2016 Frozen Four
In Tampa for the Frozen Four. The second time this city has hosted the Division 1 Hockey Championship game in four years. Tampa has quickly become a hockey town, and once again we have received an enthusiastic reception.
Thursday held the two semi final games. The east faced off with the Quinnipiac Bobcats facing the Boston College Eagles. Quinnipiac started quickly, taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on goals by Kevin McKernan and Andrew Taverne.
Alex Tuch put BC on the board, but the Bobcats responded right away on a goal by Landon Smith to keep a two goal lead.
Ryan Fitzgerald of the Eagles scored in the third to make things very interesting. I was pulling for Quinnipiac, but admit I wanted BC to score on that power play.
In a great game one, Quinnipiac held on to the 3-2 win.
Attendance was 17,816.
In the second semifinal, old foes Denver and North Dakota would go to battle. The first period was tight, and scoreless. In the second, Drake Caggiula would open things up for the Fighting Hawks, with two goals. Denver would rally to start the third and tie things up at two, but the Hawks would come back with two more goals, including an empty-netter.
The Fighting Hawks would win 4-2, with Caggiula getting a goal and an assist.
Attendance was 18,037.
Two great semifinal games.
The Championship game was held on Saturday, with Quinnipiac facing the Fighting Hawks. The Hawks would score first, with a goal by Shane Gersich.
Quinnipiac would go on a power play, but would have a costly error allowing Brock Boeser to come in on goal alone. Bobcat goaltender Michael Garteig came out of his crease to play the puck away from Boeser, but ended up hitting the forward from Minnesota in the thigh. With Garteig completely out of position, and the net empty, Boeser easily put the puck in the net for a two goal lead. QU would be chasing their tails out on the ice for much of what remained in the period; they were in complete disarray after falling behind 2-0. Luckily, the Hawks helped them out by taking two penalties. With the two man advantage, QU score to make it 2-1.
The second period was scoreless, but Drake Caggiula would take over the third period with two goals in the first four minutes. The Hawks added one more in the 5-1 killing, and their 8th National Championship.
Caggiula had the two goals and Boeser had a 4 point night.
Attendance was 19,358, good for the third highest in Frozen Four history, although most of us fans do not count that year held in a football stadium.