USCHO Awards: Key Decisions Put York on Top

When Boston College went to overtime with New Hampshire on March 5, the only thing that would keep the Eagles in the hunt for the Hockey East regular season title was a victory over the host Wildcats.

The big question was whether BC coach Jerry York would pull his goaltender in search of an overtime win. York went through the scenario earlier in the week and decided to keep Parker Milner in the net.

The league title would have been a feather in the Eagles’ cap, but they had bigger things in mind.

Related link: Jerry York coaching history

How connected that episode was to the last in the Eagles’ season — claiming the 2010 national championship — is debatable, but in hindsight, it puts York’s coaching decisions in a pretty good light.

Jerry York led the Eagles to a 29-10-3 season and the national championship (photo: Jim Rosvold).

Jerry York led the Eagles to a 29-10-3 season and the national championship (photo: Jim Rosvold).

York is USCHO’s national coach of the year after leading Boston College to the school’s fourth national championship, and his third with BC — all won in the last 10 years.

The night after that 3-3 tie with New Hampshire, which gave the Wildcats the outright title, the Eagles beat UNH to close the regular season. That was the first of nine straight victories to close the season.

A year after missing the NCAA tournament, York guided the Eagles to a 29-10-3 season, and to do so he had to make another decision that ended up making him look good.

After giving Milner a good share of the goaltending minutes down the stretch, York turned to John Muse in the second game of a Hockey East quarterfinal series against Massachusetts. Milner allowed five goals in a 6-5 victory in the first game.

Muse took the reins with a 5-2, series-clinching victory, and York stuck with him despite a six-goal outing in the Hockey East final and a seven-goal game in the Northeast Regional final.

York’s faith in Muse paid off when the junior allowed only one goal against Miami in the national semifinals and shut out Wisconsin for the championship.

The title game victory was York’s 850th. He ranks second on the all-time coaching victories list, 74 wins behind Ron Mason.

The 2010 USCHO postseason awards were selected by staff writers and editors at the conclusion of the Frozen Four.