MANCHESTER, N.H. - Joe Rooney scored two goals and Cory Schneider recorded 37 saves to lead the fourth-ranked Boston College hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 4-0 victory against 13th-ranked Miami University in a second-round game of the Northeast Regional at Verizon Wireless Arena.
BC extended the nation's longest active unbeaten streak to 12 games (all wins) to improve to 28-11-1 and advance to the Frozen Four in St. Louis (April 5-7). The Eagles, who won national titles in 2001 and 1949, will be making their 20th Frozen Four appearance overall, second in a row and third in four years.
Miami, which recorded its first NCAA tournament win Saturday vs. the University of New Hampshire (2-1), ends the season at 24-14-4 and is now 1-5 in NCAA Hockey Championship tourney games.
Schneider recorded his sixth shutout of the season (second of the postseason) and stopped 61 of 62 shots on the weekend - he recorded 24 saves in Saturday's 4-1 win vs. St. Lawrence - to earn both All-Regional Team and Most Outstanding Player honors for the second straight year. Her recorded double digits in saves all three periods vs. the RedHawks (12-12-13).
Rooney, who joined Schneider on the All-Regional Team for the second time in as many years, netted a pair of second-period goals to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead heading into the second intermission. Miami opened the stanza with offensive pressure as Gary Steffes' centering pass from the left half-boards was one-timed in the slot by Matt Christie, Schneider made the leg-pad save. Then 2:30 into the frame, the RedHawks generated a flurry in which Christie whistled a shot from the slot wide of the right post, Ray Eichenlaub's blast from the right point was kicked aside by Schneider and Christie's shot from the left circle was enveloped by the netminder.
Boston College responded with a counterattack to take a 1-0 lead at 3:00. Benn Ferriero carried the puck into the right circle and, just past the faceoff dot, slid the puck past a sliding defender to the slot, where a charging Rooney chipped a shot into the open left side of the net. Mike Brennan, who made the outlet pass to Ferriero, was also credited with an assist.
BC extended its lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 5:44. Ben Smith's initial shot from the left circle was blocked by a MU defenseman into the near corner, where Dan Bertram gained possession and carried the puck behind the net. His pass deflected off a Miami player to Rooney, who maneuvered from the right circle across the slot to slide the puck inside the left post.
The RedHawks responded with pressure on the ensuing shift but Schneider turned aside Mitch Ganzak from the left circle and Steffes in the slot.
Brennan shot the puck into the net at 12:41 of the second period, but the Eagles were not credited with their third goal of the game because, after review, it was determined the net became dislodged before the puck crossed the goal line. The frenzy of shots opened when Pat Gannon's shot from the right circle was stopped by Miami goalie Jeff Zatkoff (29 saves), then Matt Price charged down the slot and fired a shot off the crossbar before Brennan's shot sailed over Price, who was prone in the crease, and Zatkoff, who was prone in the net.
Miami generated a shorthanded rush in the closing minutes of the middle stanza when Ryan Jones drove down the slot and pushed the puck to the left circle, where Christie fired a shot that was stopped by Schneider.
Trailing 2-0, the RedHawks opened the third period on the power play but were unable to set up an attack and did not record a shot. The went on their fifth power play of the game at 5:06 and Eichenlaub's blast from the left point caromed off the near post. Zatkoff kept Miami within two goals as BC's Rooney and Ferriero broke in alone and he extended his left leg pad to deny Ferriero, who received a crossing pass, at the right post.
BC continued to pressure, however, and extended its lead to 3-0 at 7:26. Matt Lombardi, off Brett Motherwell's outlet pass, carried the puck into the slot and shifted to his right before firing a shot back towards the left post. Zatkoff made the right leg-pad save, but Kyle Kucharski charged down the slot and lunged forward to poke the puck into the net.
The Eagles' combination of Rooney and Ferriero produced a 2-on-1 breakaway shortly thereafter, but Zatkoff once again stood strong as he denied Rooney's bid from the left circle. Miami's Joe Cooper nearly spoiled Schneider's shutout midway through the period. His initial shot from deep in the left circle was blocked by the goalie, but Cooper gathered the rebound and lifted a shot just over the crossbar.
Ferriero ended the game scoring at 11:21 on a shot from the left circle that beat Zatkoff short-side. Bertram and Motherwell both recorded their second assists of the game on the tally.
Miami recorded a 12-8 shot advantage in a scoreless first period in which the RedHawks went 0-for-3 on the power play with just one shot in those opportunities. BC was 0-for-2 on the power play in the opening stanza and also recorded just one shot.
Miami was whistled for a major penalty at 3:01, but BC committed minor infractions at 3:38 and 5:30 to negate a majority of that time - and even give the Hawks a 4-on-3 advantage for eight seconds - and failed to generate any pressure in the 32 seconds after both the Eagles' penalties expired.
One of the top scoring chances during the RedHawks' five-minute major was by Miami's Ryan Jones, who cut from the right circle across the slot but was denied by Schneider as he followed Jones to the left post on the breakaway bid.
Late in the period, Miami's Christie was denied on a wraparound bid at the left post, then Nathan Davis was denied on a shorthanded breakaway when BC defenseman Brian Boyle pokechecked the puck away in the right circle.
Boston College had a chance to break the scoreless tie in the closing seconds of the opening stanza when Matt Greene fired a shot from the slot and batted the rebound out of the air just wide right of the net. Schneider and Rooney were joined by teammates Boyle and Brock Bradford (forward) on the All-Regional Team. Boyle has received that honor three consecutive years. Miami's Jones (forward) and Ganzak (defenseman) were also named to the All-Regional Team.
This second-round matchup was a rematch of last year's NCAA Northeast Regional first-round game in which BC recorded a 5-0 victory. Boston College now has a 32-36 record in 27 NCAA appearances, which includes 19-7 in nine years under current head coach Jerry York.