College hockey: Quinnipiac and North Dakota in NCAA final

Quinnipiac junior defenseman Connor Clifton left and junior forward Tim Clifton pose for

Frozen Fest a presidential fiesta: Part of the Frozen Four experience is the Frozen Fest, a set of spirit events that takes place in the plaza outside the rink.

Coming out in the third, there was little urgency to Boston College's game.

One of the few bright spots for the Eagles in the game was freshman Colin White. At the center of this discussion is Alex Tuch.

Hard-hitting junior Connor Clifton (ARI) was arguably the Bobcats' top defenseman in the game. "When I play with emotion, that's when I'm at my best, finishing checks and going to the net hard".

"This time of year, we are nearly always busy".

"The last month, two months, he's been outstanding..."

Quinnipiac has outscored opponents 162-80 during the season, including 11-3 during the NCAA Tournament.

Pick a statistic and they're a fearsome foe. That is the most combined wins for teams entering the Frozen Four since the NCAA implemented its current 16-team playoff format in 2003.

Even though Quinnipiac surrendered one power-play goal, the Bobcats only allowed the Eagles to attempt only eight shots on five power plays.

They should not be under-estimated. You don't need to know his.

Quinnipiac's portion was rather uneventful - the standard band and cheerleader fare - until school president John Lahey climbed on stage and took the microphone for an energetic, 42-second speech that sounded more Hellenic than regal. Yet he played and made an impact. Heinen touched up BC for a goal and an assist and was easily the best skater on the ice the entire game. How good does his shoulder feel?

He scored this beauty against UMASS Lowell earlier in the tournament, so the injury wasn't holding him back all that much.

To be fair, the Bobcats appeared to have the second most representation Thursday around the Frozen Four.

Not when UND was so close to playing in that game.

The Eagles had two first-period power plays but could not get on the scoreboard until the second.

Under-appreciated is a way of describing the top of Denver's defensive group. Fittingly, the strongest teams in the tournament this year are featured in the final quartet.

It was simple: Quinnipiac had just qualified for its second national-title game in the past four seasons. There's been a low-scoring game. "It ended our season". "That was an ugly, greasy goal at the net front, and that's how you win hockey games". Each one has surpassed the 40-point mark.

"They definitely want to separate you from the puck more", Brock Boeser said. There are similarities. Certainly they have some high-end draft picks that we have to be aware of and some high-end skill guys.

"Quinnipiac Bobcats fans are the best hockey fans in America!" "It was a big one for our program". Denver. North Dakota. Boston College. The advancing McKernan stepped up and drilled his fourth goal of the season by BC's Thatcher Demko.

North Dakota presents its own challenges, including shutting down the electric "CBS" line of Drake Caggiula, Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz. They were gritty. They got good goaltending.

North Dakota and Denver, conference rivals who have met 275 times over the past 66 years, meet in Thursday's other semifinal at Amalie Arena. That's tied for sixth in the nation and is just shy of Parker Gahagen's. Quinnipiac (32-1-7) answered, scoring nine seconds into a power play just over four minutes later on a rebound goal for Landon Smith to push it back to a two-goal cushion at 3-1.

Johnson played well though. Just imagine all of the kids in attendance at the Frozen Four, who may decide to take up youth hockey after watching NCAA's elite players in action. In that game, the Bobcats fell to the Fighting Hawks, 4-1.

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