Happy Wednesday!!!! It's a Wednesday that feels like a Friday for those of us getting set to head to Philadelphia. Let's get right to it:
Boston College hockey features many flashy forwards who can leave the crowd awestruck. But for those who appreciate good, hard-hitting defense, it's hard to miss Steven Santini when he takes the ice. The punishing, 6-foot-2 defenseman has grown into a shutdown role on the blueline and has also contributed his fair share of highlight-reel hits.
The X-factor for the Boston College hockey team this season has been the true grit supplied by a freshman defenseman, whose thumping shoulder checks draw comparisons to another popular skater who wore No.6 in these parts: former Bruins blueliner Ted Green.
This is about Union's brief but remarkable success under Bennett's watch, and how the assistant under Union's first truly successful Division I coach stepped up and delivered in a way that would make any big-time program envious.
Boston College standout freshman goalie Thatcher Demko is looking forward to heading to Philadelphia and taking on Union College in the NCAA Frozen Four national semifinal on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
There are options, however, a blue line and a goaltender that have shut down several high scoring offenses must do so again this weekend.
The even years have been good to Boston College recently. The hockey team has parlayed victories in the NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester to national championships in 2008, 2010, and 2012. They are hoping that this season ends the same way.
When the Boston College Eagles and the Union Dutchmen take the ice in Philadelphia on Thursday, experience will be one of the key factors. The Eagles boast Jerry York as a head coach, who in 20 seasons leading the team has been to 15 national tournaments with four championships. The Dutchmen are coached by Rick Bennett, who has taken his squad to the NCAA tournament during each of the three seasons he has been there.
Jerry York played his hockey at Boston College back when the Eagles were coached by Snooks Kelley, who was so from another time that he actually taught at the old Cambridge High & Latin School by day and would then drive out to Chestnut Hill for his night job behind the bench.
Times have changed, of course, and York, who will coach the Eagles in their Frozen Four showdown against Union College tomorrow in Philadelphia, doesn't need to teach high school social studies to make ends meet. But he's enough of an old-timer to hold tight to some coaching techniques that would have made Snooks proud.
"This is an exciting day in Boston College basketball," said Brad Bates.
"Not only the great tradition, not only the great athletic programs, not only the great support that we have from administration and everybody else," said Christian, 49, who played at Boston University and the University of Rhode Island in the mid 1980s. "The goal now is to get the community involved, to get the students back involved in everything we're doing. "There's one way to do it. It's called winning."
Jim Christian intends to rebuild the Boston College men's basketball team from within. That's the message Christian gave after being formally introduced as the program's 12th head coach during a press conference yesterday at the Yawkey Center.
Sophomore midfielder Sarah Mannelly has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference women's lacrosse offensive Player of the Week, as announced Tuesday by the conference.