Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Greatest

When Father Monan hired Coach York in June of 1994, I'm sure he thought he was making a solid hire and was getting a guy that could help bring Boston College Hockey back to the glory days it experienced under Snooks Kelly. However, I'm not 100 % convinced he knew he was hiring the greatest coach in the history of NCAA athletics. Thanks to goals from Billy Arnold, Danny Linell, Cam Spiro (his first of his career), Brendan Silk, and Steve Whitney, the Boston College Eagles dominated the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers, en route to a 5-2 victory, handing Coach York his 925th win, breaking Ron Mason's record. With Patch Alber out for the year, Johnny G in Russia, Isaac Macleod down with a shoulder injury, and Destry Straight playing at maybe 75 %, the Eagles were still able to play some solid  hockey throughout the game. With Alber out, I was very concerned with how freshman Travis Jeke and Colin Sullivan would play as their playing time doubled. Overall, I thought all five defenseman played pretty well tonight, sure, it was vs a weak opponent but it's good to see guys like Sullivan and Doherty (who I thought was exceptionally good) play good for all 60 minutes. The staff obviously expects that Matheson and Wey will be able to carry the load and play a lot of minutes, which can be difficult at times but I thought both were solid all night. Matheson continues to impress me every time he takes the ice with his smooth skating, great puck handling, and terrific play making ability.

The first period started out a little rough as BC showing a lot of signs of rust coming off the break allowed UAH to control the play in their zone for a long. Once the Eagles got things settled down, I thought they looked very very sharp, especially the line of Kevin Hayes-Bill Arnold-Brendan Silk. With Johnny G gone, perhaps no forward has to pick up his play even more than Kevin Hayes does and tonight I thought he once again made plays when he had the puck. On one play he skated right through two UAH defenders and almost got off a wrist shot. It was pretty impressive. As for the bottom two lines, no guy was better tonight than Danny Linell. On his goal, he chipped it by a UAH defender, skated around another and chipped the puck on net for a goal. Overall, the staff has got to be happy when they see a guy like Danny making plays and scoring goals. Not to be outdone, linemate Cam Spiro made the most of his playing time by scoring his first career goal in the first period. After Teddy Doherty fired a slapper just wide of the net, the puck bounced right to Spiro who easily put it in to make it 1-0 Eagles. As for Doherty, he was a team high +5 tonight, certainly one of his best games in a BC uniform up to this point. Sure, he needs to improve in his own end but I like the fact that he's confident enough to take the puck and make plays. Thanks to the solid defensive play, the Chargers didn't get too many grade A chances on Parker Milner but were able to capitalize on a power play chance early in the second. Unlike the past couple of games, BC did not have many defensive zone breakdowns that led to good chances for the opponent.

As for Patch Alber, he is most likely done for the season as he suffered a torn meniscus while playing soccer before the game. Obviously it's a tough loss and it means that Travis Jeke will most likely play for the remainder of the season. I saw spurts of good play tonight from Travis but he does need to shore up his play in his own end. Tomorrow is going to be a big test for him. Now onto tomorrows game. I'll say this, this Golden Gopher hockey team is completely stacked and are in my opinion, the best team in the country outside of BC (when they're healthy). You look down their roster and all you see is guys like Haula, Bjugstad, Budish, and Schmidt that are arguably some of the best players in the country. Yes, the Eagles are a big time underdog tomorrow with all the injuries but with a great all around team effort, victory can be accomplished.

Why BC won-

1. All around scoring. Whether it was Linell, Spiro, Doherty, or Hayes, guys were making plays tonight and were getting pucks in the net. Always great to see BC get some secondary scoring.

2. Solid defensive zone play. Sure, it was rusty at times but overall, I liked the way BC played in their own end.

3. The transition game. BC used their speed and skill tonight in a big way and were able to generate tons of odd man rushes on the UAH defense. Probably should have scored more than 5.


1. Steven Whitney had his 100th career point tonight. They Whitney's became the third pair of brothers to each have 100 points along with the Browns and Eaves'.

2. Tonight was Cam Spiro's first career goal. Also, Peter McMullen played a few shifts, his first action in a BC uniform.

3. Really sad to hear about Patch Alber. I hope that his BC career doesn't end from taking a fall 10 minutes before a game. He works hard and deserves better.

I would like to take this time to congratulate Coach York on his accomplishment. This record proves that good men, like him, can do great things in sports. His leadership and class has had an impact on every person that has come across him. There may be great coaches in this sport but let it be known, there will never be another Jerry York.

I'll have my thoughts on tomorrows game sometime tomorrow morning. It's a big one.

Congratulations Coach.

GO Eagles

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