TAMPA BAY, Fla. - Special teams led Boston College's way to a 4-1 victory over Ferris State for its 19th straight win and its third National Championship in five years.
The Eagles scored a power play goal and then shut down the Bulldogs on four power plays, three in the second period.
With 8:42 remaining in the first period, and the score tied at one goal apiece, Ferris St defenseman Brett Wysopal was called for tripping and went to the box. For much of the power play, the Bulldogs kept the Eagles from getting a shot off.
With nine seconds left it the advantage, it appeared Ferris St may have escaped. But then BC defenseman Brian Dumoulin ripped a shot off from the left point. The puck appeared to be on trajectory to fly left of the net, but right wing Paul Carey got his stick on it and tipped it into the back of the net.
The 2-1 score stood for 47:15, through four power plays, before BC tacked on two more goals. The Eagles spent more than half of the second period with a man in the penalty box. Just 2:31 into the frame, matching minors were called on BC forward Michael Sit and Ferris St defenseman Scott Czarnowczan. Seventeen seconds after those penalties expired, Carey was called for tripping.
Defenseman Tommy Cross hooked Ferris St forward Kyle Bonis to save a goal opportunity and went to the box 10:35 into the frame. Five minutes later, BC was called for too many men on the ice. Finally, with 24.3 second to go, center Bill Arnold was called for roughing.
All of that totals 10:24.3 in the box and 8:24.3 down a man in the second period. That's a lot of chances for Ferris St. to score. And yet, it didn't.
BC's penalty kill has an 88.8 percent success rate this season, which is third in the country. And that was just too much for Ferris St. to overcome.
"We definitely didn't take advantage of the power plays. In any game, that's going to kill you," Ferris St. defenseman Jordie Johnston said. "They knew how to get in lanes and they knew how to shut down."
The Bulldogs only got three shots off in their four power plays, none of them memorable for goaltender Parker Milner.
"I cannot really think of any shots that I even faced on the penalty kill tonight," he said, lauding his defense.
With just over four minutes left in the game, freshman phenom Johnny Gaudreau decided to show off some fancy stick work to make it a two-goal game.
He took a breakout pass from right wing Destry Straight as he raced down the ice to beat Bulldog defender. Gaudreau then made a move to fake out Wysopal, leaving just goaltender Taylor Nelson between him and a goal. Gaudreau again used is stick work to put Nelson where he wanted and then backhanded it over the netminder's shoulder.
"I was thinking in my head, 'maybe I should try to get this deep there's four minutes left in the game' and I just didn't go with what I was thinking," Gaudreau said. "I just went with it. Luckily, it worked for me."
Whitney sealed the deal three minutes later with an empty-netter with 1:03 left on the clock. Arnold fed him the puck and Whitney was the only skater in the offensive zone. He flipped it in and the Eagles could finally breathe easy.
"Once Stevie (Steven) Whitney put that last one in the open net, it started to dawn on me," said left wing Barry Almeida. "Gaudreau's goal was a huge one too, but once we got that fourth one, I don't even know what I was doing. Words can't describe it. It is an unbelievable feeling."
The goal was Whitney's second of the game, the first came in the first period and gave BC the initial lead, assisted by Almeida.
Ferris State fumbled with the puck in front of its own goal as the Bulldogs attempted to clear it. Almeida grabbed the puck and sent it over to Whitney, who tucked a backhanded shot inside the left post.
For the first time of the tournament, BC's lead did not last long.
Just 2:01 later, Ferris St tied the game up. Right wing Andy Huff charged at the goal and fired a shot at BC goaltender Parker Milner from close range. Milner made the save, but right wing Garrett Thompson, following close behind Huff, tucked the rebound in between the netminder's legs.
Carey regained BC's lead just 5:14 later and then the Eagles never looked back. They had a date with a trophy. "The big one," as Cross called it.
Frozen Four All-Tournament Team
F - Kyle Bonis, Ferris State
F - Paul Carey, Boston College
F - Steven Whitney, Boston College
D - Chad Billins, Ferris State
D - Brian Dumoulin, Boston College
G - Parker Milner, Boston College*
*Most Outstanding Player
Team Records: Boston College 33-10-1, 19-7-1 Hockey East; Ferris State 26-12-5, 16-7-5-1 CCHA
Game Notes: Boston College won its fifth national championship and third since 2008...The Eagles extended their single-season record win-streak to 19 games...The program's longest win-streak of 22 games occurred from Feb. 1, 1949 to Feb. 7, 1950, spanned two seasons and included BC's first-ever national title...Jerry York increased his NCAA Tournament record win total to 37...York's 913 career victories are the second most in NCAA history...The Boston College senior class concluded their careers with a 110-42-1 record - 22-2 (.917) - in four seasons at The Heights...The six seniors captured three consecutive Beanpot titles and Hockey East regular-season and tournament championships, in addition to two national championships...Only the 2000-01 Eagles had previously won the Beanpot, Hockey East regular-season and tournament and NCAA titles...BC moved to 2-0-1 against the Bulldogs...This was the first NCAA Tournament meeting between the two schools.
2012 NCAA Tournament BC Point Leaders: Steve Whitney (3g, 2a); Johnny Gaudreau (2g, 3a); Chris Kreider (3g, 1a); Paul Carey (3g, 1a); Patrick Wey (1g, 3a); Pat Mullane (1g, 3a).
Video Highlights at NCAA.com (Click here for highlights)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Head Coach Jerry York (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Senior Barry Almeida (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Senior Tommy Cross (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Senior Steven Whitney (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Junior Brian Dumoulin (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Junior Parker Milner (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Junior Chris Kreider (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Junior Pat Mullane (YouTube)
Video: Postgame Reaction BC Freshman Johnny Gaudreau (YouTube)