By Derek Berry
TAMPA BAY – In the aftermath of the Boston College Eagles 4-1 NCAA tournament championship victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs, let’s look at just how successful this BC program really is. When you sit back and think about it, it’s truly astounding. And programs that are this good, don’t just grow on trees.
Boston College coach Jerry York said he learned from legendary long-time Wisconsin coach ‘Badger’ Bob Johnson to create a blueprint. York recalled the advice he got in analyzing how he did and how valuable it still is to him.
You can see the results not only with what he’s done with the BC program, which has won three national titles in the past five years, but also with the types of players he produces and the success they have at the next level.
Looking back at the Eagles, you could call them the team of the past decade and you could make a solid case for them being the premiere college hockey program right now. Consider the results over the past 15 seasons for BC in the NCAA tournament:
1998 – lost to Michigan in overtime thriller in Boston
2000 – lost to North Dakota
2001 – beat North Dakota in overtime for title
2006 – lost to Wisconsin in Milwaukee
2007 – lost to Michigan State
2008 – beat Notre Dame for title
2010 – beat Wisconsin for title
2012 – beat Ferris State for title
York admitted the blueprint includes simply getting to the championship and playing well, even if you fall short. Although he noted, you do want to win a few, which the Eagles have done.
Through the years, the Boston College players have bought into what York has taught them. And this team has to play in Hockey East, one of the toughest conferences, if not the toughest in college hockey, on a regular basis. BC battles teams such as Boston University, their arch-rivals, Maine, New Hampshire and others.
Players who come to Boston College not only come to win, they come prepared to go to the next level. The Eagles program is a machine. And York has played a big part in that. He understands the professional game and NHL GMs love picking players from BC because they know they’re getting solid, quality talent and players with good heads on their shoulders.
After the Eagles basked in the glow of yet another championship, York brought the trophy out to the media interview room and placed it atop the table for all to see and for he and his team to admire. It is the trophy that you strive for, that you are expected to win at Boston College, by following York’s blueprint.
AWARDS – The annual Hobey Baker Award, presented to college hockey’s most outstanding player, was presented to Jack Connolly, senior forward from Minnesota-Duluth. The Hockey Humanitarian Award was presented to Aleca Hughes, senior forward from Yale University’s women’s hockey team who started a foundation in honor of a teammate who passed away from leukemia.
TAMPA SETS RECORD – Two-day attendance at the Frozen Four, held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum broke a record for a first-time host city.
SEE YOU IN STEEL TOWN – Next year’s Frozen Four will take place in Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center, home to the Pittsburgh Penguins, April 11 and 13, 2013.