Jerry's teams have given us 20 years of wonderful memories. Here's my list of top 10 moments from the JY era. Feel free to add yours in the comments.
Honorable Mentions: The overtime winning goals in tourney action (Bellefeuille 99 HE, Gerbe 2008 Beanpot, Petrecki 2008 Beanpot, Lombardi 2010 HE, Cross 2011 Beanpot, J. Hayes 2011 Beanpot, Arnold 2012 Beanpot), beating #1 overall seed North Dakota in 1999 regional, beating #1 overall seed Wisconsin in 2000 regional, 2008 National Title over Notre Dame, beating the Toews, Oshie, Stafford, Zajac North Dakota teams of 2006-2008.
10. Ryan Murphy's OT winner over BU, 2004 Beanpot Final. In 2001 we finally broke through in the Beanpot against a mediocre BU team (featuring less than mediocre BU goaltending). BU won again in 2002 and 2003. Our team in 2004 would make the Frozen Four as BU suffered through a terrible season. Their one bright spot was goaltender Sean Fields. He made over 50 saves on the evening, and nearly made an early BU goal stand for a 1-0 victory. But late in the third period Ty Hennes tied the game, and in OT a Ryan Murphy turnaround slapshot from the left wing faceoff dot beat Fields high glove, setting off a massive celebration. BU had a short mini run in Beanpot play from 2005-2007, but the 2004 Ryan Murphy goal was the moment where the Beanpot gods started to shift ends on Comm Ave.
9. Beating Ohio State in 1998 National Semifinal. Two nights later we suffered the toughest loss of the Jerry era. But on this night, in Boston, BC hockey arrived on the national stage. 16 years later we haven't left.
8. Cam Atkinson's goal to make score 2-0 against Wisconsin in 2010 National Final. Favored Wisconsin boasted future NHLers Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonough, and Hobey winner Blake Geoffrieon. A first period Ben Smith goal gave BC a 1-0 lead, which the Eagles held into the third period. With the game sitting on edge Atkinson took a Joe Whitney pass on the Eagles side of center ice, burst down the left wing and snuck a backhander behind the Wisconsin goalie. Six minutes later Kreider and Atkinson again would score to push the game out of reach. It was Atkinson's first that blew the game open, and set in motion BC's third National Title in the JY era and fourth overall.
7. Victory over Maine in the 1998 Hockey East Final. With the score tied at 2 late in the third we seemed to get the go ahead goal. The referee never made a signal, and on video review the Maine goaltender's glove blocked view of the puck on the overhead (the goalie was standing with the puck next to his skate, glove by his side. The glove happened to line up with the puck, blocking the overhead view). No goal. Off the ensuing faceoff we scored, and the 3-2 final held-up. The first championship for the Eagles in the JY era will always have special resonance.
6. Ben Eaves OT goal wins 2004 Regional Final against Michigan. BC and Michigan played three memorable tourney games from 1998-2004. Michigan won the 1998 Title in OT, we won the 2001 National Semifinal 4-2 (4th goal an ENG), and in the rubber match a spot in the 2004 Frozen Four was at stake. The 2004 team boasted future NHLers Patrick Eaves, Ryan Shannon, Brian Boyle, and Andrew Alberts, along with first team All American Tony Voce. But the captain and "star" of the team was center Ben Eaves. Ben missed a large chunk of the second half of the season due to injury. He suited up for the tournament, and early in the overtime period he hobbled to the bench, felled again by ailment. During a stoppage the TV cameras zero'd in on his face as the trainer treated Ben. The pain was evident. After missing a couple shifts his line had a faceoff in the attacking zone. Ben hopped over the boards, wincing as he skated over to the faceoff circle. Five seconds later the Eagles were on their way to the Frozen Four, as Ben snuck behind the Michigan defense, waited for an Al Montoya rebound to fall beneath the crossbar, and then whacked the puck from mid air at a legal height into the back of the Wolverine net. Ben scored that goal with a stress fracture in his knee.
5. Johnny Gaudreau's clinching goal against Ferris State in the 2012 National Final. BC was clearly the superior team on paper, and held a 2-1 lead for much of the game. But with three minutes left the game remained 2-1. Ferris State had just spent a long shift in their offensive end, BC pinned back and off balance. Might they score a late sucker punch on the way to a smash and grab win? Not with Johnny G on the ice. The then precocious freshman gathered up a loose puck at his own blueline, carried the puck through the neutral zone with one defender draped on him, deked a second defender at the circles, and flicked a backhand across the grain into the far upper ninety of the goal. Game over. 4th National Title in the JY era, 5th overall to the Eagles.
