over St. Lawrence last Saturday at Kelley Rink in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Eagles (24-9-3) finished second in the Hockey East standings behind Northeastern, and are looking to be the first team from the league to win a national championship.

In fact, the Eagles are looking to become the first team outside of the WCHA and the Midwest to win the title.

The Eagles have what it takes to reel off the necessary consecutive victories as they have enjoyed three separate four-game winning streaks this year, with their longest losing skid only being two games.

They are hoping that their 5-2 Hockey East tournament semifinal loss to BU will be the last blemish on their 2011-12 ledger.

BC’s 24 wins this season ties a school record set back in 2007 and matched last year. Head coach Katie King Crowley (Salem, N.H.) has been recognized for her work this year as a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division I Coach of the Year. She joins a list that also includes Northeastern’s Dave Flint (Merrimack, N.H.) and Maine’s Maria Lewis, among others. The award will be announced at the conclusion of the Frozen Four on Sunday.

BC’s opponent is a familiar one, Wisconsin. The top-ranked Badgers knocked off the Eagles in last year’s Frozen Four before going on to beat Boston University to earn their fourth national championship.

In the 11-year history of the Women’s NCAA Division I Championship, only Minnesota-Duluth has more titles, with five.

Here’s a look at the schedule competing teams in this year’s NCAA Frozen Four:

Friday, March 16

Semifinals

Boston College vs. Wisconsin – 6 p.m. EST

Cornell vs. Minnesota – 9 p.m EST

Sunday, March 18

National championship – 4 p.m. EST

You can watch and follow all of the action at NCAA.com

Boston College (Hockey East) 

Head Coach: Katie King Crowley (Salem, N.H.) – 5th season

24-9-3 (15-4-2 WHEA, 2nd)

Points Leader: 38 – Fr. Alex Carpenter (Reading, Mass.)

Goals Leader: 20 - Carpenter

Assists Leader: 22 – Sr. Mary Restuccia

Top Goalie: Jr. Corinne Boyles (24-9-3, .925 save percentage, 2.04 GAA, 6 SHO)

Cornell (ECAC Hockey)

Head Coach: Doug Derraugh -- 7th season

30-4-0 (20-2-0 ECAC, 1st)

Points Leader: 61, Sr. Rebecca Johnston

Goals Leader: 30, Johnston

Assists Leader: 37, Soph. Brianne Jenner

Top Goalie: Soph. Lauren Slebodnick (Manchester, N.H.) [15-1-0, .924 save percentage, 1.45 GAA, 6 SHO]

Minnesota (WCHA)

Head Coach: Brad Frost (5th season)

32-5-2 (21-5-2, WCHA, 2nd)

Points Leader: 76, Soph. Amanda Kessel

Goals Leader: 30, Kessel

Assists Leader: 46, Kessel

Top Goalie: Jr. Noora Raty (31-5-2, .941 save percentage, 1.34 GAA, 10 SHO)

Wisconsin (WCHA)

Head Coach: Mark Johnson (10th season)

32-4-2 (23-3-2, WCHA, 1st)

Points Leader: 80, Jr. Brianna Decker

Goals Leader: 37, Decker

Assists Leader: 43, Decker

Top Goalie: Soph. Alex Rigsby (32-4-2, .952 save percentage, 1.35 GAA, 9 SHO)

Scott Sudikoff can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.