This one feels a little different. I don't know why. This one stings. A lot. Something about this club, I really felt they had it but I, like you, can take solace in the fact that the better hockey team won tonight. Congratulations to Union and head coach Rick Bennett. No matter what you think about the man after his fight vs RPI head coach Seth Appert, he is one heck of a hockey coach. Man, that is a good hockey team. If they don't win the National Title on Saturday night I would be shocked. What a wagon. Sure, BC had their moments but for the majority of the game, the guys in maroon vastly outplayed the guys in gold and when the guys in gold made mistakes, the Dutchmen pounced. You can't make many, if any, mistakes in the Frozen Four because you know your opponent is a powerhouse, no matter what the name is on the front of the jersey.
At the end of the day, I'm very proud of this team. They played their hearts out tonight. Did some guys make some costly mistakes ? Unfortunately, yea, they did but you know what ? Each and every player on this team should be proud of the way they played this season and in this game. The young guys, especially Steve Santini, Ryan Fitzgerald, Adam Gilmour, and Chris Calnan made tremendous strides over the final month and a half of the season. To be honest, I was worried with Fitzgerald's play halfway through the season. Sure, he had the penalty that led to the big Union goal but I thought he had the puck on his stick the whole night, looking to make a play. He's going to be a tremendous player here someday.
I think that at some point, we all have to take a step back and look at what this senior class has accomplished in their four years here. Of course they have the National Title in 2012 but the Beanpots, two Hockey East championships, three Hockey East regular season championships, and numerous other accolades will long be remembered. Like I said after the Beanpot, if you want your kid to have a role model, have him study Pat Brown. He isn't the most talented guy in the room, he's not the biggest, fastest, strongest, etc, but he's the hardest working. He will do anything for his team. I'm not one to say whether or not he has a career playing hockey but anyone that can surround themselves with the work ethic that this kid has, will truly benefit. Billy Arnold, when people ask me what's the most pumped up I've ever been in my life, my answer has always been your goal in the 2012 Beanpot. That tournament/beating that team means a lot to me. Thank you for that lasting memory. Kevin Hayes, the way you have resurrected your career through all the criticism you received is something I greatly admire. I believe you will have a long pro career, wherever it may be. Isaac Macleod, you to have done a fantastic job going from a once and while player to an every game type of guy. Good luck to all of you guys. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to this program.
If you follow this blog, if you know me as a person, or if you see my tweets, you would know that Johnny Gaudreau is my favorite hockey player of all time. When he was a freshman in 2012, I emailed Tim Clark and asked if there was anyway I could meet him and talk for a few minutes and I don't know if I'll ever forget when Johnny came up to me after one practice and talked with me for five or six minutes. I played hockey when I was a little kid (stunk), I have a pair of siblings that play, I've been going all over the country watching this program play, I've been up and down New England watching high school prospects, and I watch a fair share of NHL games. I've never seen anything quiet like Johnny Gaudreau. I usually go to practice one or twice a week to get the update on the lines/injuries/etc, but sometimes if I had nothing to do after school, I would hop in the car and drive over to the rink just to see what moves Johnny had in store for the day. Johnny, thanks for all the amazing things you did on the ice for this program but most of all, thanks for taking time that afternoon to make my day. No matter what you decide to do, you won't find a bigger fan of yours (outside of your family) than this guy.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for following along this year. I've got a few people I'd like to specifically point out. First of all, my mom and dad for the gas money, support, and love. Doing this thing isn't always easy but they helped me in so many ways. To my friends for coming to the games with me and dealing with my insane obsession with BC hockey. To Tim Clark, Dick Kelley (RIP), and Mark Majewski for supplying me with media passes for essentially every game this year. Lastly, thanks to you, the reader for following along. There is nothing in this entire world I love more than this program. It means everything to me. To be the "blogger" is something that I take an enormous amount of pride in. Thank you for following along.
No updates on any early departures yet. Will have more when it becomes available.
GO EAGLES !