Nelson’s Isaac MacLeod and the Boston College Eagles will not repeat as NCAA champions.
On Saturday night in Providence, Rhode Island, the Eagles were downed 5-1 by Union (New York) College in the opening game of the run to the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey title.
Union’s Josh Jooris scored two goals and Troy Grosenick made 29 saves to help Union beat defending national champion in the NCAA East Regional semifinals.
Jooris opened the scoring on a power play in the first period, and made it 2-0 early in the second to carry the Dutchmen (22-12-5) to their seventh straight victory. Cole Ikkala put a soft goal past goalie Parker Milner, and Shayne Gostisbehere added a power-play goal to cap the three-goal second period.
Daniel Ciampini completed the rout with a power-play goal at 5:19 of the third period.
Daniel Carr and Wayne Simpson had two assists apiece for the Dutchmen.
Grosenick, a finalist for last year’s Hobey Baker Award, didn’t have to be outstanding as his teammates outskated and outworked the Eagles (23-12-4). He did face 16 shots in the third period and lost what would have been his second shutout in the last three games when 2013 Baker finalist Johnny Gaudreau scored with 3:58 left.
Going into the tournament, MacLeod — who grew up playing Nelson Minor Hockey, graduated to the Midget AAA Ice, then to the Nelson Junior Leafs before heading off to play for Penticton in the BCHL — knew the Eagles were in tough.
This season has been quite different,” MacLeod told the Star last week. “We’ve run into quite a few injuries this year and a number of guys aren’t at 100 per cent but that’s what playoff hockey is all about.
For MacLeod — who is in his junior year at Boston College taking Management — his third season with the powerhouse Eagles was a solid one.
“This season has been a lot of fun for me,” the 6’5” defenceman said. “I’ve been forced into a bigger leadership role as we have four freshman defenceman and I’ve seen quite a bit more ice time as we’ve had some injuries on the back end.”
Union, the ECAC champion, will face conference rival Quinnipiac, the top seeded in the 16-team tournament, this afternoon for a spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. Quinnipiac is 2-0 against Union this season.