Scoggins: B.C. goalie stops nearly everything

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 6, 2012 - 9:15 AM

No matter what the Gophers tossed at Boston College goalie Parker Milner, he answered every threat.

Boston College goaltender Parker Milner

Photo: Winslow Townson, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

TAMPA, FLA. - Taylor Matson parked himself right outside the crease and, in a flash, found himself with the puck and an open net.

Poof.

Just like that, it was gone.

Matson flipped the puck toward the net for what looked like a sure goal, but Boston College robo-goalie Parker Milner lunged across and made a sprawling save to rob the Gophers captain.

"I wish I could have that back," Matson said later.

That singular play in the final minute of the first period summed up the Gophers frustration Thursday night in the semifinals of the Frozen Four. No matter what they tossed at Milner, he answered nearly every threat, sending the Gophers home with a 6-1 loss.

The Gophers crumbled amid an avalanche of defensive miscues and breakdowns, but the game was decided long before that as Milner flicked away shot after shot to prevent any sort of momentum shift.

"We wanted to make him uncomfortable," center Erik Haula said. "We had our chances."

The Gophers outshot the Eagles 31-25 and had plenty of scoring chances early. They kept firing pucks and pressuring Milner, but he stopped easy and difficult shots alike, never appearing rattled by anything happening around him.

He stuffed Nick Bjugstad on a Gophers power play early in the second period and then got Jake Hansen from point-blank range late in the period. On shots he didn't gobble up, Milner deflected them wide, limiting rebound opportunities.

"I think Minnesota was pressing, they had the puck, they had some excellent opportunities to score," Boston College coach Jerry York said. "Not just one but multiple times, and Parker was very confident and really fueled us to stay in the game."

No save was more timely or important than his beauty on Matson, which allowed the Eagles to maintain a 1-0 lead after one period despite being doubled up in shot attempts.

"I was lucky enough to get a good push across [the crease] and lucky that he didn't roof it on me so I got a pad on it," Milner said.

The Eagles led 2-0 lead midway through the second period, and it might as well have been 20-0 the way Milner is playing. He entered the Frozen Four with a 27-5 record, 1.70 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.

He is a talented, confident goalie who also happens to be surrounded by a stingy defensive corps, which usually is a successful combination.

"We know he's been hot," Bjugstad said. "The main thing was to get as many shots as possible. We did that for half the game. The other half we just let them control us."

Milner finally allowed his first goal of the NCAA tournament on a shot by Hansen early in the third period, but the damage was done by then. The Gophers' inability to score on Milner after getting some pretty good scoring chances seemed to rattle them. They started to press and rush plays, which created scoring opportunities for the Eagles. Unlike the Gophers, they buried their chances.

The Eagles showed why they are the No. 1 seed and heavy favorite to win the championship. They are skilled, fast and tough defensively. They have three lines that can score. And, of course, they have a brick wall in Milner, who covers up mistakes in front of him.

"They're a great team," Haula said.

The Gophers locker room was quiet afterward. Players sat at their stalls, still dressed in uniform, most of them with red, watery eyes. This group made it to the Frozen Four after being picked to finish sixth in the WCHA. They returned to the tournament after a three-year absence and began the process of making Gophers hockey relevant on the national scene again.

They ran into a hot goalie and better team Thursday and let the game get out of hand after committing too many mistakes.

"It's just bitter right now because we were so close to the championship and to lay an egg like that and not play up to our capabilities defensively and offensively," Hansen said, his voice trailing off. "That's going to be something where I'm going to be thinking back on this for a long time."

Milner's performance probably won't be easy to erase from their memories either.

Chip Scoggins • ascoggins@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota 0 Top 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
Philadelphia 0 Top 4th Inning
NY Mets 0
Miami 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Cleveland 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 1 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 Delayed 9:55
(6) Auburn 38
(16) Clemson 21 3rd Qtr 11:27
(12) Georgia 24
Liberty 15 3rd Qtr
(23) North Carolina 21
Ohio U 14 3rd Qtr 12:44
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 0 1st Qtr 0:01
(4) Oklahoma 21
Stephen F Austin 0 2nd Qtr 14:51
(20) Kansas State 14
Fresno State 0 1st Qtr 7:46
(15) USC 7
Southern Miss 0 1st Qtr 11:10
Miss State 7
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 1st Half 35:00
Montreal 0
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 33 2nd Qtr 0:41
Indiana 42
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close