4. Joe Rooney scores on shorthanded breakaway in 2006 Regional Final against BU. BU had our number that year, taking 4 of the 5 earlier meetings, including scores in the Beanpot and Hockey East Tournament Finals. We'd get one more, unexpected crack against our ancient rivals, this time with a Frozen Four berth at stake. Given the stakes it was perhaps our most decisive and important victory against BU, ever. We held a 2-0 lead midway through the second, thanks to a Brian Boyle goal off a terrible BU giveaway, a Matt Greene goal off a goal mouth scramble that featured the first ever video review to go in BC's favor and against BU's favor, and a bend but don't break defense featuring Cory Schneider's finest hour in maroon and goal. By the middle of the second period BU was starting to hum and BC couldn't stay out of the penalty box. Joe Rooney extended the lead to 3-0 on a shorthanded goal. BC still couldn't stay out of the penalty box. Given BC/BU history there was a palpable feeling in the stands that something bad was bound to happen. And then Joe Rooney happened, again. He took a Stephen Gionta pass, clear breakaway from the blueline in, made a quick little move as he cut across the goal mouth, and ripped a forehand shot five hole on John Curry. I swear the net billowed five feet and the water bottle popped ten feet as Curry fell onto his back, utterly and totally defeated. Oh how awesome. BC carried the 4-0 lead into the third period on their way to a 5-0 destruction of the Terriers. At a time when it looked like the BC Frozen Four dynasty could be over, and a new BU one ready to emerge, Rooney's moment had extra significance. It kick started a run of 3 straight Frozen Four bids for BC, and 6 in the last 9, with 3 of those trips ending in National Championships. BU has been back to the Frozen Four just once in that time.
3. Chris Kreider posterizes David Warsofsky and Kieran Millan in the 2010 Beanpot. In 1965 we beat BU for the second straight year in the Beanpot Final. It marked our 8th Beanpot in the then 13 year old tournament. And then BU took over, taking special care to knock around their Comm Ave rivals. BC would beat BU in the 1976, 2001, and 2004 Title games, and the 1981 and 2008 first round. BU would take the other 25 Beanpot meetings between the schools from 1966 through 2009. In the decade before 2010 we started to loosen BU's grip on the trophy (see moment 10). But we were missing a true changing of the guard moment. Chris Kreider gave us that moment. Just out of the penalty box, Kreider picked up the puck at his own blueline, deked Warsofsky out of his jock at the top of the circle, and deftly beat Millan along the ice on the backhand. The box score says this was the third goal in a 4-3 Eagles victory. Anyone who knows their history knows what this goal really was: A Thor hammer that overnight changed the Beanpot fortunes of the two schools. BC is 9-0 in the Beanpot since that goal, with 5 Titles. BU is 1-8, with 0 Titles.
2. Joe Whitney scores in overtime to beat Miami of Ohio in the 2008 Regional Final. A lot of people know the OT story of this game. Miami's outshooting us 10-1 in OT and carrying the play by a larger margin. John Muse might as well be playing 1 against 5. Jerry calls timeout. Two minutes later we're on our way to Denver and the Frozen Four. Truth is, Miami outplayed us for 58 of 60 minutes in regulation, too. Miami scored 90 seconds into the game. They cycled on us at will. They held a 2-0 lead with three minutes left in the second period, and it felt like at any moment they could make it 5-0 if they wanted to. And then Petrecki snuck down below the dot on a delayed penalty and made it 2-1. Gerbe made it 2-2 fifteen seconds later. A minute after that Ben Smith gave us the lead. I remember sitting at the game, behind the goal where we scored those three goals in two minutes, not believing what I was seeing. Miami struck again early in the third period. It felt like a matter of time until Miami got the lead back. Then Miami took a bad penalty with a few minutes left in the game. Dan Bertram had the puck all alone at the side of the net with the goalie down. Puck was on his forehand, too. If he gets the puck off the ice it's 4-3 BC. He slid the puck into the goalie's pads. On to overtime. I figured that was it, and nothing that happened in the first five minutes of OT changed my mind. Try and remember where the program was in 2008. It was coming off two tough National Title Game losses. Heading into the 2008 Hockey East Tournament we'd only won 17 games and were squarely on the tournament bubble. The whole season felt like a long drawn out hangover following the disappointing end to 2007. Who knows how the teams of that era are remembered and how the future teams perform had Miami gotten the next goal. Who cares, because here's what actually did happen: Muse held the line for the whole OT. Dan Bertram grabbed the final Miami rebound of the night, and went on a 1970s-style rush up his wing culminating with a 1970s-style slapshot from just inside the blueline. Joe Whitney fought off two Redhawks for the Bertram rebound, diving through the air to get to the puck a split second before the second Redhawk defender could clear the puck. The diving backhand found the back of the net and BC advanced. Two weeks later we'd outscore our Frozen Four competition 11-3 on route to a National Title. Two more would follow shortly thereafter. None of that happens without Joe Whitney's ultimate smash and grab goal.
