BC wins second hockey title in three years

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BC wins second hockey title in three years

Associated Press
DETROIT -- The NCAA hockey championship trophy is headed back down Commonwealth Avenue. Ledby goalie John Muse, Boston College won the national title for thesecond time in three years, beating Wisconsin 5-0 in the final of theFrozen Four on Saturday night. Muse made 20 save to improve to 8-0 in tournament play, including the national title run he made as a freshman in 2008. When it was over Muse's teammates tossed their sticks and helmets into the air then swarmed the junior goaltender. "Johnny Muse was clearly on the top of his game," BC coach Jerry York said. BCwon its fourth title and third since 2001, best in the nation over thelast decade. The Eagles' top rival, Boston University, took home thechampionship last year. In college hockey's version of the Duke-NorthCarolina basketball rivalry, BU and BC are located just a few milesaway from each other on the Green Line trolley that runs alongCommonwealth Avenue. This championship for Muse came almost a year after hip surgery, and the grueling rehabilitation that followed. "There wasn't much pain, but it was long and tedious," he said. "I did it for these guys. I wanted to be back." Cam Atkinson scored two of the Eagles' four third-period goals to back Muse. Atkinson's first and Chris Krieder's goal came 2:02 apart early in the period and turned a one-goal game into a rout. "We wanted to attack and be aggressive," York said. "We don't like to sit back and change our style of play with the score." That mindset has helped put York in elite company with four national titles, including one with Bowling Green. Justtwo coaches have more championships - Michigan's Vic Heyliger won sixfrom 1948-56 and Denver's Murray Armstrong had five from 1958-1969 -and no one has more than York's 33 wins in the NCAA tournament. "I'vebeen at it a long time, so that helps," York said at the end of his38th season as a head coach, and 16th leading the Eagles. "It's alwaysgood to coach good teams and good players, and I've had a whole bunchof those." Wisconsin beat the Eagles in the2006 finals for its sixth title, but didn't have much of a shot to stopBC's faster forwards, swarming defensemen and stellar goalie in therematch. "We got near the top of the mountain, but we weren't able to stick the flag at the top," Badgers coach Mike Eaves said. Wisconsinforward Blake Geoffrion, grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie "BoomBoom" Geoffrion, was shut down a day after winning the Hobey BakerAward as college hockey's top player. Geoffrionscored 28 goals this season to help Wisconsin enter the game with anation-high 171 goals - averaging four a game - but he and histeammates struggled to get pucks and bodies near the net to make Musesweat. "They did a good job of blocking shots and collapsing down low," Geoffrion said. BenSmith, who won the most outstanding player award for the tournament,got BC's good night started with a goal 12:57 into the game. After a scoreless second, the Eagles proved they weren't content to just sit back and play conservatively. Atkinsonstarted the flurry in the third and Matt Price finished it with anempty-net goal with 4:31 left while Scott Gudmandson was pulled brieflyto add an extra skater. Gudmandson made 21 saves. A world indoor attendance record was set for hockey with a crowd of 37,592 at the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions. Wisconsin'sMichael Davies had chances to score and perhaps could've blame the iceconditions for taking away his best opportunity in the second periodwhen he whiffed on a breakaway after the puck bounced over his stick. "It was soft, but both teams had to play on it," Eaves said. Thegames at Ford Field will be remembered for record crowds and routs thatmatched the Frozen Four record of 18 for goal differential set in 1961. Anannounced crowd of 34,954 for Thursday's two-game session smashed theFrozen Four record of 19,432 fans set in St. Louis three years ago andhockey's indoor mark of 28,183 from Tampa Bay's home game at TropicanaField against Philadelphia during the 1996 NHL playoffs. BCstunned top-seeded Miami of Ohio 7-1 and Wisconsin routed RochesterInstitute of Technology 8-1 to advance to a game that was expected tobe competitive. The Eagles had other ideas,shutting out Wisconsin in another lopsided game that excited only fortheir fans in a football stadium that had a rink set up near an endzone.

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