In the pursuit of Boston College’s fourth national championship in men’s hockey, Brian Dumoulin’s teammates have given him advice on how to handle one of the biggest stages in college hockey.

“It’s really exciting for those young guys to be a part of this,” Eagles assistant captain Ben Smith said. “We told them to enjoy the moment.

“It’s a hard thing to get to a Frozen Four, but you have to keep working hard in practice and embrace the moment when you get to enjoy it.”

In the days leading up to the Frozen Four, which begins Thursday in Detroit, Dumoulin maintains his perspective.

“You have to live every day in the moment and in the present,” said Dumoulin, a freshman defenseman from Biddeford.

“Right now I’m obviously looking forward to Detroit, but I’m also focusing on how we have to prepare for this, what we’re doing each day in practice, watching film, training.

“I’m not looking ahead and being unprepared for it. You have to take every day as a step to that point, because that will make you successful.”

Dumoulin and the second-ranked Eagles will face No. 1 Miami of Ohio at 8:30 p.m. in a national semifinal at Ford Field, home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

Interestingly, Boston College Coach Jerry York said last week he was opposed to the idea of playing the Frozen Four in such a non-traditional hockey venue. Since 1997, the Frozen Four has been played in professional hockey arenas, including Anaheim’s Honda Center (formerly Arrowhead Pond) in 1999 and Denver’s Pepsi Center in 2008, where the Eagles defeated Notre Dame for their most recent national title.

However, York’s opinion was swayed after BC played an outdoor game Jan. 8 against Boston University at Fenway Park.

“It’s an unusual venue,” York said of Ford Field, which will be downsized to hold 36,000 spectators.

“After playing at Fenway and watching how exciting it was for the players, the chance to play at Ford Field, it’s a positive one.”

Dumoulin believes the experiences the Eagles (27-10-3) have had in professional venues this season — the Hockey East game at Fenway Park, winning the Beanpot and the Hockey East championships at TD Garden in Boston and playing two NCAA tournament games at Worcester’s DCU Center, an AHL facility, will benefit them.

“It definitely conditions us,” said Dumoulin, who was named last week’s Hockey East rookie of the week after earning a plus-6 rating in two NCAA tournament games.

But Dumoulin also believes the second half of the season fueled the momentum for the Eagles.

The Eagles were 8-7 from Jan 1 to Feb. 19, but a 7-1 win Feb. 21 against Northeastern at Conte Forum kicked off a 10-0-1 run.

They defeated Maine 7-6 on Feb. 20 for the Hockey East championship, then beat Alaska 3-1 and Yale 9-7 for the NCAA Northeast Regional championship.

“As the season went on, the games got more and more exciting,” Dumoulin said.

“They were exciting from the start, but as you move on, our coach calls the second half of the season ‘trophy season.’ That’s what those games are. Winning the Beanpot, winning Hockey East it made me want to win even more.”

Closing in on the national semifinals, Dumoulin admitted that earlier in the season he didn’t put much thought into the locale or the pursuit of the Frozen Four. Now he has faith in Boston College’s chances.

“It’s awesome,” Dumoulin said. “This is what I dreamed of as a kid, going to the Frozen Four and participating in it — and playing on a team that has a chance to win it. I feel like we do.”

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at: rlenzi@pressherald.com