SHARE

TAMPA, Fla. Quinnipiac will make its second trip to the NCAA men’s ice hockey national championship game in four years after holding off a fierce extra-attacker onslaught by Boston College for a 3-2 win in the early national semifinal.

Boston College came within a goal late in the contest as Ryan Fitzgerald scored on the power play with 4:16 left in regulation. Fitzgerald buried a rebound past Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig for his 24th goal of the season.

But Landon Smith’s 12th goal of the season just nine seconds into Quinnipiac’s first power play ended up as the game-winning goal as Smith gave the Bobcats a 3-1 lead at 4:32 of the second period. Smith swatted a bouncing puck past Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko that had fluttered to the right side of the crease after a goalmouth attempt by Tim Clifton.

 

Momentum had seemed to shift at the start of the second period. Tucking a rebound behind Garteig, Alex Tuch got Boston College on the scoreboard just 23 seconds into the second period. Casey Fitzgerald kept the puck in play at the left point and fed Colin White in the slot. White’s shot deflected off Garteig’s pad onto Tuch’s stick.

 

Andrew Taverner’s goal at 7:20 of the first period gave Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead. Taverner snuck down the slot and steered in a pass fed from behind the goal line by Travis St. Denis for his sixth goal of the season.

Kevin McKernan got Quinnipiac on the board with his fourth goal of the season at 2:31 of the first period, unassisted, wristing a shot just under the left pad of Thatcher Demko after Scott Davidson fed the puck out from behind the BC net.

Boston College was 1-for-5 on the power play, while Quinnipiac was 1-for-3. Garteig made 34 saves, while Demko had 27.

Quinnipiac faces the winner of tonight’s North Dakota-Denver national semifinal on Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT.

We’ll have complete coverage of this game later at USCHO.com.