PHILADELPHIA - Boston College closed the gap to one goal twice with under two minutes to play, but ultimately could not overcome Union's lead as the Eagles fell to the Dutchmen, 5-4, in the national semifinal on Thursday evening at the Wells Fargo Center.
Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau became the third player in Boston College history to reach the 80-point plateau with his three-point performance, including a goal and two assists.
Rookies Steven Santini and Ryan Fitzgerald joined senior captain Patrick Brown on the scoring sheet while freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko turned away 36 shots on the night. Union outshot the Eagles, 41-38.
Union offered up the first shots of the game, but it was Boston College's first possession of the game that mattered most.
Arnold gained the zone and left it off for Hayes at the top of the circles. With room on the right, Hayes skated it in front of Stevens and backhanded the puck off his left pad. Gaudreau snuck behind the play and pick up the loose carom and tossed it back over the goal line at 2:08 of the first period.
Much like the Eagles to start the first frame, Union lit the lamp first in the second stanza.
Sebastien Gingras lifted the disc off of Boston College in the neutral zone and Mat Bodie ended up with the puck on the right side of the zone. Daniel Ciampini parked himself in front of Demko and after one head fake, Bodie utilized the screen and roofed it at 2:41 to lock it up, 1-1.
Union upheld its momentum and took the lead midway through the second period.
Off the draw, Mike Vecchione won the draw to Gostibehere on the near boards. Gostistbehere lifted the puck through traffic with a wrist shot and Demko got a piece of it with the top of his glove. Demko could not fully corral it and Daniel Ciampini was on the doorstep to put back the loose disc at 10:45 for the 2-1 lead.
Before Union skated off into the second intermission with all the momentum, Santini weighed in with under five minutes to play.
Boston College's fourth line consisting of Adam Gilmour and Chris Calnan created space for Santini to roof one top shelf past Stevens. Calnan connected with Santini on the near boards at the top right circle and BC's blue liner skated in and saw his chance. Santini ripped it nearside to break up the Dutchmen's momentum at 15:53 and make it a 2-2 affair heading into third period.
Freshman Ryan Fitzgerald was called for interference in Union's end at 4:56 of the third period and Daniel Ciampini cashed in at 6:31.
Mike Vecchione linked up with Gostisbehere within the blue line and unleashed a one-timer through traffic. The puck to the low post where Ciampini deflected the slap shot past Demko to reclaim the lead with the power play marker, 3-2.
The Eagles were provided a sizeable opportunity midway through the third period when Matt Hatch was disqualified for a hitting from behind infraction at 6:49.
Boston College gained a five-minute power play, but the Dutchmen limited the Eagles' chances and scored four seconds after killing off the infraction. Kevin Sullivan stole the puck in BC's end and got a quick shot off on Demko. The puck kicked out to the slot and Mike Vecchione wheeled back around to pounce on it at 11:53.
With about two and a half minutes remaining chasing a two-goal deficit, head coach Jerry York lifted Demko from net. The tactic paid off as Ryan Fitzgerald accounted for his own rebound with 1:45 remaining in regulation. Sophomore Michael Matheson fed Fitzgerald the puck down low and he finished off his own rebound to close the gap, 5-4.
On the ensuing draw, York pulled Demko once again in an effort to tie it. Ciampini broke free in the neutral zone and capped his hat trick at 18:51 to reclaim the two-goal lead, 5-3.
The Eagles won the opening draw and possessed for the duration with under a minute to play. Senior captain Patrick Brown lit the lamp with just under five seconds to play and give BC one last hope. Gaudreau managed to get a good shot on net from out deep in the waning moments, but Stevens steered it away to preserve the victory for Union, 5-4.