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April 1, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 14

Gutsy Play Spurs Eagles to Frozen Four Once More

"It was the bravest thing I've ever seen in hockey."

That's how Boston College hockey player Patrick Eaves '06 described the overtime heroism by his brother Ben '04 on March 28 that lifted the Eagles over Michigan, 3-2, and into the NCAA Frozen Four that commences next Thursday at Boston's FleetCenter, with a semifinal game between BC and Maine at 6 p.m.

The other Frozen Four semifinal pits Minnesota-Duluth against Denver, with the winner taking on BC or Maine April 10 for the NCAA championship.

This will be the Eagles' third trip to the Frozen Four since 2000, and the first since their championship 2001 season.

The thriller of a game between BC and Michigan in the NCAA quarterfinals at Manchester, NH, had been sent into overtime when a goal by the younger Eaves at 15:16 of the third period tied the contest at 2-2.

Elder brother Ben, the BC senior captain, crippled by a muscle knot in the leg that had left him writhing in pain on the bench, returned to the ice and, at 10:08 of OT, caught a rebounding puck in mid-air and flicked it past the Michigan goalie for the game-winner.

The Goal quickly became the stuff of legend.

Boston Herald columnist Karen Guregian wrote: "It belongs in the pantheon of all-time greatest college hockey moments. For that matter, Eaves' game-winning goal, and the events leading up to it, would probably find a place in any sports pantheon, college or pro."

The Boston Globe's Michael Holley marveled at the legerdemain with which the BC captain, legless moments before, had capped what Holley called "one of the most entertaining games played this year" in hockey, college or pro.

"Have you ever hit fungoes or ping-pong balls? You know, toss the ball in the air and knock it exactly where you want it to go? Ben Eaves did something like that yesterday to win a hockey game in overtime...

"The goal also becomes a talking point for all hockey fans, whether they are from Michigan or Massachusetts. Most BC fans know that [Coach Jerry] York carries a notebook with him on the bench so he can jot down trends and ideas. After watching the Eaves goal, his notebook may turn into a journal."

-Mark Sullivan

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