Rightfully overshadowed from the results of last night’s epic was the NCAA Frozen Four, which featured four Flames players, all winners. The Providence College Friars took down the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4-1 to clinch their first championship appearance since 1985, and the Boston University Terriers beat the University of North Dakota 5-3 to move onto the program’s 11th championship game.
We’ll start with Providence, who has three Flames prospects. The Flames' 2011 1st round draft pick, and best player from that draft (only six years to go!) Mark Jankowski scored a goal and assist yesterday, showing off some slick moves in the process. Jon Gillies was outstanding once again, saving 25 of 26 shots, and had one particularly impressive save you’ll see in the video below. John Gilmour didn’t register any points, but he was +1 for the night.
Boston University’s game was mostly the Jack Eichel show, as so many of the Terriers’ games are. The second prize in the 2015 NHL Draft had two goals and an assist tonight, but let’s not forget about the other freshman phenom Brandon Hickey. The third round selection from the 2014 draft continued his surprising season yesterday with a powerplay goal. He’s been compared to TJ Brodie, FYI.
The entire NCAA postseason hockey tournament has been a good one for Flames prospects. Through three games, Mark Jankowski has a goal and two assists and is +4. Netminder Jon Gillies is rocking a .917 SV% with a 2.34 GAA. John Gilmour has no points, but has two shots on goal and is -1. Brandon Hickey only has one goal, but it isn’t for a lack of trying; the defender has nine shots so far in the tournament, fourth on his team.
The final is being played on Saturday at 5:30 MT, after the Flames vs. Jets game, and I highly recommend all Flames fan check it out. It’s looking to be a great matchup, and you’ll get a taste of what the future holds for the franchise. The game will likely be Jon Gillies’ last, as even though he is a junior, he will probably forego his senior year, be signed and shipped off to Adirondack for the remainder of their season. While all players can make the jump to the pros, it is unlikely they will. The remaining two at Providence definitely need some seasoning, and it can’t hurt to let Hickey get a little better.