As the Frozen Four begins, Karen’s Print Rite presents a look back on the top performances by Black Hawks alumni who went on to win NCAA Championships.
Tonight, the Harvard Crimson and Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs meet in one National Semifinal. That will be followed by a matchup between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Pioneers of Denver. The winners move on to the National Championship Game on Saturday. Players skating for the four teams that take the ice tonight will try to match the accomplishments of a number of Black Hawks, including the six below who helped their teams win NCAA Division I hockey titles.
Goalie – Parker Milner
Boston College – 2010 & 2012 Champions
Milner watched from the bench during his freshman season as the Eagles claimed college hockey’s top prize. He was in the crease two years later when BC returned to the National Championship game. Facing the Ferris State Bulldogs in Tampa, Milner turned away 27 shots – 15 during the second period – for a 4-1 win. After the game, he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four.
Defense – Patrick Wey
Boston College – 2010 & 2012 Champions
Like Milner, Wey was a two-time National Champion but played a more significant part when Boston College earned a banner in his junior season. In the regional final against Minnesota-Duluth, Wey helped lift the Eagles past Minnesota-Duluth with a goal and an assist during a 4-0 victory. Two weeks later, he assisted on a goal late in the third which gave the Eagles their first multigoal lead of the night. Wey was a team-best +3 during the game.
Defense – Mitch Witek
Yale –2013 Champions
On the road to the National Championship Game, Witek – like Wey – scored a crucial goal. During the National Semifinal, he was the first player to find the net, lifting the Bulldogs to a 1-0 lead – and eventually a 3-2 overtime win – against Massachusetts-Lowell. As a freshman, it was Witek’s first NCAA goal. Two nights later, Yale would shutout top ranked Quinnipiac, 4-0 in the Final.
Forward – J.T. Brown
Minnesota-Duluth – 2011 Champions
Capping his freshman year, Brown helped the Bulldogs to the school’s first National Championship. The big finish to his first college season brought him national attention when he was named the Frozen Four’s Most Outstanding Player. During the Semifinal against Notre Dame, Brown scored UMD’s first goal, then assisted on the winner during the 4-3 tilt. The Bulldogs then claimed the championship, 3-2 in overtime against Michigan, with Brown notching another assist.
Forward – Joe Pavelski
Wisconsin – 2006 Champions
The Badgers were tied, 1-1 with Boston College, as the title matchup began to wind down. Midway through the third period, Pavelski set up a go-ahead goal by Tom Gilbert. It stood up as the game winner. The championship capped a sophomore season in which Pavelski led Wisconsin with 56 points in 43 games. The win against BC was Pavelski’s final college game before signing with the San Jose Sharks.
Forward – Brock Boeser
North Dakota – 2016 Champions
Another phenomenal season by an underclassman was completed with a win in the National Championship Game. Boeser’s final performance during his first year for North Dakota was a remarkable outburst. He got the evening started with an assist on the first goal nearly 12 minutes into the action against Quinnipiac. Minutes later, Boeser scored himself; the goal proved to be the game winner. Adding a pair of assists in the third as the Fighting Hawks pulled away, he ended the big night with a hand in four of five North Dakota goals in the 5-1 result.
Tonight, the following former Hawks could take the ice seeking to add their stories to these remarkable efforts:
Denver: Michael Davies, Tyson McLellan, Blake Hillman
Harvard: Jake Horton, Victor Newell
Notre Dame: Cal Petersen, Cale Morris
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