As Gophers make exit, Lucia reflects on season

TAMPA, FLA. - Gophers coach Don Lucia said there are five great things a college hockey team can accomplish during a season.

"That's win your league," he said after his team's season ended with a 6-1 loss to Boston College on Thursday in the semifinals of the Frozen Four. "You can win your playoff, you can get to the NCAAs, Frozen Four and win a national title. We did three of them."

The Gophers won the MacNaughton Cup, which goes to the WCHA regular-season champion, they made the NCAA tournament after a three-year absence and they reach the 20th Frozen Four in school history.

Their last appearance in the national tournament was in 2008, when the Gophers lost to Boston College 5-2 in a first-round game. The Eagles went on to win the NCAA title.

"[Those accomplishments are] something for these seniors to feel good about," Lucia said, referring to his seven seniors.

York gracious

Boston College coach Jerry York was a gracious winner after the Eagles routed the Gophers 6-1 on Thursday in the semifinals of the Frozen Four.

"The Gophers accomplished a lot of very positive things," York said. "And that is a very fine hockey team that we defeated. I thought they played well and are an excellent team, but it feels awful good to have practice [Saturday]."

Connolly award weekend?

The winner of the Hobey Baker Award will be named Friday. The three candidates, called the Hobey Hat Trick, are Jack Connolly of Minnesota Duluth, Spencer Abbott of Maine and Austin Smith of Colgate.

Connolly got one award Thursday. He was named the winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes someone who excels in competition, character, class and community service. "I have been taught to do my best in life," said Connolly, a Duluth native.

Etc.

• BC forward Barry Almeida, who set up his team's first goal six minutes into the game: "We're both skating teams. We knew it was going to be a fast game. We just wanted to get pucks to the net and keep it simple right away." That didn't happen early. The Eagles had only two shots in the first 10 minutes, but one was Steven Whitney's goal.

• Boston College improves to 12-14-2 against the Gophers. The Eagles are in the Mariucci Classic, the Gophers' holiday tournament next season.

• Edina's Michael Sit, a freshman forward on BC's fourth line, had a fairly quiet game but was whistled for a roughing penalty at 17:18 of the third period.

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