Isaac MacLeod and his Boston College teammates celebrate their Hockey East title on Saturday night.

Isaac MacLeod and his Boston College teammates celebrate their Hockey East title on Saturday night.

Nelson’s Isaac MacLeod off to NCAA tournament

Nelson Minor Hockey grad and the Boston College Eagles head into the NCAA tournament as the top-ranked team

Nelson’s Isaac MacLeod and the Boston College Eagles will be heading into this coming weekend’s NCAA hockey tournament as the number-one ranked team in the 16-team field.

On Saturday night in Boston, the Eagles defeated the University of Maine 4-1 to claim the 28th Hockey East Tournament title. The Eagles became the first team to win three consecutive Hockey East titles, and have won five of the last six and 11 since Hockey East’s inception in 1984. The Eagles captured their sixth championship as the number one seed in the tournament.

MacLeod, who is a sophomore defenceman with the Eagles, has played in all of the Eagles games so far this season where he has been a pillar on the blueline. In the 40 games played, the Nelson Minor Hockey graduate has recorded six assists.

The day after the championship win over Maine, the NCAA announced the 16 teams that will be battling to become Frozen Four winner in Tampa, Florida on April 7. The Eagles’ quest to be the best will begin against Air Force this coming Saturday in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Eagles are making their 31st NCAA tournament appearance, including their 13th under coach Jerry York. Boston College won the championship in 2008 and 2010. They were finalists in 2006 and 2007.

Last season — MacLeod’s first with the team — the Eagles were upset by Colorado College in the first round. Colorado College was lead by Jaden Schwartz who captained Canada’s World Junior team this last January.

Boston College and Air Force have met five times in school history. The Eagles have won all five match-ups between the teams, including an 8-2 win in the most recent game in 2007 at the Dodge Holiday Classic at Mariucci Arena.

Saturday’s game will mark the first contest between the schools in NCAA Tournament play. Air Force comes into the tournament ranked 17th in the nation.

Meanwhile, Isaac’s older brother Alex MacLeod’s NCAA hockey career came to an end last Thursday night when his Michigan Tech Huskies lost to the University of Denver 3-2 in overtime in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association quarter-finals.

The loss ended Alex MacLeod’s run with the Huskies where he came off his best season of his four in Houghton, Michigan. MacLeod played in 38 of the Huskies’ 39 games where he scored eight goals and added 11 assists.

The high point of the Huskies’ season came last weekend when they defeated the favoured Colorado College — again with Jaden Schwartz in the line-up —  in a two game sweep.