Sunday, March 30, 2014
Next Stop: Philly !
If you look back at this year, think about how many games BC has played in where you walk out of the building and say "that might have just been the best hockey game I have ever watched". I don't know about you but I said it after the first Minnesota game, Northeastern Beanpot game, and once again tonight after walking out of the DCU Center, moments after the Eagles clinched their 11th Frozen Four berth of the Coach York era (since 1994). I've always been a bit critical of Lowell's style of play and the fact that they're full of 23 and 24 year olds but the bottom line is that team is tremendous. Give Norm Bazin a lot of credit because that program is right there with all the big guns in college hockey right now and Lowell isn't exactly Beverly Hills. Hats off on a great season and tremendous effort.
But how bout those Eagles ? They played their hearts out. Each and every guy looked like they were playing for their lives. Even guys like Brendan Silk, Quinn Smith, Scott Savage, Teddy Doherty, guys that idiots like me often criticize, played like champions. Every time he was on the ice it looked like Brendan Silk was just flying towards the puck and hitting the blue shirt that had possession of it. Is he going to fly up the ice and pull a Johnny G ? No, but when your teammates see that type of effort, they can't help but get inspired. Each time I walked into practice this winter and noticed that Teddy Doherty wasn't going to play the ensuing weekend, I'd put my hands over my face and sigh. Yes, he can be shaky in his own zone at times but when he gets the puck with a little bit of room in the opponent's end, he can make a play. Think about having to sit in the stands while watching your classmates win every game, knowing you have what it takes to be out there. A lot more hard work and determination went into that pass on Ian McCoshen's goal than you can imagine.
After Billy Arnold scored a goal with just about three minutes to go in the second period, I turned to my friend and said "no matter what happens, they have to get out of this period with a lead". I'm sure the players and coaches were probably thinking the same thing. If the blogger is walking around the concourse shaking like a rattlesnake shortly after Lowell scored with under two minutes left in a period (yet again), you can only imagine how a player must have felt. No more than 20 seconds into the period, Lowell scored a garbage goal that deflected off Savage's skate, through no fault of his own. My face looked like it had just seen some type of ghost. I glance over to the bench and there's Coach York clapping/giving guys pats on the back like we had just scored the goal. Meanwhile you got me thirty rows up ready to throw my hat onto the ice. Of course, two minutes later Ryan Fitzgerald scored an insane breakaway goal that was soon followed by McCoshen's game winner. Shortly after the game, I texted one of the guys that was in the locker room and asked what Coach York was saying after the second period, he replied "All positive baby".
Of course, the journey is not over and we're going to have to play the best team in the country in order to play for a National Championship but I think we can all sit back and appreciate what this team has accomplished to this point. For me, it's just simply amazing how this coach continues to get his teams so fired up for this tournament. That weekend against Notre Dame was a disaster. Not many teams can get back up after that. Yet he has these guys so dialed in when it comes to this time of year that they simply refuse to lose. 11 Frozen Fours since his arrival. Amazing. BU has 3 since then.
O and guess who was born just 30 minutes outside Philadelphia ?........G
Why BC won-
1. They just found a way. There really isn't much else to say other than they found a way to come back and win a hockey game. They played hard, they played physical, they played fast, and they just executed one more time than Lowell did.
2. That first line isn't half bad.
Not looking good for golf weather down in Philly. Hopefully that changes.
Player of the game- I thought Bill Arnold was great tonight. Mike Matheson was flying up and down the ice. Those two.
Next up- Union in two weeks. Frozen Four. 5 PM game. Minnesota vs North Dakota in the late game.
Note- This will Boston College's 24th Frozen Four.