St. Cloud upsets Boston College, 4-1, advances to Frozen Four

St. Cloud State got the best of Boston.

After No. 2 seed St. Cloud dispatched No. 4 Boston University 6-2 in the Northeast Regional semifinal on Saturday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., the Huskies produced a stunning 4-1 upset over No. 1 seed and second-ranked Boston College in Sunday’s final.

St. Cloud (19-10-0) advanced to the Frozen Four for the second time in program history. The Huskies will face Minnesota State on April 8 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.

BC (17-6-1) was denied a record 26th trip to the Frozen Four.

“Clearly it is a disappointing feeling,” said BC coach Jerry York. “Going to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh was our aspiration and our hopes and I thought we battled.

“St. Cloud has a good club and they were a touch better than us and certainly deserve to go to the Frozen Four.”

Boston College opened the scoring at 14:27 on sophomore left wing Matt Boldy’s 11th of the season. Mike Hardman fought the puck loose along the right wall and was briefly controlled by Huskies’ defenseman Luke Jaycox. Boldy stole the puck, cut through the low slot and went 5-hole on goalie David Hrenak.

St. Cloud’s prospects appeared compromised when its leading goal-scorer, left wing Easton Brodzinski, suffered an apparent right knee injury. Brodzinski was moving laterally with the puck in the BC zone when he was hit by Eagles’ freshman left wing Trevor Kuntar. Brodzinski, who had two goals and an assist against BU, was helped off the ice and did not return.

St. Cloud zealously responded to Brodzinski’s exit and tied the game 1-1 at 9:21. Right wing Zach Okabe got the puck on the end boards, did a semicircle into the left circle and fired on goal. Spencer Knight made a pad save, but Jaycox retrieved the rebound in the right circle and one-timed his first of the season.

“I think it was the guys wanted to play for Easton,” said St. Cloud coach Brett Larson. “I sensed on the bench and I heard the boys say ‘lets play for Easton.’”

St. Cloud went up 2-1 at 15:15 when fourth-liner Will Hammer got the final shot from a wild scrum in front of the BC cage. Hammer got a rebound on the right side of the crease and ripped a wrister for his second of the year.

“They are a heavy team and are hard on the puck,” said York. “The first was puck luck off Spencer’s pad and the second and third goals were more of the battle goals.”

The Huskies went up 3-1 on a controversial play with 44.7 seconds to go. Center Nolan Walker made a hard rush up the right boards and cut toward the goal with defenseman Marshall Warren draped over his back.

Walker got the puck across the goal line before drawing a penalty for plowing into Knight. The goal was awarded after a lengthy review and Walker did two minutes in the box for goalie interference. Walker scored his second into an empty net at 19:15 of the third.

“They said that the goal was scored one frame before the penalty was taken,” said York. “They reviewed it and made the correct call according to our people up top.”

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