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HomeSportsHockeyNCAAH News: BC enters Frozen Four seeking first title in 12 years

NCAAH News: BC enters Frozen Four seeking first title in 12 years

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No. 1 overall seed Boston College enters the Frozen Four with lofty expectations when it faces off against Michigan on Thursday evening in Saint Paul, Minn.

The Eagles (33-5-1) understand the pressure. It’s a source of pride for the team.

“It’s a pretty impressive tradition here at BC and it’s something that it’s tough to kind of live up to, and I think that this group we have is pretty special,” Boston College forward Jack Malone said. “The work that we put in, I think we’re very proud of what we have accomplished so far. We’re just going to continue that, to honor that tradition.”

Boston College carries a 14-game winning streak into its semifinal matchup. The Eagles are two wins away from securing their first national championship since 2012.

Michigan (23-14-3) is eager to play the role of spoiler. The Wolverines lost the Big Ten title game 5-4 in overtime against archrival Michigan State, but then they knocked off North Dakota and the Spartans in the NCAA Tournament to secure a ticket to the Frozen Four.

Wolverines defenseman Marshall Warren said he and his teammates want more.

“We have a lot to prove,” Warren said. “Michigan hasn’t won a national title since 1998. That’s what we want to do for the alumni. That’s what we want to do for Block M. And it starts (Thursday).

“As a team, we were .500 during the break. Went on a little run there. But we’re not satisfied yet. It starts (Thursday) and we’re ready to go. BC is in our way. So we’re going to do everything in our power to get the win.”

On the other side of the bracket, second-seeded Boston University (28-9-2) will take on third-seeded Denver (30-9-3) in the first game on Thursday for an opportunity to advance to the championship.

Boston University reached the Frozen Four last season but lost 6-2 to Minnesota in the semifinals. The Terriers hope to learn from that experience as they return to college hockey’s biggest stage in pursuit of their first title since 2009.

This time around, Boston University has one of the nation’s top prospects in freshman Macklin Celebrini. The 17-year-old forward has 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 37 games this season.

Celebrini is projected to be one of the top players selected in this year’s NHL draft.

“Forget the talent he has — and his talent is off the charts,” Terriers coach Jay Pandolfo said of Celebrini. “His competitiveness is second to none. And that’s a pretty good recipe.

“I’ll give you a story. The first day of … training camp, he (ticked) a lot of guys off, but it was (because) of how competitive he is. He doesn’t give anyone an inch, and he’s like that every day.”

Denver is coming off back-to-back 2-1 wins over Massachusetts and Cornell to advance to the Frozen Four. The Pioneers have won seven games in a row and are looking for their second championship in three years after winning it all in 2022.

Denver forward McKade Webster said he and his teammates have full confidence heading into their game against Boston University.

“I think we’re the best team here, and we set out from Day 1 of training camp that we’re going to win a national championship,” Webster said. “We don’t think of ourselves as underdogs or anything like that. We’re ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

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