WORCESTER, Mass. — Parker Milner stopped 33 shots for his second straight shutout and top-seeded Boston College advanced to its 10th Frozen Four in 15 years with a 4-0 win over defending NCAA champion Minnesota-Duluth on Sunday night in the Northeast Regional Final.
BC, the Hockey East regular season and tourney champions, will take a 17-game winning streak into its national semifinal matchup with Minnesota, a 5-2 winner over North Dakota in the West Regional, in Tampa, Fla., on April 5.
Ferris State and Union (N.Y.) College will play in the other national semifinal.
Pat Mullane and Bill Arnold had second-period goals for the Eagles (31-10-7). Patrick Wey added an strange unassisted goal early in the third and Johnny Gaudreau had one late.
Milner was selected most outstanding player of the regional. He stopped 20 shots in BC’s 2-0 win over Air Force on Saturday. It was the 16th time during its winning streak that Boston College has held an opponent to two or fewer goals.
BC’s winning streak is the longest in head coach Jerry York’s 18 seasons.
Kenny Reiter stopped 20 shots for the Bulldogs (25-10-6). It was Minnesota-Duluth’s third time in four years reaching the regional final.
The Eagles are looking to take a similar path to their fourth title in 12 years. BC advanced from Worcester to capture the NCAA title in 2001, ’08 and ’10
Minnesota-Duluth came out playing more physical in the second period, checking a BC player almost every time they dished off the puck, but the Eagles struck twice on the scoreboard, scoring a pair of goals 1:26 apart.
Mullane gave BC a 1-0 lead at 4:01 when he charged in for a loose puck in front of the net and banged it past Reiter.
About 30 seconds after Mullane’s score, Milner made a solid save on Jack Connolly’s wrister from the slot.
The Eagles then made it 2-0 when Arnold one-timed a shot by Reiter after Steven Whitney’s nice pass from behind the net.
BC killed off a late high-sticking penalty to Isaac MacLeod to close out the second period, setting them up for another trip to the Frozen Four.
The Eagles, who improved to 10-1 in NCAA play in Worcester, then made it 3-0 on a strange goal 1:13 into the final period.
Wey collected a loose puck in the left circle and lofted what appeared to be a soft arcing shot on Reiter, but the netminder hardly moved and it went in over his left shoulder.
Both teams had good chances in the opening period, with Minnesota-Duluth getting its best scoring bid while short-handed. The Bulldogs collected a loose puck near their own blue line and David Grun carried the puck into the BC zone on a 3-on-1 break. He fed a cross-ice pass to Chris Casto, who fired over an open net with Milner sliding over from the opposite post.
Midway into the period, Mike Seidel was stopped in close and Milner dropped to make a pad save on Connolly’s rebound bid with a backhander.
The Eagles’ best opportunity came with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first when Bill Arnold collected a long pass, broke in alone, shifted to his backhand, but Reiter reached back with his right leg to make a save just before the puck got behind him.