1. Krys Kolanos scores in overtime to beat North Dakota, handing BC the 2001 National Title. BC's hockey tradition takes a back seat to no one. Jerry York (the player), John Cunniff, Red Martin, Jim Logue, Joe Mullen, Brian Leetch, Craig Janney, Kevin Stevens, Tim Sweeney, Bob Sweeney, Greg Brown, Doug Brown, Dave Emma, Marty Reasoner, Jeff Farkas and Mike Mottau were just a few of the men to make the maroon and gold famous. But for reasons that defied logic none of them ever held the championship trophy. The school itself won the second recognized NCAA tournament in 1949, but had gone empty since. In 1998 we got real close, losing to Michigan in overtime of the Title game after giving up a 1-0 and 2-1 lead in regulation. We also hit a post and crossbar in the extra period. In 1999 we lost in the National Semifinal to Maine, a team we beat in the hockey east tournament less than two weeks before. The Maine loss, like the Michigan loss, came in overtime following a blown third period lead. In the 2000 National Title game we entered the third period with a 2-1 lead. We wound up on the short end of a 4-2 final against North Dakota that night. No one knew quite what to make of the 2001 team at the start of the season. We returned one Hobey Baker finalist in Brian Gionta, but graduated a second finalist in Jeff Farkas and the Hobey winner in Mike Mottau. First line center and ultimate faceoff ace Blake Bellefeuille, as well as grinders Tony Hutchins and Kevin Caulfield departed, too. Kobasew and Eaves and Forrest and Voce looked nice on paper, but would they really replace the production that just graduated? Would Kolanos progress from his freshman to sophomore year? They all did, and then some. The team methodically rolled through the regular season, winning the Beanpot and Hockey East regular season Titles for the first time in Jerry's tenure. The team made short work of the Hockey East tournament, and then settled into Worcester as a #1 seed with a first round bye. Maine, following a great escape against Minnesota the previous night, would be our first game opponent. Chuck Kobasew broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period, and a late Rob Scuderi powerplay goal iced it. 3-1 BC. The following night we'd learn our Frozen Four opponent. A Michigan upset of St. Cloud State set up our second revenge game. Two freshmen, Kobasew and Ben Eaves, scored 2 goals a piece in a 4-2 beating of Michigan. Earlier that day North Dakota upset Michigan State, which set up our third revenge game. Who was writing this? Could we finally win our first title in 52 years by beating the three teams that ended our hopes the previous three years? Through 56 minutes it looked like the answer was going to be yes. This tourney run was going to be the end of Godfather I, when Michael settles all family business. And then two extra attacker North Dakota goals, the first scored while enjoying a powerplay following a too many men on the ice call, the second with 30 seconds left, sent the game to overtime. All of the sudden this was Godfather I if the rope on Carlo's garrote broke leaving Carlo to drive off to catch that flight to Vegas, laughing at Michael et al as they choked on the getaway car's dust.
But just as Sonny's killer got his just rewards, North Dakota got theirs, and BC ours, in overtime. Scott Clemmensen made an early glove save for the ages. Two minutes later Tony Voce took a huge hit in the corner, holding the puck just long enough for Chuck Kobasew to get free for an outlet pass. Chuck brought the puck through the neutral zone on a 2 on 3 with Krys Kolanos. At the offensive blueline they executed a criss-cross to perfection, Chuck moving left to right and Krys right to left. Chuck took two defenders with him and left the puck for Krys, who gathered it up and found himself 1 on 1 with Aaron Schneekloth. Krys used his huge reach and big frame to shield the puck from Schneekloth, and his power to get around him as he neared the faceoff dot. As Krys cut across the goalmouth he used that huge reach a second time to barely get around a Karl Goehring poke check. As he began to fall to the ice Krys used that reach one last time to slide the puck towards goal. The waiting was at long last over. The puck found the back of the net, Krys jumped up, greeted by a Kobasew embrace at the top of the crease. A couple seconds later the rest of the team made the 120 foot skate from the bench to the far goal line, and a massive pile of Eagles tumbled into the far corner. Two fans sitting in the first row, separated by a pane of glass from the victorious Eagles, held up a sign that said "Now we can die in peace."
I hope those guys are still alive and well. But if they live to 100 they'll never see a BC hockey moment top Krys's goal in 2001.