MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Ben Eaves was stretched out in
excruciating pain in back of the Boston College bench while the
trainer worked on a spasm in his right leg. Seconds later, he put
an even bigger hurt on Michigan.
Eleven seconds after he climbed back onto the ice, he whacked
his own rebound out of the air and into the net in overtime to give
Boston College a 3-2 victory over Michigan in the Northeast
Regional on Sunday and send the Eagles into the NCAA Frozen Four.
"It's overtime; this is the NCAAs," Eaves said when asked how
difficult it was to return to the ice after the pain kept him off
His brother, Patrick, who put the puck on net with a shot,
wasn't surprised to see his older brother back on the ice.
"If he had one leg or two, his heart is too big to miss it,"
he said. "Right when he came back out, he just loooked at me and I
knew he was there. It was the bravest thing I've ever seen in
hockey. He couldn't even bend his leg."
His perserverence wasn't lost on his other teammates, either.
"I can't tell you how much I love Ben Eaves right now,"
defenseman J.D. Forrest said.
BC will play Maine in one semifinal April 8 in Boston. Minnesota
Duluth and Denver play the other semifinal.
Eaves was just outside the right side of the crease when he
rebounded a shot by his brother. Goalie Al Montoya, who made 42
saves, made the stop, but the puck bounced into the air and Eaves
batted it home at 10:08 of the extra period.
"It happened really fast," Ben Eaves said. "I got a
backhander on net and I thought that was in. I was ready to
celebrate. Then I saw it up in the air and took another whack at
The goal came after Patrick had tied the game with 4:44 left in
Their goals sent BC, 29-8-4, into the Frozen Four for the fifth
time in seven years. The Eagles won the title in 2001.
Michigan, 27-14-2, meanwhile, had its string of three straight
trips to the Frozen Four snapped. The Wolverines won the title in
1996 and 1998.
Boston College dominated much of the game, putting 45 shots on
goal to only 17 for Michigan, but twice had to come from behind to
get to the extra period.
Mike Brown gave Michigan a 1-0 lead in the first period and Andy
Burnes gave the Wolverines a 2-1 lead in the second period. Tony
Voce tied the score at 1 for BC in the second period and Patrick
Eaves sent it into overtime.
Trailing 2-1, the Eagles forced a face off in the left circle in
the Michigan zone and Voce won the drop. Montoya stopped Pete
Harrold's slap shot, but was out of position for the rebound and
Eaves backhanded it into the open net.
Both teams had excellent chances in the overtime, but Montoya
and Matti Kaltiainen, who made 15 saves for BC, kept the game
Burnes, the only senior on the ice for Michigan, gave the
Wolverines a 2-1 lead with 2:59 left in the second period with his
first goal of the season and only the fourth of his career.
Kaltiainen came for out of the net in a race with Burnes for a
loose puck and both arrived at the left circle at the same time.
The puck flopped down and with Kaltiainen trying to regain his feet
and a defenseman guarding the net, Burnes slapped home a 35-footer.
Voce's goal from close in came with five seconds left on a power
Burnes sent Brown into the BC zone with a pass and Brown's shot
from the left circle trickled behind Kaltiainen after he got his
glove on it.