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Boston College rolls over Minnesota to make NCAA final

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

EDITOR'S NOTE: Flames prospects Bill Arnold and Johnny Gaudreau combined for three points in the win. Gaudreau picked up two helpers while Arnold assisted on the opening tally.

Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau celebrates with Paul Carey in the Frozen Four semi-final game against Minnesota (Getty Images)

TAMPA BAY, FL -- Parker Milner and the Boston College Eagles continue to soar in their quest towards a second national title in three years.

Milner made 30 saves and forward Paul Carey scored twice as Boston College cruised past Minnesota 6-1 at the Frozen Four on Thursday night to earn a spot in Saturday's NCAA championship game.

The Eagles will take an 18-game winning streak into the title game against Ferris State (26-11-5), which beat Union 3-1 in the first semifinal at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"It's exciting," said junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin, whose third-period power-play goal completed the scoring. "This is as good as it gets. We're happy to be playing on Saturday, but there's still a lot of work to do."

Steven Whitney, Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider also had goals for the Eagles (32-10-1), the top-seeded team in the nation entering the tournament.

Unlike the Ferris State-Union game in which neither team scored until well into the second period and the game wasn't decided until less than four minutes remained in regulation, the Eagles took command early against the Golden Gophers.

Boston College opened the scoring on a goal by Steven Whitney 6:03 into the first period, added a power-play goal by Kevin Hayes 6:35 into the second, then blew the game open late in the period on goals 1:58 apart by Chris Kreider and Carey.

"It was definitely unexpected that we came out like that," BC freshman forward Johnny Gaudreau said. "They're a good team, so I was thinking a 1-0 or a 2-1 game for us, but that proves what happens when you just go out and play."

Jake Hansen had the lone goal for the Gophers (28-14-1), spoiling Milner's shutout bid when he tapped home a feed from Erik Haula at the top of the crease 1:26 into the third period. The play went under review, but the initial call was upheld.

The goal was just the first allowed by Milner in three games of the NCAA tournament.

"He's unbelievable," Boston College forward Barry Almeida said. "He was the backbone for us and made some great saves."

Carey ended any comeback hopes for Minnesota when he beat goaltender Kent Patterson 22 seconds after Hansen's goal for a 5-1 lead.

A power-play goal credited to Dumoulin capped the scoring at 5:51 of the third, although video replay showed Minnesota defenseman Justin Holl inadvertently redirect a cross-crease pass into his own net.

It was that kind of night for the Gophers, who outshot the Eagles 31-25 in their first Frozen Four appearance since 2005.

"Obviously our goal was to win a national championship," Haula said. "It's tough right now, but I'm sure we'll wake up feeling better about it in the morning."

Whitney opened the scoring when he came in sliding headfirst towards the top of the crease and managed to bat home a pass from Almeida for a 1-0 lead. Hayes doubled the advantage by snapping a power-play wrist shot over Patterson's shoulder.

Patterson finished with 19 saves.

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