DURHAM, N.H.–The one championship that has eluded the Boston College Eagles team has been the regular season title. They’ve won the Beanpot. They’ve won the Hockey East finals, and of course, the seniors from this team have taken home two national championships.
And finally, they can have their cake and eat it too.
Boston College came back after a 2-0 deficit early in Saturday night’s game to overtake the Wildcats 4-3 and earn the trophy that was lacking in their resume.
“It’s quite an honor to win this trophy,” BC forward Joe Whitney said. “You work all year and week in and week out you play Hockey East opponents and you play in a competitive league. There’s a reason we haven’t won in the past couple of years because it’s not an easy one to win. It’s a hard trophy to win and it’s just testament to the guys and how hard they work every day in practice and it all adds up tonight.”
This is the first time the Eagles have won the regular season championship since the 2004-2005 season. From that point until now, Boston University and UNH have been the sole proprietors of that trophy–the Wildcats with three of the last five to their name.
The Eagles found themselves in a very similar situation last year, where they had to go up against UNH in the final weekend to determine the same exact thing. Though the Wildcats only needed a tie to clinch last season, BC let the title slip away then too. So, what was the difference this year?
Tuesday afternoon, Boston College sat down with the New England Patriots head coach and talked about what it meant to win.
“He came by our dressing room on Tuesday night and really was a factor in how we prepared for this championship event,” BC coach Jerry York said. “He hit on some issues that were really important in all of athletics. He started off by saying ‘Now guys, I might not know a lot about hockey, but I know a little bit about winning and producing teams that can play for championships.’”
But whether it was the pep talk, the urgency of this game, or just the way the puck drops, the Eagles found a way around the Wildcats, giving them only their fourth home Hockey East loss this season.
Though obviously disappointed, both UNH coach Dick Umile and the Wildcat players came out of the game knowing that they played a solid game. A few little miscues here and there led to the outcome, but overall, there were a lot of good things that they could take from the game..
“I was pleased with the way they played tonight and I don’t say that too many times when you lose,” Umile said. “But, I liked the way they played, and battled the way they played especially after last night. We went head-to-head and had an opportunity to win against a very, very good team. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the best that we’ve seen.”
The No. 1 Eagles will play host to No. 8 UMass, while No. 2 UNH will bring a familiar playoff opponent, UVM, back to Durham again this year for the quarterfinals next weekend.