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

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
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: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close