TAMPA, Fla. -- Boston College is accustomed to playing for a national championship. Ferris State is not.
That's the backdrop for tonight's Frozen Four title game (7 p.m., ESPN2) between the Eagles (32-10-1), one of the nation's elite hockey programs, and the Bulldogs (26-11-5), who are competing in only the program's second NCAA tournament and who play at the Division II level in other sports.
Boston College, the overall No. 1 seed, won its 18th straight game Thursday night by dispatching Minnesota, 6-1, in the semifinals. But even though the Eagles seem poised to earn the fifth national championship in program history -- and third in five seasons -- they are approaching Ferris State with caution.
"I hear this talk of David and Goliath, but I do not consider it to be that way," said Boston College coach Jerry York, in his 18th season with the Eagles. "Anybody that gets to the Frozen Four is a really great team. I said any of the four can win this thing. And now, down to two teams, any of the two can win it."
Boston College has outscored its NCAA tournament opponents, 12-1. The Eagles have largely been fueled by goaltender Parker Milner, who had a shutout streak of 193 minutes, 49 seconds that was halted when Minnesota scored early in the third period.
"Parker has been playing unbelievable and everyone in our room knows that," Boston College senior defenseman Tommy Cross said. "It definitely gives you confidence to have a goaltender who's rock solid back there, who's on top of his game and has his confidence going. If his confidence is going, that spreads to the rest of the team."
Ferris State, which is seeking the school's first national championship in any sport, also has built substantial confidence. It began when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 nationally for two weeks earlier in the season. It continued during the NCAA tournament run, which included a 3-1 comeback victory against Union in Thursday's semifinals.
Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said he has great respect for BC, particularly its overall speed but doesn't believe the Bulldogs will be intimidated by the title-game setting.