Mat Bodie from East St. Paul has reached the final of the NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship. And he did it in style.
Bodie scored his team’s first goal and assisted on the eventual winner as the captain of Union College led the Dutchmen to a 5-4 win over Boston College in the first NCAA Men’s Frozen Four semifinal yesterday.
Union, the No. 3 seed was a heavy underdog against B.C., a team that featured Johnny Gaudreau, the favorite to win the 2014 Hobey Baker Award. Gaudreau led Boston College with a goal and two assists, but it wasn’t enough as Union will now head to the title game for the first time in school history.
The Dutchmen will face the No. 1 team in the nation, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota beat North Dakota and its trio of Manitoba Junior Hockey League grads, 2-1 as the Gophers scored with 0.6 seconds left to win it. Former Blues star Brendan O’Donnell from Winnipeg, Portage Terriers leader Stephane Pattyn from Ste. Anne and Dauphin Kings star Bryn Chyzyk from Virden, all played against Minnesota on Thursday night and were all very good.
Bodie, a graduate of Winnipeg’s River East Collegiate, set up Daniel Ciampini with his third goal of the game at 18:15 of the third period to give Union a 5-3 lead. Boston College scored with five seconds left in regulation but it was too little too late.
There is little doubt that Bodie is the leader of this Union team.
“Behind the scenes, the guy’s a great leader and he calms everything down,” said Union junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. “We’re down a goal, tied, whatever, just like that, leadership is a big part of why our team is where we are, because of that guy,”
Bodie, 24, is the son of Ron and Susan Bodie of East St. Paul. He’s a 6-foot, 190-pound senior defenseman and was the team’s fourth leading scorer with six goals and 29 assists and was a Third Team ECAC All-Star last season. After Thursday’s game, he now has seven goals and 30 assists this season.
“I think the pride factor, he’s got that Winnipeg, Manitoba pride going,” said Union head coach, Rick Bennett. “I just love the pride he has. Just the way he carries himself. He has a tremendous amount of pride. Ever since his first year, just working with him when I was back with the defensemen, you could really sense that from the first practice on.”
The national championship game will be held on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST on TSN2.