WORCESTER, Mass. — When you’re a captain, you do whatever the team needs. You put yourself second and the team first.
“The idea of getting egos out of the locker room is very, very important,” Boston College coach Jerry York said. “We have a lot of players who leave that ego behind and just become Eagles.”
2016 NCAA Northeast Regional
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Doherty’s primary goal hasn’t been ego-stroking personal glory. It’s been to get back to the Frozen Four, held this year in Tampa, Fla., and give the Eagles a chance there at a sixth national championship.
“That’s Teddy’s best attribute,” star goaltender Thatcher Demko said. “He’s a team-first guy, there’s no doubt about that. Whatever Coach wants him to do, he’ll do it. He just wants to get to Tampa.
“He’s a huge leader for us. He leads by example. Guys really look up to him. He sets the tone for our team.”
In an ironic twist, while he’s sacrificed for the team and played a position he’s unaccustomed to, he’s thrived. Going into the NCAA tournament, he’d scored 11 goals, more than the sum of his first three years.
And when the Eagles took on Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday, one game away from the Frozen Four, Doherty scored two of the team’s three goals in a 3-2 victory. In doing so, he also earned a berth on the all-regional team.
Both might prove to be satisfying feats Doherty can look back on at some future date, unexpected rewards for a year of sacrifice, but neither matter much compared to the real prize.
“It’s great,” Doherty said when asked about the two goals scored in the spotlight, “but I really wanted to go to Tampa. Just to be able to extend the season by two weeks and be able to keep practicing in Conte Forum is something I valued more than two goals. Getting to Tampa has been the objective since Day One.”
That focus, along with his versatility and leadership, has been much appreciated by York.
“He’s been a really pleasant surprise because he hasn’t played a ton for us over his career, at least not in key, key situations,” York said. “This year, as a captain, he took it upon himself to improve his game in different parts and help us on defense and at forward.
“He’s a fiery guy, small of stature, but he really is a dynamite leader.”
A leader who has done his part and then some to get his team to Tampa, two wins away from a national championship.