PHILADELPHIA — Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold would both like to forget about the last time they were on the ice against Union College.
The Dutchmen stunned their Boston College team with a 5-1 thrashing in the East Regional semifinals at Providence last March, putting an abrupt end to the Eagles’ bid to repeat as national champions.
That game was a year ago, but the memory is painfully fresh. On Thursday, when BC (28-7-4) takes on top-ranked Union (30-6-4) in the Frozen Four semifinals, Gaudreau and Arnold will have a chance to purge it from their minds once and for all.
“That 5-1 loss is pretty fresh in our minds,” said Gaudreau, who leads the nation in scoring with 77 points. “I think we took them a little too lightly. I think we should have went into the game a little more motivated or a little more focused.
“This year, after that first loss against Union, I know a lot of the guys from our team last year didn’t want to go through that again.”
There are 12 returning players from last year’s squad, and Thursday’s game marks just the second time these teams have played each other. The Eagles vow that they will not make the same mistake.
This time around, there is a great deal of respect for Union, which has won 10 straight games and is unbeaten in its last 15 (14-0-1).
“I think we’re much better, and I think they’ve obviously made it farther this year than they did last year, so they’re a better team,” Arnold said.
“We’re going to respect them as an opponent, but like we’ve been doing the last month here, we’re focused on our game and what we have to do to win.
“We know it’s made us successful throughout the year, so that’s our main focus here.”Anthony Gulizia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @gulizia_a