DETROIT — Perhaps no one in Ford Field this weekend will have as much experience in Frozen Fours as Boston College head coach Jerry York.
York, who played in the Frozen Four in 1965, falling to Colorado College in the title game as a member of the Eagles, not only has led BC to the national title twice (2001, 2008), he also coached Bowling Green (led by captain Wayne Wilson, who will coach RIT this weekend in Detroit) to national title game in 1984.
To say that this event has grown since then would be an understatement. But as this years event moves to its biggest landscape of all time, Ford Field, where the attendance is expect to exceed 30,000, York put the growth into perspective.
I think back to 1984 in Lake Placid, it was a sold out building, it was loud, there was a lot of energy in the building, said York. I had played in the mid 60s at Brown when there were 3,000 people at an NCAA championship game. There was energy in the building. There was a lot of excitement. So theres a lot of parallels with Frozen Fours as you go through the years.
Now whats happened is its gone from 3,000 to 8,000 to who knows, 33 or 35 thousand tomorrow. Whats happened is the world has found out how tremendous our college hockey game has become. The enthusiasm of the fans generally earlier it was just the participants fans that were there now were getting fans from all the conferences despite whoever is playing in the game.
I think the energy and the enthusiasm of the coaches, the athletes is the same. Now the world is finding out that with college hockey we better get to Anaheim, we better get to Milwaukee, we better get to Detroit to watch this event.