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College Hockey:
BC’s York turns to Belichick for help capturing elusive regular-season title

DURHAM, N.H. – When you take a look at this year’s senior class for Boston College, you can sum up their success in one word: championships.

The three seniors – John Muse, Joe Whitney and Brian Gibbons – have combined for three Beanpot titles, two Hockey East tournament titles and, most impressively two NCAA national championships.

But until Saturday, the one title that has eluded the Eagles seniors was the Hockey East regular season crown. Three times in the last five years BC finished runner-up by a single point. And for the bulk of the first two periods on Saturday it looked as if that might happen once again.

The Eagles, though, impressively rallied from two goals down, took an early third-period lead and then responded after New Hampshire tied the game with 10 minutes to play with a Pat Mullane game winner to give the Eagles their first regular-season title since 2005.

“It’s quite an honor to win this trophy,” said BC captain Joe Whitney of the regular-season crown. “There’s a reason we haven’t won it in the last couple of years. It’s a hard trophy to win.”

While BC head coach Jerry York has had some wonderful success in his career, to prepare his team for this weekend’s series with UNH, one in which the Eagles needed a minimum of three points against the Wildcats to capture the title, he called upon a man who York says “knows plenty about winning.”

That man was New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

The three-time Super Bowl winning coach last addressed the Eagles seven years ago. Since that time, York maintained the friendship and this past Tuesday asked the coach to come speak to his players.

“It really was a factor in how we prepared for this championship event,” said York of Belichick’s speech. “He hit on some issues that were so important in all of athletics.”

Belichick joked that he didn’t know much about hockey but knew a little about winning. He then went on to deliver a number of analogies that the Eagles used throughout the weekend sweep of the Wildcats.

One of those analogies was comparing the responsibility for carrying the team on the ice to borrowing your parents’ car.

“Back when Bill and I were growing up, there was one car in the family,” said York. “You had responsibility. You had that key and you better bring that car back. Momma’s expecting it the next morning.

“Belichick said, ‘When you go over the boards Friday night and Saturday night, each of you hold the key to Boston College’s success in hockey.’ It was a theme we used during the week. That you’re responsible for your shift, for your contributions.”

On Saturday, there were a number of players who took responsibility for the Eagles success. None, though, did so more than senior netminder Muse.

Muse looked like a goat early when he dropped a bad-angle shot from UNH’s Dalton Speelman that opened the scoring and brought the Whittemore center to life.

Muse, though, bounced back from that goal and played incredible throughout the remainder of the game, frustrating the Wildcat offense. He gave up two additional goals, but that’s when the remainder of the team bailed him out.

Now with the regular-season title in hand, BC can look forward to a series with Massachusetts, a team that salvaged their season on Saturday, rallying from two goals down in the third period to earn a 4-4 tie with Maine to earn the final playoff spot by one point over Providence.

York, ever one to prepare for an opponent, for now is happy to enjoy that regular-season title before thinking about the playoffs.

“I think I might enjoy this one for tonight,” said York. “I’ll wake up tomorrow and start thinking about UMass.”

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  • Macroom7

    Outstanding weekend for very,very good BC team whose coach knows how to get them ready to play

  • Tiger Blood

    Very good team? They are Vatican assassin warlocks. I’m not sure if that adequately describes their prowess, but when you’re bound by these terrestrial descriptions, you must use the best term available. Gibbons and Whitney are frickin’ bayonets, you know? They’re battle tested, man. However, I am little worried with Kreider out. If Brooks Dyroff tries to be Kreider, his face will melt off and his children will weep over his exploded body. Nonetheless, Atkinson, he’s an F-18, bro, and he will destroy you in the air, and he will deploy his ordnance to the ground. Boom. And even though Muse let up a soft goal Saturday night, he cured that with his brain, his mind. Can’t is the cancer of happen. Oh wait, can’t process that? Loser. Winning. Buh-bye.

  • Floresoscar78

    BC is a fair weather team! They barely squeezed by Northeastern 2 weekends ago and that is in part with the HE referees on their side. It takes a hostile gesture by Jerry York and BC automatically gets the man advantage.

  • RamboWildcat

    That is why there should be NO polls until November 1.  Let the kids iron out the details on the ice the first month!  Then have a poll and it would be very, very interesting!!  What everyone is calling an upset in week one, may actually turn out to be nothing but a solid win. 

  • kJay

    “our columnists bring you a new Monday feature: Three things we learned over the weekend” 

  • Anonymous

    How does this idea sound?

    “The Land of 10,000 Lakes Pond Hockey Classic” between the Gophers and say…UMD on a pond with portable bleaches surrounding it?  Nostagia at it’s best, and certainly better than those lame outdoor stadium games in which fans can’t see squat!!

    This thing could have some legs and gain National Publicity big time.  What do you think you movers and shakers out there?  Let’s make this happen! 

    NBC sports would eat this up big time with the built in marketing (10K lakes/pond hockey), and the nostalgia of playing hockey on pond when we were kids.  I’d buy a ticket for sure.  Hope someone can make it happen. 

    • FrozenBulldog

      A Minnesota classic including UMD, UM, Bemidji, Mankato, and SCSU is rumored to already be in the works.

  • Suture

    I Don’t know, I’m a life-long Sioux fan and I am panicking.  I have never seen our team look this devoid of potential stars-in-the-making.  This Parker kid looks nice, but losing Miller was a HUGE loss for this team.  I agree that UND seems to piece things together after Christmas, but I am not so sure this year.  Have a feeling the old pride is taking a few lumps this year. Having Dell coming in overweight didn’t help matters….what are these kids thinking?  Lastly, I want to throw out another belated congratulations to Scotty Sandelin and the Bulldogs, this was very deserved for a very hard working and talented team with a great coach.

  • MTUalum

    Yeah,  of all of 3 teams out of 12.  

  • kJay

    let me try this again…

    “our columnists bring you a new Monday feature: Three things we learned over the weekend”    3 things prolly won’t always mean 3 teams, but who knows?  Hang in there, it’s only the first week!