May 30, 2024
San Jose Sharks prospect Will Smith and his Boston College teammates did not have a storybook ending to their season Saturday

San Jose Sharks prospect Will Smith and his Boston College teammates didn’t have the storybook ending to their season they were looking for Saturday.

Boston College allowed second period two goals and were unable to beat goalie Matt Davis at the other end in a 2-0 loss to Denver in the NCAA Division I national championship game at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Rieger Lorenz led Denver with a goal and an assist and Davis finished with 34 saves.

Smith, selected fourth overall by the Sharks at last year’s NHL Draft, had seven shots on net – including one a first-period breakaway that Davis stopped. He finished a remarkable freshman season at BC with 71 points in 41 games.

Now Smith is faced with a decision whether to sign an entry-level contract with the Sharks and turn pro or return to Chestnut Hill for his sophomore season. The Sharks finish the season with two road games, as they play the Edmonton Oilers on Monday and the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

Sharks general manager Mike Grier was not in Minnesota this week, a team spokesman said, as the organization wanted to give Smith his space as he focused on winning a national title.

Boston College (35-6-1) was college hockey’s top-ranked team for much of the year, as they captured the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles and entered the NCAA Division I tournament as the No. 1 seed.

When the stage has been at its biggest in recent weeks and months, and the lights have been at their brightest, Smith has often been at its best.

Last month at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden, Smith came alive in the medal round and played a significant role for Team USA as the Americans captured gold.

Smith was projected to be a major offensive contributor for the under-20 team but had just three points in the Americans’ first four games in the preliminary round. That’s when he was challenged by Todd Marchant, the Sharks’ director of player development, to take his game to another level.

Smith responded with two points in each of the next three games, including two assists in Team USA’s 6-2 win over host Sweden in the Gold Medal game.

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In the Hockey East tournament championship game against Macklin Celebrini and Boston University on March 23, Smith had four goals and an assist in Boston College’s 6-2 win at TD Garden. He had 10 points in three Hockey East tournament games.

Boston College advanced to the Frozen Four in Minnesota with victories over Michigan Tech in the first round and Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals.